Senior Sharika Nelvis (Memphis, Tenn.) of Arkansas State University was named the Honda Sports Award winner for Track & Field as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Nelvis becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Nelvis was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Courtney Okolo (Texas), Jenna Prandini (Oregon) and Kendell Williams (Georgia).
The Honda Cup winner will be announced during the live telecast of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda at 8 pm EST, on Monday, June 30, at the USC Founders Club at Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
“It's a great honor to be presented this award,” said Nelvis. " I'm really honored and very appreciative to be chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Honda Sports Award. It means so much.”
Nelvis is the first female student-athlete from Arkansas State to win a Honda Sport Award in any sport. She captured NCAA Division I national individual champion honors in both the women’s outdoor 100-meter hurdles and the women’s indoor 60-meter hurdles this 2014 season. The 2014 USTFCCCA South Central Region Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Nelvis was recognized as the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Female Athlete of the Year and went undefeated in 11 finals overall this campaign in the 55-meter hurdles, 60-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles. A native of Memphis, Tenn., Nelvis made the most of her final season at A-State by winning the long jump, 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 60-meter hurdles at this year’s SBC Indoor Track Championships en route to scoring a meet-leading 40 points.
In the outdoor season, Nelvis would earn three more Sun Belt Conference titles as a result of placing first in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, and the 200-meter dash at the conference’s championship meet and concluded the 2014 event as the meet’s top scorer with 38 points. Nelvis, a four-time (2011-14) indoor All-SBC First-Team pick and a three-time (2012-14) outdoor first-team all-league selection, was recognized as the USTFCCCA Division I National Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week (May 12).
“I'm thrilled Sharika has won an award as prestigious as the Honda Sports Award,” said head coach Jim Patchell. "This is a great honor for both her and the Arkansas State University track & field program. This recognition caps off a spectacular collegiate career for Sharika.”
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Five other student-athletes from the sport of track & field have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup, including Jackie Joyner (UCLA, 1985) and most recently Angela Williams (USC, 2002).
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 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 $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.