Big South Announces Finalists for Woman of the Year

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The Big South Conference announced today that Winthrop women's soccer player Courtney Durbin (Perrysburg, Ohio) and VMI track & field athlete Caroline Wortham (Richmond, Va.) are the finalists for the Conference's Woman of the Year award for 2011-12.  The Conference's Woman of the Year award is sponsored by Big South Corporate Partner Musco Sports Lighting, and the winner will be announced and presented her award on Thursday, May 31 at the Big South's Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner in Hilton Head, S.C. 

The Big South's Woman of the Year Selection Committee voted Durbin and Wortham as the two finalists among the seven candidates nominated for the award.  The Big South's Woman of the Year winner is nominated as a candidate for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Durbin concluded her four-year career this past fall after appearing in 78 games for the Eagles with 72 starts.  She ended her time at Winthrop ranked second all-time in program history with 22 career goals and 53 career points.  A two-time All-Conference selection, Durbin tallied eight game-winning goals in her career, and finished her senior season with a career-high 11 scores and 28 points en route to being named Big South Attacking Player of the Year.  She graduated earlier this month with a 3.537 GPA and Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutritional Science, and was the recipient of Winthrop's Ken Staton Endowment Award -- given annually to a student-athlete who goes above and beyond the call of duty on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community.

Durbin was involved with Winthrop's SAAC all four years, serving as Secretary during her sophomore season and co-President as a junior and senior.  She has participated in various charitable causes, including Samaritan's Feet and Soap for Souls, as well as being active in the local Boys and Girls Club, soccer clinics and Habitat for Humanity.  A two-time team captain, Durbin is a Presidential Scholarship Recipient and a finalist for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.  She was also a member of the Alpha Lambda Honor Society, has been a summer camp counselor with the YMCA, and has organized Finely Road school's annual field day the past two years.

Wortham, a 3.91 student in biology, competed in the pole vault all four years at VMI, and equaled her personal best with a 3.30 meter jump at the VMI Collegiate Invitational in February.  As a junior, she finished seventh at the Big South Outdoor Championships with a jump of 3.25 meters to mark her first career scoring effort at the Conference meet.  Other career highlights include a seventh-place finish at the Military Track & Field Championships in 2010.  Wortham also ran cross country during her freshman season of 2008 in addition to her time on the track team.  A three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member, Wortham also received the VMI Faculty Merit Scholarship the last two years, which is given to rising junior and senior cadets displaying excellence in scholarship, extracurricular activities and high military standing.

Off the track, Wortham made mission trips to Haiti twice and Honduras once where she worked with orphanages in both countries.  She volunteered with the Midwives for Haiti and was involved in the VMI Engineers Without Borders Chapter.  Wortham has also been involved with VMI's Recycling Club and was a Regimental S-2 Staff in Corps of Cadets where she was a captain.  She also served as President of the VMI Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society.  During her time at VMI, Wortham was inducted into six different Honor Society organizations, including the Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society in Iota International Foreign Language.