Seraus adds MEAC Woman of the Year to career résumé
NORFOLK, Virginia — Thashaina Seraus (Oranjestad, Aruba) ended her Maryland Eastern Shore career by winning back-to-back Female Athlete of The Year awards — the highest honor from Hawk Athletics. On Monday (June 26) Seraus added the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s highest honor to her career resume.
The MEAC has named Seraus as the 2017 Woman of the Year, the conference office announced today.
“I would like to congratulate Thashaina Seraus for having a spectacular career, not only in bowling, but in her academic pursuits as well,” said MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas. “In addition, her service to the community is truly exceptional. I would like to thank the University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletic staff, coaches and academic support personnel who had an influential part in Thashaina’s success. I wish her continued success in her future endeavors.”
The award, selected annually by the MEAC Senior Woman Administrators, celebrates the achievements of senior female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
“It is a great honor,” Seraus said from the airport on her way to compete for Aruba in the Central American Championship in Guatamala. “It’s great news especially coming back from competing [in the TV round of the PWBA Lincoln Open].”
Seraus is the two-time reigning MEAC Bowler of the Year, and this past season she was named the Outstanding Performer at the MEAC Championship after leading the Lady Hawks to their fourth conference title in five seasons.
She had a 4.0 GPA at Maryland Eastern Shore, where she double-majored in business administration and general studies. She was a two-time First Team All-Academic selection as named by the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA), named to the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team three times and twice earned University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Departmental Distinction at the school’s annual Honors Convocation.
The University of Aruba transfer was the 2015 MEAC Rookie of the Year, before being named the conference’s top bowler each of the past two seasons, and she was a First Team All-MEAC selection all three seasons she was at Eastern Shore. In 2015, Aruba’s Ministry of Sports named her its Athlete of the Year.
The Shore won the MEAC title in two of Seraus’ three seasons, and in 2015, she finished fifth in the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.
This past season, she led the team in Fill Percentage and Strike Percentage, rolling a team high 1,347 complete frames while bowling in the high-pressure anchor position all season. She also led the squad back to the NCAA Championship for the first time in three seasons and the USBC Championships for the second straight year.
“I think it’s a tremendous honor for Thashaina,” Eastern Shore Bowling coach Kayla Bandy said. “I think it is indicative of the hard work she put in. No one practiced harder. No one puts in more time than she does to perfect her craft. It is also an award for the team because the girls pushed to make Thashaina better and she pushed them to be better. I think it’s another accolade for the team and how they really came together to get the job done at the end. I’m excited about the year to come because I know that same energy will carry forward and Thashaina is a part of that.”
Seraus is the fifth Hawk to win the MEAC Woman of the Year — all bowlers — beginning with Jessica Worsley in 2008.
Following her final season with the Hawks, Seraus returned home to Aruba and her nine-year-old son Thyshawn who has been living with her parents while she pursued an education at Maryland Eastern Shore. She also has begun competing in some Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour events including the Lincoln Open where she advanced to the televised stepladder finals as the No. 2 seed.
The event was taped for broadcast June 25 at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, one of four telecasts at the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship, the second major of the season. The Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open will air Tuesday, July 11, at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network
In the community, she participated twice in the Maryland Eastern Shore Street Sweep, and she was active in the university’s Relay for Life initiative. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and she was the bowling team’s SAAC representative in 2016.
In December 2013, Seraus organized Christmas dinner for a group of less-fortunate children in her native Aruba.
She joins fellow Hawk and 2017 MEAC Man of the Year Khalil Rmidi Kinini to give The Shore its second sweep of the award. In 2015, bowler Maria Alvarado joined men’s basketball player Ishaq Pitt for the first Hawks sweep.
“Thashaina has been a model student athlete, leader and competitor during her time at Maryland Eastern Shore,” Athletic Director Keith Davidson said. “She will be missed, but I’m sure she will go on to find success in all avenues of life moving forward. It says something about the caliber of our student athletes that she and Khalil have given us the distinct honor of sweeping the award for the second time.”
Seraus will represent the MEAC as its nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. The NCAA established this award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 26th year, the award is unique because it recognizes not only the athletic achievements of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership.
The NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 22 at the awards dinner in Indianapolis, Indiana.
North Carolina A&T State bowling student-athlete MacKenzie Robinson was the 2017 MEAC Woman of the Year runner-up. She graduated last month with a 3.60 GPA, earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Past MEAC Woman of the Year Honorees
2006 Renecia Lovelace, North Carolina A&T State (Softball)
2007 Courtney Smiley, Howard (Basketball)
2008 Jessica Worsley, Maryland Eastern Shore (Bowling)
2009 Loreal Smith, North Carolina A&T State (Track and Field)
2010 Kalyn Washburn, Delaware State (Bowling)
2011 Kristina Frahm, Maryland Eastern Shore (Bowling)
2012 Jazmyne Hefflefinger, Delaware State (Bowling)
2013 T’nia Falbo, Maryland Eastern Shore (Bowling)
2014 Christina Epps, Coppin State (Track and Field)
2015 Mariana Alvarado Nava, Maryland Eastern Shore (Bowling)
2016 Jenny Tracy, North Carolina Central (Softball)
2017 Thashaina Seraus, Maryland Eastern Shore (Bowling)
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