HIGH POINT — Leah Hanle of the University of Mount Olive’s women’s cross country and track-and-field teams has been named the Conference Carolinas Female Athlete of the Year for 2018-19, according to a recent release from the Conference.
Hanle becomes the first UMO athlete to win the Female Athlete of the Year since Samantha Mitchell of the school’s women’s volleyball team won the honor in 2007-08.
“We are so excited and grateful that Leah has earned this honor. She is an extremely hardworking and diligent young lady. She has proven to be elite on the track and in the classroom,” said Jackie Kirby, associate head coach of UMO’s track-and-field team and UMO’s head cross country coach.
Hanle, a psychology major from Lichtenstein, Germany, collected numerous accolades during her junior campaign. Hanle was a member of three Conference Carolinas championship teams in 2018-19 with the UMO women’s cross country, indoor track-and-field, and outdoor track-and-field teams.
During the cross country season, Hanle earned All-America honors by finishing seventh at the NCAA Division II National Championship. Hanle was named the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Runner of the Year, USTFCCCA NCAA Division II All-Region and first team All-Conference Carolinas. Hanle took third place at the conference championship before winning the southeast regional for a third consecutive year.
Hanle continued her success during the indoor season, picking up First-Team All-America honors in the 3,000-meter run (third place) and 5,000-meter run (third place) at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Championships. Hanle would win the Conference Carolinas Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year award — her third consecutive, after taking titles in the 5,000-meter run and 800-meter, while finishing second in the mile run.
Hanle finished the year with her outdoor season, picking up First-Team All-America honors in the 10,000-meter run (second-place) and 5,000-meter run (third place). Hanle was named the Division II Women’s Outdoor Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year by USTFCCCA after earning All-Region honors in the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter and steeplechase.
The junior is a 14-time All-American athlete between cross country, indoor and outdoor track-and-field and is the record holder in the 5K (XC), 3000m (I&OTF), 5,000m (I&OTF), 10,000m (OTF). She also won the Outstanding Female Student-Athlete Award at the UMO Trojan Globes earlier this year.