Castro-Ortega of Queens (N.C.) Repeats as DII Honda Athlete of the Year Nominee for Swimming & Diving

Courtesy of Queens (N.C.) Athletics
Courtesy of Queens (N.C.) Athletics

Patricia Castro-Ortega, a sophomore from Queens University of Charlotte, was named the swimming and diving nominee for the Division II Honda Athlete of the Year for the second straight 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 40th year.

“Being nominated for this award means a lot to me,“ stated Castro-Ortega. “It is the result of teamwork, perseverance, and commitment. I am thankful for this experience has given me the opportunity to perform my best both in and out of the pool.”

Castro-Ortega not only earned back-to-back nominations for the DII Honda Athlete of the Year honor but reclaimed her title as Swimmer of the Meet after breaking four individual national records and taking two additional first place finishes at the DII NCAA Swimming & Diving National Championship. She also led her team to its second straight National title.

A native of Madrid, Spain, as a sophomore she is already a 13-time All-American and for her career has won eight National championship titles. At the NCAA Championship, she also broke four individual national timing records.  

“Patri has earned this award,” said head coach Jeff Dugdale. “Her leadership both in and out of the water has been outstanding.  She continues to perform at the highest level both academically and athletically leading by example.”

All sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Honda Collegiate Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles. The broadcast will be shown live nationally on CBS Sports Network at 9 pm EST.

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 CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.  Since commencing its sponsorship thirty years ago 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.