Kate Avery of Iona Named 2014-15 Honda Sport Award Winner for Cross Country

Photo by Michael Scott
Photo by Michael Scott

The 2014 NCAA Champion Kate Avery of Iona has received the Honda Sports Award for Cross Country, Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA), announced 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, Avery becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup.  Avery was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Emma Bates (Boise State), Sarah Disanza (Wisconsin) and Rachele Schulist (Michigan State).

"I’m extremely honored to be a part of this prestigious award," said Avery. “Winning the national championship has been surreal and this is another humbling experience to be named among one of the top women student-athletes in the NCAA.”

"Kate is truly deserving of this award,” stated Iona head coach Ricardo Santos. “She had a great season and made a lot of sacrifices on her way to winning the national championship.  She worked extremely hard during her running career to get to where she is now, and it's great to see her rewarded for all her hard work." 

Named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women's National Cross Country Athlete of the Year, Avery was a finalist last season for the Honda Sport Award for Cross Country and was the first-ever female national champion in Iona history (any sport) along with the first British female NCAA Cross Country champion. 

The junior from Newton Aycliffe, England, is a two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion and captured her first NCAA Northeast Regional title this fall. She is a two-time first-team All-American in cross country, and led her team to a ninth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA finals, the best team finish in school history. 

The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.  The 2015 awards season opens this fall with winners being selected from the sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.  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 2015 Honda Cup award presented in June.

Past Honda Sports Award winners for Cross Country include three-time winner Sally Kipyego (2007-09) of Texas Tech, Villanova's Vicki Huber (1990) who went on to become the only cross country runner to receive the prestigious Honda Cup and famed Olympian Joan Benoit (1980) of Bowdoin College.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 38 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.