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Kozelsky nominated for 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year

Albert Lea High School graduate Lindsey (Horejsi) Kozelsky received recognition as one of the University of Minnesota’s two nominees for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year on Tuesday, as announced by the NCAA. Kozelsky graduated this past May and completed her eligibility as members of the women’s swimming and diving team.

Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. The nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, including 259 nominees from Division I, 126 from Division II and 220 from Division III.

This past June, Kozelsky was named to the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large second team, completing the academic year with a perfect 4.0 GPA as she earned her master’s degree in teaching. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree also received the Lindahl Academic Center Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement Award at Minnesota’s 2020 Golden Goldys ceremony. Having obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2019, Kozelsky spent the entire 2019-20 season not only competing in the pool as one of the top breaststrokers in the country, but also serving as a student teacher at Richfield Elementary School. In addition to her work at Richfield Elementary, Kozelsky also volunteered for Hope Day and the Service to Humanity Gala during her Minnesota tenure.

Even with the heavy workload this past year, Kozelsky closed out her Minnesota career as one of the more decorated Gopher swimmers in recent memory. By hauling in 2020 CSCAA All-America status in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breast, Kozelsky added to her total of 11 All-American accolades from her first three seasons in Maroon & Gold. For her final encore in 2019-20, Kozelsky swam her way to podium finishes in both the 100 breast (third) and 200 breast (seventh) at the Big Ten Championships with her top time in the 100 breast ranking as the nation’s fifth-fastest time of the season.

On two separate occasions during her senior campaign, Kozelsky was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week, bringing her career total to five weekly Big Ten accolades. From 2017-19, Kozelsky performed well at the NCAA Championships, finishing fourth or better in the 100 breast three-consecutive years. Kozelsky also held her own in the 200 breast at the NCAA meet, delivering back-to-back top-10 finishes in the event on the national landscape in both 2018 and 2019. Dating back to her freshman season, Kozelsky even swam on Minnesota’s 2017 Big Ten Champion 200 medley relay team.

Moving forward, conference offices will select up to two nominees each from their pool of member school nominees. Thereafter, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division. From there, the selection committee will determine the top three finalists in each division before naming the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year this fall.