The 2013 calendar year is starting off on a great note for University of Colorado senior Shalaya Kipp as she was named the 2012 College Women's Athlete-of-the-Year as selected by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The Salt Lake City, Utah, native had a 2012 to remember, winning the Pac-12 and NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase titles and qualifying for the Olympic Games in London. Kipp became just the fourth current CU athlete with eligibility remaining to advance to an Olympics. She also had an excellent cross country season, earning her third straight All-American honor this past fall.
Kipp did not lose a single collegiate race in the steeplechase in 2012. In her first race at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford, Kipp clocked the fastest collegiate time of the season (9:43.09) to win the elite section. At the Pac-12 Championships, she became the first Buff to win any individual Pac-12 crown when she crossed the finish line of the steeplechase in 9:57.39. The following day she placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run (16:23.32) to add to the Buffs score.
Kipp dominated the NCAA West Preliminary Championships, winning in 9:58.38 to advance to the NCAA Championships. She easily sailed through the prelims and was tested in the finals, just besting Florida's Genevieve LaCaze at the finish in 9:49.02 to become the third different Buff in seven years to win the title. (CU has won the steeplechase crown in five of the last seven years.) Kipp was also honored as the USTFCCCA Female Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year for her performances.