Erin Finn from the University of Michigan, University of Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer, Katie Rainsberger of the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for Cross Country as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 41 years 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 2017 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on Monday, June 26, 2017, in downtown Los, Angeles. The nominees were chosen from the top four finishes at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championship.
The Honda Sport award winner for cross country will be announced this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Finn, a senior from West Bloomfield, Mich., was the 2016 NCAA Cross Country runner-up and closed her career by leading Michigan for the 21st consecutive race to help UM match its program-best national team finish (second place) at the NCAA Championships. A three-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American, she is the first athlete in Big Ten history to win three non-consecutive conference crowns individually and became Michigan's first repeat conference champion since 1998 and the first repeat champ by any Big Ten athlete since 2000.
Junior Karissa Schweizer is from Urbandale, Iowa, and was the 2016 NCAA Cross Country individual champion as well as the 2016 USTFCCCA Women’s Runner of the Year. She was also the SEC and Midwest Regional Runner of the Year. A two-time USTFCCCA All-American, she is the first women’s cross country national champion in program history and led her Mizzou team to its first regional title since 2004.
Katie Rainsberger, a freshman hailing from Colorado Springs, Colo., ran to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championship and was the top finisher for Oregon leading team to the 2016 Cross Country Championship team title. Her fourth-place finish was highest by a UO freshman. The 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Pac-12 honoree, she was also named a USTFCCCA All-American.
Sophomore Anna Rohrer is from Mishawaka, Ind., and finished third at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country championship. She led through the first 5K of the NCAA race and her time marked the second-fastest NCAA Championship 6K time in Irish women's program history. She is a two-time USTFCCCA Cross Country All-American and the 2016 ACC Women's Cross Country Champion.
Honda Sport award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup award presented in June.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.