Rodenfels named SAA Woman of the Year
Published 9:07 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019
ATLANTA – The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) announced that three-time NCAA champion Annie Rodenfels of Centre has been named the 2018-19 Wessex Hotels SAA Woman of the Year.
The SAA Woman of the Year is the highest honor the league bestows. Rodenfels is the first Colonel to win Woman of the Year, while Noah Martin (2017-18) and Mason Paas (2016-17) each garnered the league’s Man of the Year award.
As the years go by at Centre College and the lore of Centre athletics grows over time, one constant will be that Rodenfels is on the short list of the greatest student-athletes to ever wear the gold and white for the Colonels.
In the classroom, Rodenfels carries a grade point average of 3.61 with a major in psychology and a minor in gender studies, earning a spot on the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll eight times.
From the standpoint of athletics, the list of accolades is so long that it is hard to condense. In track and field, Rodenfels’ first NCAA Division III title came in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing with the fifth fastest time in DIII history at the 2018 NCAA Championships. The win made Rodenfels the first female national champion at any sport at Centre College.
Her collegiate swan song at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships was a meet for the ages as she repeated as National Champion in the 3000m steeplechase while adding another National Championship to her resume with a victory in the women’s 5k, effectively becoming the most decorated female student-athlete in Centre history.
She is a five-time All-American in track and field, earning the additional honors in the women’s indoor 5k in 2019 with a runner-up finish, as well as another All-America recognition in the 3000-meter steeplechase as a sophomore in 2017.
In addition to the national honors, Rodenfels is a two-time SAA Women’s Track Athlete of the Year and owns ten different program records between indoor and outdoor track, including the 800-meter, 1500-meter, 3000-meter steeplechase and 5k. In the meets leading up to the 2019 NCAA Championships, Rodenfels set the Division III record in the 3000-meter steeplechase, becoming the first female runner in Division III to complete the race in under ten minutes. Her time of 9:58 ranked in the top 25 in the world in the event.
In cross country, Rodenfels is a two-time NCAA and United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American, earning the honors in 2017 and 2018. Her third place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships is the highest finish by any Centre runner in the NCAA Finals, male or female. She owns program records in both the 5k and 6k, giving her a dozen overall records between her two sports.
A winner of the 2018 SAA Women’s Runner of the Year award, Rodenfels helped lead the Centre women’s cross country team to conference championships in 2017 and 2018, and in 2018, the team earned its first automatic bid to the NCAA Finals in program history.