Three-time NCAA Champion Breeja Larson of Texas A&M was named one of five nominees for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for swimming and diving, THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) announced.
Larson, a senior from Mesa, Arizona, just completed her final season of collegiate action with three Southeastern Conference titles, an NCAA title and six All-America citations in 2014. Joining Larson as Honda Sports Award nominees are Maya DiRado and Felicia Lee of Stanford, California's Missy Franklin, and Georgia's Brittany MacLean.
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”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of expert coaches from the sport of swimming & diving.
The Honda Sports 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.
Honda Sports Award (swimming and diving) nominees
Dirado was named the 2014 Pac-12 Women's Swimmer of the Year and garnered six All-America honors a the 2014 NCAA Championship. The senior from Santa Rosa, Calif., won NCAA titles in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and garnered two more as a member of the 400 medley and 400 free relay teams. She finished her career with 21 All-America honors.
A native of Centennial, Colo., Franklin was named the Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and earned Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet honors at the conference championship. She captured her first NCAA title in the 200 free setting an American record and went on to anchor the 800 free relay team to a come-from-behind NCAA victory. She was a two-time National Swimmer of the Week and a two-time Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month.
Larson was named the SEC Women's Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year after setting record meet records in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. The senior from Mesa, Ariz., won her third-straight NCAA title in the 100 breaststroke in record fashion setting a new school, conference, NCAA and American mark.
Lee earned seven All-America honors at the 2014 NCAA championship while capturing five NCAA titles. She finished first in the 100 fly and with relay teams in the 200 and 400 free and the 200 and 400 medley. The senior from Wayne, N.J., was a two-time Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month and finished her career overall with 19 All-America accolades.
MacLean, a sophomore from Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada, was named the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet at the 2014 NCAA Championship after capturing national titles in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle races. She set an NCAA record in the 1,650 freestyle win. She was also the SEC Champion in both events. Overall, she holds three NCAA titles at Georgia.
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 Honda Sports Awards winners for swimming & diving have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup- Tara Kirk (Stanford, 2004), Cristina Teuscher (Columbia, 2000), Mary T. Meagher (Cal Berkeley, 1987), Tracy Caulkins (Florida, 1984 &1982) and Jill Sterkel (Texas, 1981).
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 $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.