Maddie Pronovost '17 (Brookline, Mass.) has been selected as the 2016-17 NCAA Division III Female Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award winner. This prestigious honor comes weeks after the 2017 graduate was selected as one of the Top 30 honorees (10 from each NCAA division) out of a record 543 nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Martin Beatty, Middlebury's women's track and field coach, believes Pronovost's past has helped build her character. "Being well aware of her history of being born in China and adopted by a woman here in the United States, Maddie knows that all in life is precious, including her competitors," Beatty noted. "I've had athletes with good sportsmanship, but Maddie took it to the next level."
Beatty continued "during track meets, Pronovost enjoyed the opportunity to meet others from all over the country no matter what school they were representing. She provided them with tips on technique and they wrapped up the day with a group photo."
The award recognizes the athletes who exemplify sportsmanship, one of the core principles of the NCAA.
Pronovost will receive the award on Friday, November 17 during the season-opening men's basketball game in Pepin Gymnasium.
In July, Pronovost was nominated by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) for the award from eight candidates by a committee of conference administrators. She is the third Middlebury woman since 2012 to be selected in the final 30 student-athletes joining Alison Maxwell '15 in 2015 and Margo Cramer '12 in 2012.
Pronovost was well-rounded in academics and athletics and a valuable member of the Middlebury community. Graduating cum laude with a degree in neuroscience, she was a Dean's List selection and College Scholar two times along with being a six-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree.
An active member on the Middlebury campus and in the surrounding communities, Pronovost volunteered at the Champlain Valley Head Start program, helping children age 3-5 develop proficiency in language and mathematics. She was a Middview Orientation Leader, mentoring incoming first-year students. Pronovost served as the co-chair of the Middlebury Class of 2017 Senior Committee where she helped raise over $40,000 for 2017.5 Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was created in honor of two Middlebury seniors who passed away during the Class of 2017's four years.
She also spent time working for on a Habitat for Humanity project in Pungoteague, Virginia. Pronovost volunteered in the post-acute care unit at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury where she assisted physical and occupational therapists with rehabilitation exercises for elderly patients following surgery. Additionally, she also assisted in surgeries and post-operative care.
Pronovost received Middlebury's A. Bayard Russ '66 Memorial Athletic Award, honoring the senior who is most outstanding in two intercollegiate sports by best exemplifying the excellence of performance, leadership, tremendous desire and team spirit of A. Bayard Russ '66.
Athletically, Pronovost served as a senior captain during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. The four-year Panther competed in multiple events in the pentathlon and heptathlon. Pronovost achieved All-American status at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in March with a third-place finish in the pentathlon. She established the school record with 3,408 points during the Division III New England Championships in mid-February, breaking her own mark she established in late January.
Pronovost also earned All-NESCAC honors in the 100-meter hurdles this spring at the outdoor NESCAC Championships. The Middlebury athlete was an All-New England selection four times in the heptathlon, three times in the pentathlon and once in the 60-meter hurdles during her career. During the Division III New England Championships in early May, Pronovost captured the heptathlon title with a winning total of 4,419 points, improving the previous school record by 242 points.