Tennessee State University women’s track and field senior Clairwin Dameus (Boynton Beach, Fla.) earned the Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year award on Friday morning at the OVC Honors Brunch at DoubleTree Nashville Downtown. She is the first TSU female to win the honor, which was established in 1980-81.
The award is voted on by the OVC’s athletics directors and sports information directors.
At the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, Dameus became TSU’s first two-time Division I USTFCCCA First Team All-American, taking sixth place in the long jump and eighth place in the pentathlon. She helped the Tigerbelles tie for 21st in the nation at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Dameus earned OVC Athlete of the Championship for the third-consecutive year thanks to her performance at the OVC Indoor Track and Field Championship. She is the only woman to earn the award more than once in their career. Helping the Tigerbelles win the OVC title for the indoor season, Dameus claimed gold in the pentathlon, long jump and as a member of the 4x400m relay team while taking silver in the 55m and 55m hurdles. At the meet, she set OVC Indoor Championship records in the long jump, pentathlon and with the 4x400m relay squad.
Dameus’ dominance continued during the outdoor season as she won the long jump and 400m hurdles at the OVC Outdoor Championship. Also winning a gold medal with the 4x100m relay team, Dameus added silvers in the 100m and with the 4x400m relay team.
Dameus has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon and has a chance to also punch her ticket in the long jump, 100m hurdles and as a member of the 4x400m relay team depending on the outcome of the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Fla. The NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore.
Other nominees for the award included Austin Peay freshman tennis player Lidia Yanes Garcia, Belmont senior distance runner Hannah Wittman, Eastern Illinois sophomore high jumper Haleigh Knapp, Eastern Kentucky senior softball pitcher Hayley Flynn, Jacksonville State senior golfer Melania Bajo Geijo, Morehead State junior golfer Anna Magnusson, Murray State junior volleyball outside hitter Scottie Ingram, SIUE senior basketball forward Shronda Butts, Tennessee Tech freshman sprinter Na’Asha Robinson and UT Martin senior basketball forward Haley Howard.
TSU has had two former student-athletes win the award on the men’s side in Charles Anthony in 2005 and Carlos Rogers in 1994.