Senior Kytra Hunter (Frederick, Md.) of the University of Florida was named the Honda Sports Award winner for gymnastics 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”. With this honor, Hunter becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup, which will be presented on June 29th in a live nationally televised broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET from Los Angeles, Calif.
Hunter, who was also the 2012 Sport Award recipient, was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Georgia Dabritz (Utah), Lindsay Mable (Minnesota) and Samantha Peszek (UCLA).
“What a wonderful surprise to such an amazing season,“ stated Hunter. “The Honda Award is so special to women’s collegiate athletics and I am so honored to receive it on behalf of the University of Florida. I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and all who cheered the Gators because their support means so much. It has been a privilege representing the University of Florida as a Gator gymnast.”
Hunter led the Gators to their third straight national championship title and captured the NCAA individual title on floor exercise and tied for the 2015 NCAA all-around title. She is now Florida’s all-time career leader in NCAA individual event titles with four overall. An AAI Award finalist as the top senior gymnast in the nation, she is a 25-time All-American and was named the Class of 2012 Honda Award winner for gymnastics as a freshman. She competed all-around in every meet as a senior, winning nine titles, and owns four of the nation’s top 12 totals of 2015.
The 2015 SEC Gymnast of the Year shared the SEC vault and floor titles to be just one of five gymnasts in SEC Championship history to claim at least one league event title each season of her career. Her seven SEC event wins is a Gator career record.
“The Honda Award is an extraordinary honor and I’m so happy that Kytra is receiving it after her exceptional season,“ said Rhonda Faehn. “She took on much this year, performing as an all-arounder in every single meet and her contributions were a big part of the Gators’ success. I am very proud of all she’s achieved – Kytra’s represented Florida with such class and integrity during her career.”
Three student-athletes from the sport of gymnastics have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup, including last year’s winner for the Class of 2014, Kim Jacob (University of Alabama). She was joined previously by Courtney Kupets (University of Georgia) in 2009 and Missy Marlowe (University of Utah) in 1992.
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.