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Gateway notebook: Olivia Miller nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Olivia Miller enjoyed a standout gymnastics career at the University of Pittsburgh, and her accomplishments during her four years on the Oakland campus extended beyond the court to her academic studies and extensive community service.

Pitt recently honored the 2022 graduate as its nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, which will be presented in January.

“Regardless of how it turns out, it is a complete honor to even be nominated for something like this,” said Miller, who graduated from Pitt the weekend of May 1 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation sciences and a certificate in pathokinesiology in rehabilitation.

In January, she will begin a two-year residential physician assistant studies graduate program.

“It is a testament to all the women in sports who have been trailblazers and made an impact in their school, their athletic department, their sport and their community,” Miller said. “I am super excited to be a part of this. I didn’t even know they had something like this.”

The nominees this year represent all three NCAA Divisions — 248 from Division I, 127 from Division II and 202 from Division III. Of the 577 total nominations, 23 sports are represented.

From those on the original list of nominations, a top 30 — 10 from each division — will be selected in October.

Miller was set to find out Thursday, past the deadline for this edition, if she would be moving into the pool of candidates considered for the October selections.

From the top 30, the Woman of the Year selection committee will announce nine finalists, three from each NCAA division. After reviewing the finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will name the winner.

The top 30 honorees, for the first time, will be celebrated at the NCAA Convention in January in San Antonio.

Established in 1991, the award recognizes female student-athletes who have completed their athletic eligibility and have distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their collegiate careers.

Miller earned multiple All-Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League first-team honors in the all-around and EAGL All-Tournament recognition in every event.

She competed in all four events with career highs of 9.825 or higher on each one, as well as a top score of 39.250 in the all-around.

A team captain for the 2022 season, Miller was a dean’s list honoree in every semester at Pitt and served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board among her many on-campus activities and endeavors.

At the Panthers Choice Awards in April, Miller won the women’s gymnastics Gold Standard Award for her inspiration to her team though commitment, composure and integrity.

She also was presented one of Pitt’s Blue-Gold Awards for representing Pitt in the areas of athletic and academic achievement, leadership and citizenship.

Miller was presented the George I. Carson Graduate Fellowship award to continue her education at Pitt toward her graduate degree.

Fall sports set to begin

It seemed like just yesterday the spring sports season wrapped up for both Gateway teams and individuals.

Now, the Gators football, boys and girls soccer, girls volleyball, girls tennis and cross country teams are just a couple of days away from beginning preseason workouts.

With summer work in the rearview mirror, it all kicks off Monday with high anticipation for what the 2022 fall seasons can produce.

The boys and girls golf teams were scheduled to get a head start Monday (Aug. 8) with team tryouts and practices. Matches can begin as early as Thursday.

Football heat acclimation workouts in full pads this week are a bridge from the summer to Monday’s start of full workouts in preparation for a scrimmage against WPIAL power Belle Vernon on Aug. 20 and a Week Zero home matchup Aug. 26 against defending WPIAL and PIAA 6A champion Mt Lebanon.

All teams other than boys and girls golf begin season play Aug. 26.

The Gateway Invitational cross country meet, an early season Saturday morning tradition that draws top teams and individual runners to Boyce Park, will be Sept. 3.

The races are seen as strong litmus tests for runners going into section meets and other high-level invitationals through the month of September.

The Gators girls volleyball program enters the season with a new varsity head coach as Nicole Riley takes over the reins.

Riley is no stranger to Gateway or Gators volleyball.

A physical education teacher at the middle school and the middle school athletic coordinator, Riley is a former girls middle school head coach who served most recently as a boys assistant with head coach Phil Randolph.

Gateway is hoping to turn around last year’s 2-10 record in Section 3-4A play.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 724-226-4665, mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .




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