Khia Kurtenbach, a senior from the University of Chicago, was named the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for Cross Country as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Kurtenbach is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 42nd year.
“It means a lot to me that I get to represent UChicago as the DIII cross country nominee, “ said Kurtenbach. I'm honored to be nominated and thankful to my coaches and teammates for supporting me this past season and throughout my running career. I wouldn't be half as successful of an athlete if my UChicago teammates weren't so amazing, inspiring, and fun to run, cross-train, and race with."
Kurtenbach, a senior from Germantown, Wis., was the 2017 NCAA DIII Cross Country Individual Champion and went on to earn United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DIII Woman’s National Athlete of the Year honors. A three-time USTFCCCA All-American in cross country, she also captured the USTFCCCA DIII Midwest Region Athlete of the Year title twice and has been a three-time first-team All-UAA honoree.
This season she captured four individual titles, including the NCAA’s top honor, by an average winning margin of 7.6 seconds and finished in the top three in all seven races ran. She became became UChicago's second national champion in women's cross country since 1999.
“I find it difficult to put into a few words everything that Khia has meant to our cross country team,” stated head coach Chris Hall. “Her performances as an athlete have obviously been special but what she has done for our program as a leader is truly extraordinary. Khia has used her position as a team leader to not only set a great example to her teammates of how to train but how to balance what it takes to excel as both a student and an athlete. Khia will go on to do much greater things after she graduates and will apply the lessons she learned as an athlete. Our team will continue to learn from the example she set here and strive to live up to that model.”
“I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Khia. She is exactly what you hope for as a coach. A talented athlete that works extremely hard to get the most from her gifts while balancing the demands of being a student and an athlete.”
All Honda Sports nominees from DIII and DII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 25, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 42 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.