Gajewski of Saint Joseph's (ME) Named GNAC Woman of the Year
BOSTON, Mass. – The Great Northeast
Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that Hannah
Gajewski (Biddeford, Maine) of Saint Joseph’s
College (ME) has been named the 2011-12 GNAC Woman of the Year.
Gajewski, who swam on the Monks Women’s Swimming team,
graduated this past May suma cum laude with a degree in Exercise
Over her career at Saint Joseph’s, Gajewski competed in a total of 13 different events including the 100 & 200 breast, the 200, 500, 1000 & 1600 free, the 100, 200 & 400 individual medley, the 100 & 200 medley relay and the 400 & 800 free relay. She served as a team captain both her junior and senior seasons and was named to the GNAC All-Tournament team all four years of her swimming career.
“Life’s greatest accomplishments often arise through the service of others,” said Gajewski. “Being a team captain for two years, I know what it means to be a leader. This position taught me commitment, responsibility, pride, and how to step up to a challenge. It is not until you have twenty people to be accountable for that you realize how powerful your voice can be.”
Throughout her four years in the water, Gajewski was recognized several times by the GNAC including nine weekly Honor Roll selections, six Rookie of the Week nods while also earning Swimmer of the Week honors for the Feb. 23, 2009 period. In 2008, she was named the GNAC Women’s Swimming Rookie of the Year and the Biddeford, Maine native would then go on to notch 50 individual wins and 13 runner-up performances over her career. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s holding nine individual records while also being a part of four relay team records.
“My fellow athletes put their confidence in me to step up and challenge myself to make a difference on campus and within my team,” said Gajewski. “This self-assurance flowed into my studies as well and helped me push myself and accomplish things in the classroom I believed were out of my reach. My time in the classroom and in the pool has taught me to always remember how far I’ve come and everything left I have to accomplish. My college career has pushed me to stay positive and always believe in myself. Being chosen to be a leader on my team and having my team mates put their confidence in me is my greatest accomplishment of my college career and will help me to become the best person I can be.”
Gajewski was also named the 2011-12 Saint Joseph’s College Female Student-Athlete of the Year. On top of her athletic accomplishments, Gajewski was also very involved on campus as the 2012 graduate served on the Monks Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as wella s the Academic Athletic Advisory Committee (AAAC).
Outside of school, Gajewski volunteers as the Head Swim Coach for the NYC-YMCA Manta Rays and also previously volunteered at the Windham Middle Schools as their Swim Coach.
By earning the GNAC Woman of the Year honor, Gajewski is now a
candidate for NCAA Woman of the Year. According to NCAA.org, the
award “honors graduating student-athletes who have
distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the
areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community
service and leadership.” This marks the third time a woman
from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has earned this
prestigious honor as Alyssa Dunn was recognized in 2011 and Jillian
Leger received the honor in 2008.
The top ten finalists from Division III will be named by the NCAA in August. The national winner will be announced at the Woman of the Year Awards Dinner in the fall.