Cal’s Kathleen Baker, Lilly King of Indiana University and Katie Ledecky and teammate Simone Manuel from Stanford University are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for Swimming & Diving 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 CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, 2017, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the Collegiate Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of American (CSCCA). The Honda Sport Award winner for Swimming & Diving will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Baker, a sophomore from Cal, was named the 2017 CSCCA Swimmer of the Year after capturing three national titles at the NCAA Championship meet in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM. She ranks among Cal’s all-time top ten in four different events and won two medals (gold and silver) in the 2016 Olympic games.
King is the two-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and won two NCAA national championship titles in the 100 and 200 breast strokes. The sophomore from Indiana set the American, NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open, IU Natatorium and IU school record in the 200 breast with the best time in the history of the event – 2:03.18. Overall, she is a four-time NCAA Champion and eight-time All-American and captured two Olympic gold medals in the 2016 games.
Ledecky captured five national titles, the most in the nation, at the 2017 NCAA Championships- 200 free, 500 free, 1650 free, 400 and 800 free relay. The Stanford freshman set five individual American records and seven individual NCAA records over the course of the NCAA season in three different individual events, and won the 1650 free event by over 20 seconds at the NCAA Championships. She helped lead Stanford to its ninth NCAA Championship and is a two-time Olympian winning six medals overall (five gold, one silver).
Manuel, a junior from Stanford, was the 2017 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and captured four national titles at the 2017 NCAA Championships in the 50 and 100 freestyles and the 400 and 800 free relays. Overall, she boasts eight national titles and 14 All-American honors. She set the American and NCAA record winning the 100-yard free as the first woman ever to break 46 seconds in the race. She captured four Olympic medals (two gold, two silver) at the 2016 Olympic games.
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 $3.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.