Christy Cazzola, a senior track & field standout from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, was named the 2014 Honda DIII Athlete of the Year as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Cazzola will be presented with the award at the live telecast of the 2014 Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda on Monday, June 30th, at the USC Galen Center Founders Room in Los Angeles, Calif.
The honor was voted on by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 38th year. Finalists for the award included Ana Bogdanovski, Johns Hopkins (Swimming & Diving), Gabrielle Clark, Emory (Tennis), Allyson Fournier, Tufts (Softball), Chelsea Johnson, St. Scholastica (Cross Country), Jessica Lavelle, SUNY Cortland (Lacrosse), Sharon Li, Ithaca (Golf), Marlene Lichty, Christopher Newport (Field Hockey), Sydney Moss, Thomas More (Basketball), Megan Rietema, Calvin College (Volleyball) and Olivia Zitoli, William Smith (Soccer).
Cazzola, a two-time Woman of the Year nominee for track & field, was named the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year for the second straight season. She is the first female to garner the honor twice. She was also named the NCAA Division III Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet for the second time at the NCAA Championship and is a three-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Outdoor Championship Performer of the Meet.
The senior from Kaukauna, Wis., capped her record-breaking career with three titles at the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship and finishes her career with a total of 16 national titles- eight indoor and eight outdoor. In addition, she won the 2012 Division III Cross Country Championship. Her career numbers also include 27 WIAC championship, 12 indoor, 12 outdoor and three cross country.
At the Outdoor Championship, Cazzola set a national meet record winning the 800-meter with her time of 2:05.23. Her 5,000-meter mark of 16:29.96 was both a school record and stadium record. Cazzola is also the first woman to win the 1,500-meter race four consecutive years after clocking a 4:32.51.
Off the track, Cazzola received her bachelor’s degree during January with a 3.34 grade-point average in secondary education. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree at UW-Oshkosh. Cazzola was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America Team the last three years.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.