Sophomore Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) of California was named the Honda Sports Award winner for Swimming & Diving 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, Franklin becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup, which will presented on June 29th in a nationally televised broadcast from Los Angeles, Calif.
Franklin was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Stanford’s Simone Manuel, Leah Smith from Virginia and Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell.
“When I look at the list of swimmers that have won this award before me, I feel truly honored to be included in such an amazing group of athletes,“ said Franklin. “This has been a picture-perfect season and I am so lucky to swim with such an amazing team and staff at UC Berkeley.”
Franklin was named the NCAA Swimmer of the Year and helped California to the team title. She set an American record on her way to victory in the 200-yard freestyle and also captured the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke. In addition, Franklin played a role in wins by the 200 free relay and 800 free relay.
At the Pac-12 Championships earlier in the year, Franklin claimed the 200 IM, 200 free and 200 back crowns and anchored the 800 free relay to an American record time.
She established a school record for most combined individual and relay crowns at one NCAA meet with five titles this season. She is a 14-time All-American and a College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-American.
“To me, the Honda Award is the ultimate award for female collegians,“ stated head coach Teri McKeever. “Missy definitely falls in line with the strong tradition of not only Cal swimmers but other notable female athletes at Cal. It’s an honor for her, her team and the university. At the NCAA Championships, Missy obviously had a terrific meet where she swam lifetime bests and was on a championship team. This is just the cherry on top and very well deserved.”
Four Cal swimmers have earned the Honda Sports Award previously – Caitlin Leverenz (2012), Dana Vollmer (2009), Natalie Coughlin (2002 and 2003) and Mary T. Meagher (1985 and 1987) – with Meagher winning the 1987 Honda Cup.
Five Honda Sports Award winners for swimming & diving have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup- Tara Kirk (Stanford, 2004), Cristina Teuscher (Columbia, 2000), Meagher (California, 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 39 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.