Emma Paulson, a junior at St. Thomas, was named the swimming & diving nominee for the Class of 2016 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII 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.
“I am grateful, humbled and honored to represent swimming & diving for the Division III Athlete of the Year nomination,” stated Paulson. “Thank you to Honda for supporting women’s sports at the collegiate level and for nominating me for this award. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, family and the University of St. Thomas. Their encouragement, laughter and team spirit made my success this season possible.”
Paulson won three individual races in four days and was named Most Outstanding Women's Swimmer at the Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. The junior from Wayzata, Minn., won the 200 back (1:56.33) to go with titles in the 50 free and 100 back.
For her career, she has six All-America honors and six individual Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (MIAC) Championships. She also has been part of four relay championship teams for a total of 10 MIAC titles.
"It has been an honor and a pleasure to have worked with Emma over the past year and a half," said St. Thomas head coach Scott Blanchard. "Her performances over the past several weeks have been nothing less than spectacular. She has been a consummate competitor, holding the values of Division III Athletics in the highest light.”
“However, she is more than just a fast swimmer to us. She holds the team’s “Family” values in the highest regard, is a team leader, and non-stop cheerleader. Her commitment to academics is as high as her commitment to her swimming, garnering a 3.72 GPA in Accounting. Winning this award reinforces her work ethic, dedication, and commitment to excellence.”
All sports nominees from DIII and DII 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 sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII 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.