Patricia Castro-Ortega, a freshman from Queens University of Charlotte, was named the swimming and diving nominee for the Class of 2015 Division II Honda Athlete of the Year as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 39th year.
Castro-Ortega, a native of Madrid, Spain, was named the 2015 NCAA Swimmer of the Meet after leading her team to the national championship. The national title was the first team Championship for the school.
Castro-Ortega posted four individual national record times as she touched first in every individual event she swam, the 200 Yard Individual Medley, the 200 Yard Freestyle, the 500 Yard Freestyle and the 100 Yard Freestyle. She also swam the opening legs for the championship 400 Yard Freestyle Relay and 800 Yard Freestyle Relay teams.
"Thank you so much for this award,“ said Castro-Ortega. “The journey to win was long and hard, but I am so happy with our victory. I want to thank my teammates and coaches for making this such a memorable experience; I could not be more proud of them.”
All sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Collegiate Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in June. The sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 39 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 $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.