Karissa Schweizer, a junior from the University of Missouri, was named the Honda Sport Award winner 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”. With this honor, Schweizer 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 CBS Sports Network on June 26, 2017, in downtown Los, Angeles.
Schweizer was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Katie Rainsberger (Oregon), Anna Rohrer (Notre Dame) and Erin Finn (Michigan).
“I am extremely grateful to be recognized by Honda and the NCAA member schools for this award,” said Schweizer. “I am especially thankful for my team, my coaches and my family, who I could not have achieved success without.”
Hailing from Urbandale, Iowa, Schweizer was the 2016 NCAA Cross Country individual champion as well as the 2016 USTFCCCA Women’s Athlete of the Year. She passed four runners in the final 400-meters of the NCAA Championship to secure the title and a personal-record time. 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.
With five first-place finishes this fall, she was also named the SEC and Midwest Regional Athlete of the Year.
“Karissa embodies what every parent, coach, faculty, alumni and citizen would want to see in a student-athlete,” stated track & field head coach Brett Halter. “She is a tireless worker, but will always find time for those in need around her or in the community. We are thrilled for Karissa that Honda has honored her with this prestigious award, one that represents the very best of collegiate athletics.”
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.
The CWSA, in its 41st year, honors 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 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.