Simone Manuel, a senior from Stanford University, was named the Honda Sport Award winner 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”. With this honor, Manuel 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.
Manuel was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included teammates Ella Eastin, and Katie Ledecky, the 2017 Honda Cup winner, and Lilly King (Indiana).
"I am humbled and grateful to be a part of CWSA Class of 2018. It is a huge honor to be the recipient of the Honda Sports Award for women’s swimming,“ said Manuel.
“Being nominated along with the other three women, Ella, Katie, and Lilly, who are just as deserving of this award makes it all the more special. Although I am the individual receiving this prestigious award, it would not be possible without the support of my family, incredible teammates, amazing coaches, and the outstanding support staff at Stanford, who push and support me every day to be my best. Our team had a historic championship season this year, and there’s no better way to represent all that my team stands for than to cap it off with this award as “the best of the best in collegiate athletics.”."
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 All-America 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 and was a member of two NCAA Championship teams and two Pac-12 Championship squads. She is also the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming and holds four Olympic medals after the 2016 games (two gold, two silver).
“It was an honor and a testament to our entire team to have three nominees for this award,” stated head coach Greg Meehan. “I am extremely proud of Simone, Katie and Ella for all they accomplished in and out of the pool this year. Simone is an ideal representative of the Honda Sport Award, which has shown unparalleled support of women’s college athletics for more than four decades. She has been exceptional throughout her career at Stanford, and is a great role model for so many.”
Stanford boasts back-to-back Honda Sport Award winners for Swimming & Diving after Ledecky won last year and went on to win the Class of 2017 Honda Cup. Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.
The CWSA, in its 42nd year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.