Theresa Michalak, a senior from the University of West Florida, was named the 2017 DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for Swimming & Diving as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Michalak is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year. 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 41st year.
After setting records in three individual awards and winning a fourth Michalak was named the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) DII NCAA Women’s Swimmer of the Year. Michalak captured the NCAA Championship title in all four of the 50 free, 100 free, 100 breast, and 100 fly with new records in the 100 free, 100 breast, and 100 fly. She was also key to the performances of UWF’s 200 medley, 200 free, and 400 free relays. She is the 14th swimmer in NCAA DII history to win four individual national titles in a single NCAA Championship meet.
A native of Halle, Germany, Michalak finished her career with a total of 14 All-America honors which is the second-most in UWF history. She was also a 2012 Olympian competing for Germany.
“It seems to be true that the rockiest roads lead to the highest peaks,” said Michalak. “This nomination represents a very special peak to me. The road to get there was probably one of the hardest I've ever taken, but at the end it was all worth it. Besides the success and achievements my team and I have earned, I've learned to believe and never give up on dreams.”
“Theresa has earned this nomination through her work ethic and dedication this season,” stated head UWF head coach Andrew Hancock. “She is an excellent example for our team to follow both in the pool and in the classroom, and we are extremely proud of her.”
All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 26, 2017, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda 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 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.