Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado’s Dani Jones placed 10th at nationals last year and 22nd as a freshman in 2016.

Former University of Colorado athlete Dani Jones has been selected as CU’s nominee for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The award, which is in its 30th year, honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes.

Jones, a former member of CU’s cross country and track and field teams, graduated in May with a pair of degrees in speech, language and hearing sciences, as well as psychology. She recorded a 3.33 GPA during the course of her five years with the Buffaloes and during that time received several academic accolades. Most recently she was named a second team Academic All-American after earning all-district honors. Jones has also earned multiple academic all-conference honors for both cross country and track and field and was a member of the dean’s list.

She earned All-America honors 12 times during her career; three for cross country and nine on the track. Jones was the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Champion and led Colorado to the team title that same season, marking the first time since 2000 CU has won both titles in the same campaign. She also won three NCAA titles on the track, two indoors and one outdoors.

This past indoor season, Jones was named the USTFCCCA Female Track Athlete of the Year while picking up a trio of All-America honors. She led the NCAA in the mile in during the 2020 indoor season and had the third-best time in the 5k. She broke a 42-year-old CU indoor 800-meter record (2:04.38), which was the fifth-best time nationally this season. Finally, she was part of CU’s distance medley relay team that ranked sixth in the NCAA. She is the only woman in NCAA history with top-10 times in the mile and 5,000. Jones was set to race the 800 and 1,500 double at the 2020 indoor national championship, but it was canceled due to coronavirus.

A five-time Pac-12 Champion, twice in cross country and three-times on the track, her four NCAA Championships ties a school record with Olympian Jenny Simpson. She was named CU’s Athlete of the Year three times and this past May was named the recipient of the CU Female Career Athletic Achievement Award.

She has also spent time involved in the community. As a member of SAAC, she participated in CU’s Read With the Buffs Program, Holiday Angel Tree and led the initiative to deliver gifts to A Precious Child during the holiday season. Additionally, she was part of the Junior Leadership Academy and participated in ILC and Imagine!.