Spartans product Gilbert finishes college career with a splash
Glenbrook North graduate Ellen Gilbert concluded her senior year at Illinois Wesleyan University with perhaps her highest honor yet: Woman of the Year in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
An NCAA Division III All-America swimmer for the Titans, Gilbert earned the award June 21. The Woman of the Year award salutes athletic and academic achievement, service and leadership.
It is already the 12th time an Illinois Wesleyan female student-athlete has won the honor since it was first awarded following the 2005-06 academic year.
Gilbert was named both the CCIW's most valuable swimmer and its swimmer of the year this season, as well as for her sophomore season. Her sixth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly finals at the Division III national meet in Indianapolis on March 18 earned her first All-America honor after qualifying for the meet several times.
Her time of 2 minutes, 2 seconds in the trial heats to reach the finals was .35 seconds from a school record.
Gilbert was the only CCIW swimmer to compete in the national championships.
A psychology student who graduated with a 4.00 grade-point average and a member of two academic honors fraternities within her curriculum, Gilbert is a three-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American, earning first-team honors her junior and senior years.
On June 29 the College Swimming Coaches Association of America named Gilbert a Scholar All-American for a fourth straight year.
As a senior, she earned the CCIW's Elite 25 Award this year, and is also a three-time Academic All-CCIW honoree.
Additionally, Gilbert is a club and private swim coach, served as a teaching assistant at Illinois Wesleyan, was a mental health and suicide prevention intern for Project Oz directed to schools around the Bloomington campus.
She served as co-president of the Rehabilitation Therapy Club, was vice president of Circle K International, and was a three-time member of Illinois Wesleyan's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The CCIW selection as Woman of the Year moves Gilbert into consideration for a national award. A committee will select the top 30 honorees, 10 from each NCAA division, and from those will designate nine finalists in September.
Determined by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced this fall.