NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Augustana junior bowling student-athlete Delaney Walsh has been named the fourth annual recipient of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Chris Martin Perseverance Award, the conference office announced Tuesday.
Walsh, a native of Davenport, Iowa, was selected after a nomination period and vote by the conference’s nine Senior Woman Administrators.
Walsh competes with Stargardt Disease, a genetic eye disorder that causes progressive vision loss, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center with the National Institutes of Health.
The Chris Martin Perseverance Award honors a student-athlete who demonstrates an unwavering commitment and perseverance to overcome a physical challenge in order to compete at the highest levels of CCIW athletics. The CCIW Council of Presidents established the award in April 2019.
Chris Martin was the first full-time commissioner of the CCIW and served in that capacity from 2002 through 2019. This award recognizes his legacy of perseverance enduring the challenges of a lifelong hearing disability and a highly accomplished tenure leading the CCIW through a period of growth and success.
Walsh describes the disorder as a large black spot in the center of her vision, while also having reduced clarity in vision. Her vision is limited past the foul line, including the bowling ball’s path to the pins, what pins have been knocked down or left standing. This creates challenges in implementing strategy, as well as developing feedback in order to make adjustments and execute shots.
A two-year varsity letter winner for the Vikings, Walsh owns a career-high 211 game. She was a starter majority of the 2022-23 campaign, finishing second on team in split conversions, second in statistical consistency of game scores and third among Vikings in team in-games bowled.
Chris Martin Perseverance Award Winners
2023: Delaney Walsh, Augustana (Women’s Bowling)
2022: Hayley Earl, Illinois Wesleyan (Softball)
2021: Gabrielle Coulthard, Millikin (Women’s Volleyball)
2020: Sinead Molloy, North Park (Women’s Basketball)