Senior all-around gymnast Kim Jacob (Raleigh, N.C.) of the University of Alabama was named the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and presented with the prestigious Honda Cup as announced by Erik Wedin, Manager of Corporate Community Relations, American Honda. The award was presented live during THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda on CBS Sports Network, the official television partner of the event, at the USC Founders Club at Galen Center in Los Angeles.
The other two “Top Three” finalists from the Class of 2014 included cross country standout Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth College and basketball star Breanna Stewart from the University of Connecticut.
The “Top Three” were selected by a voting of nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools and the Honda Cup winner was chosen by the Board of Directors of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) program. Previous winners include basketball superstars Maya Moore (2011, 2012) and Candace Parker (2008), track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1985), soccer great Mia Hamm (1994) and volleyball star Misty May (1999).
Jacob is the first gymnast to win the honor since Courtney Kupets (Georgia) in 2009 and the third overall after Missy Marlowe (Utah) won the first for gymnastics in 1993.
“This is such an amazing feeling to have won the Honda Cup,” said Jacob. "To represent the University and women athletes in general on this stage, I'm so honored and humbled. I'm grateful to be a part of the CWSA family and truly honored to be surrounded by all of these talented female athletes whom I consider friends and hope to stay in touch with for years to come.”
Jacob won the 2014 NCAA All-Around title, the highest individual honor at the 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Championship and competed in 11 of 12 events at the national championships, most of any gymnast in the meet. She is an 11-time NCAA All-American, including four first-team honors in 2014, the most in the nation and earned first-team All-SEC this season.
In the classroom, her performance is just as impressive. The SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year for a conference-record third year in a row, she was also most recently named the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America of the YearShe is a first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American and a two-time NCAA Elite 89 Award. She has received a 2014 SEC Postgraduate Scholarship and and NCAA postgraduate scholarship while being a finalist for the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. On campus she was inducted into the 26th order of XXXI, the University of Alabama elite women's leadership honorary and is a two-time Alabama Community Service award winner.
“Kim Jacob deservedly was named the Collegiate Athlete of the Year and though diminutive in stature was gigantic in accomplishment as she raised the HONDA Cup and became the "best of the best” of the class of 2014, “ stated Chris Voelz, Executive Director of the CWSA.
In addition the to the announcement of the Honda Cup winner as the Collegiate Woman of the Year, the broadcast also featured the presentation of the Honda Inspiration award to Arin Gilliland (Kentucky, Soccer), the Honda Division II Player of the Year to Lauren Battista (Bentley, Basketball) and the Honda Division III Player of the Year to Christy Cazzola (UW-Oshkosh, Track & Field).
In addition to D'Agostino, other Honda Sport Award winners on hand for the live presentation were MarieElena Bolles (Connecticut, Field Hockey), Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA, Soccer), Krista Vansant (Washington, Volleyball), Felicia Lee (Stanford, Swimming & Diving), Madison Shipman (Tennessee, Softball), Robin Anderson (UCLA, Tennis) and Sharika Nelvis (Arkansas State, Track & Field).
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 $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.