Wyoming graduated senior Audra DeStefano was named 2016-17 Mountain West Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Thursday. She is the second Cowgirl to earn the award since the Mountain West was formed in 1999 (Chaundra Sewell, 2012-13).

The Gillette native was a standout for the Cowgirl track and field team in the spring and cross country team in the fall.

“We are thrilled that Audra is this year’s selection for the Mountain West Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year,” Wyoming director of athletics Tom Burman said in a release. “This award is a testament to her dedication, work ethic and achievements not only in her sport, but in the classroom and the community. Audra endured some hardships during her career, but through perseverance and hard work she not only overcame those setbacks but ended her athletic career as an honorable mention all-American.

"That is the same type of dedication she applied to her studies as well, graduating last spring with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and starting her graduate work. We look forward to seeing all of the amazing things she is going to accomplish as she completes her master’s degree in chemical engineering and continues to have a tremendous impact on those around her.”

DeStefano earned seven all-conference honors in track, including the conference championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase her junior season. She finishes her career at Wyoming in the top 10 in school history in six events.

She also earned a number of scholarships and awards for her engineering work at Wyoming. DeStefano will give an oral presentation on her graduate-level research later this summer at the 2017 International Conference on Membranes in San Francisco.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST

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Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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