Missy Franklin of California, Stanford’s Simone Manuel, Leah Smith from Virginia and Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell are the four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for swimming & diving as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of experts and coaches representing the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).
The Honda Sports award winner for swimming & diving will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup award which will be presented on June 29, in a live televised broadcast from L.A.
Franklin was named the 2015 NCAA Swimmer of the Year and helped California to the team title. She established a school record for most combined individual and relay crowns at one NCAA meet with five titles this season, including setting an American record in the 200 Free. She also had three individual wins at the Pac-12 championship to lead her team to back-to-back titles while swimming anchor on the winning 800 free relay that set an American record. The sophomore from Centennial, Colo., is a 14-time All-American and a CSCAA Scholar All-American.
Manuel, a freshman from Sugar Land, Texas, set an American record to win the national title in the 100 Free leading from start to finish. She also captured the 50 Free and became the first swimmer from Stanford to win both freestyle events in the same year since 1993. A member of two NCAA winning relay teams, she anchored the 400 Free relay which set an American record. A seven-time All-American, she helped Stanford to third place overall at the NCAA Championship and also added two individual titles at the Pac-12 Championships.
Smith became the second student-athlete from Virginia to win two national titles and the first to win two in the same meet. The junior from Pittsburgh, PA, captured the NCAA titles in the 1,650 Free and the 500 Free, leading from start to finish in both events. She set an NCAA record in the 500 Free and recorded an ACC and school record in the 1,650 Free making her the second-fastest performer in the history of the 500 Free and the fifth-fastest in the 1,650 Free. Overall, she is a seven-time All-American.
Worrell swept the Butterfly events at the NCAA Championship winning the 100 Fly and 200 Fly, while setting an American record in the 100 Fly. She posted the third fastest time in NCAA history in the 200 Fly and her individual titles helped Louisville to a school best sixth-place finish. The junior from Mt. Holly, N.J., also struck gold twice at the ACC Championship setting ACC records to win the 100 Free and the 100 Fly. Overall, she is a six-time All-American for the Cardinals and a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American.
Five Honda Sports Awards winners for swimming & diving have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup- Tara Kirk (Stanford, 2004), Cristina Teuscher (Columbia, 2000), Mary T. Meagher (Cal Berkeley, 1987), Tracy Caulkins (Florida, 1984 &1982) and Jill Sterkel (Texas, 1981).