Wilson representing Stan State's Track and Field

No, not Tatum.

Turlock native Channing Wilson (Senior, Kinesiology) had played the sport she loved most, soccer, throughout her high school years and loved the game. Fast forward to present-day and Wilson, a track and field star, has become nominated for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Woman of the Year, claiming her name in the top 30.

This award honors student-athletes who have excelled academically, athletically, and proven their dedication to community service.

Women from each NCAA division are nominated by those who have recognized their excellence.

“Kim Duyst, she’s the Associate Athletics Director, and she’s the one who meets with students and helps them get involved in the community and so she basically said ‘Well, make sure you get involved with some community service because your grades have been going well and you’ve done well in track and I’d like to nominate you for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year,” said Wilson.

Recently, Wilson attended the 2016 Olympic trials in Oregon participating in the javelin and hammer portions. After not making it through to the Rio Olympics, she is more motivated than ever to prepare to redeem herself at the 2020 trials.

But what makes Wilson stand out more is how she gives back to the community around California State University, Stanislaus (Stan State).

“At the time I had never heard about the award so I was like ‘Okay’ [to being nominated], but she [Kim] hadn’t realized that I was already getting involved with a program called 100 Citizens,” said the humble collegiate athlete.

The non-profit organization originated at CSU Northridge held by Kinesiology students.  It provides free exercise programs for ages 18 and up at Donnelly Park in Turlock. If interested, go to the City of Turlock office off Main Street to sign up.

“Being so focused on school and track, I hadn’t had much [job] experience so that’s what got me motivated to get involved with this program.”

“One of our [Kinesiology] professors did part of his education at Northridge so he knew the professor that was involved with it there. So he had heard about it and thought it would be a good program to bring here so he basically called upon some students to attend a workshop at Northridge.”

“We went and learned about it and it was like a two-day workshop and we saw their program in action and they taught us a few things. When we went we didn’t really realize that ‘Okay you’re going to learn about this program so you could be the ones who could build it here’. I feel like most things in my life happen that way- things just land in my lap and it all works out,” said Wilson.

Coming from a household of two parents who did not attend college, Wilson is surprisingly impressed of how much she has achieved herself.

“Coming out of Turlock High, like I was a good student but I just didn’t really know what to do from there. My parents didn’t go to college; it was not really something they pushed me to do either.”

“Coming out of Turlock High, I saw, well everyone’s applying to colleges so that’s the next step I think because I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a job yet. I didn’t feel ready to step away from my family at that age so I applied to Stanislaus,” said Wilson.

One of Wilson's teammates was especially ecstatic about her milestones made.

"Oh my gosh, Channing Wilson is like at the top of the Kinesiology class, probably in the top 3. And she wouldn't tell you about any of this because she's extremely humble!," said MiShaye Venerable (social sciences, sophomore).

"I am so proud of how much she has done. With the 100 Citizens she is always sorting out the data and is so dedicated to it."

Now Wilson’s next steps are planning a trip to Indianapolis in October, where the NCAA will be holding a ceremony for the nominees. The girl who impresses the NCAA the most will also be presented and be named Woman of the Year.

Check back here at the Signal for updates on Channing Wilson’s nominee experience.

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