Lilly King from Indiana University and teammates Ella Eastin, Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel from Stanford University are the four nominees for the Class of 2018 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 42 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 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). 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.
King, a junior from Evansville, Ind., is a three-time Honda Award nominee and earned a record third-straight Big Ten Swimmer of the Year honor. She captured two NCAA Championships this season in the 100 and 200 breast stroke and has six titles overall sweeping those events the last three years. A 12-time All-American, she also earned two Olympic gold medals and holds several records, including a world records in the 200 medley relay.
Eastin is a junior and a two-time Honda Award nominee. She has captured 10 National Champions overall including five this season. Hailing from Irvine, Calif., she is a two-time Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and was the 2018 NCAA Swimmer of the Meet after her five championship titles. Overall, she is a 14-time All-American and holds four American, NCAA and school records.
Ledecky is the Class of 2017 Honda Cup winner and would be the first athlete since Maya Moore (2010, 2011) to repeat as a Cup winner should she win both the Sport Award and the prestigious Cup. A sophomore from Bethesda, Md., Ledecky is an eight-time NCAA Champion, including three titles in 2018, and is a nine-time All-American. On the world stage, she is a six-time Olympic medalist and has 14 World Championship gold medals, the most ever by a female.
Manuel is a three-time Honda Award nominee and a 14-time NCAA Champion including six national titles at the 2018 NCAA Championship. The senior team captain from Sugar Land, Texas, is a 21-time All-American, earning seven titles in 2018, and became the fifth woman to win three NCAA titles in the 100 free winning each year she competed. She finished her career with six American records, seven NCAA records and seven school records. Manuel was the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming and holds four Olympic medals.
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 2018 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 42nd year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their 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.