Maggie Ewen from Arizona State University, teammates Lynna Irby and Keturah Orji of the University of Georgia and Karissa Schweizer from the University of Missouri are the four nominees for the Class of 2018 Honda Sport Award for Track & Field 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”. The winner of the sport award 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.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of experts representing the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Honda Sport award winner for track & field will be announced this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Ewen, a senior from St. Francis, Minn., was the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Champion in both the shot put and discus and just the sixth woman in NCAA history to win both events in the same meet. She added a third National title winning the shot put during the Indoor Championship. A two-time Honda Award nominee, she was named the Pac-12 Women’s Championship Field Athlete of the Meet and Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. Overall, she is an 11-time first-team All-American and a 11-time Pac-12 All-Conference performer.
Irby is a freshman from Indianapolis, Ind., and captured the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the 400 meters in the second fastest time in collegiate history (49.80). She is Georgia’s first NCAA Champion in this event and ran only the third sub-50 second race in NCAA history. She missed making history by being the first to win both the 200m and 400m in the same meet by finishing third and was the first freshman and sixth performer overall in NCAA history to score 16 points or more in both events.
Orji hails from Mount Olive, N.J., and is a three-time Honda Award nominee for Track & Field. The senior captured the NCAA Outdoor Championship titles in the long jump and triple-jump and was the first field performer to win both championships in the same season since 2009. Overall, she has eight national championships and is a 15-time USTFCCCA first-team All-American. She is also a four-time SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and was a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the Rio Games in 2016.
Schweizer was the Class of 2018 Honda Award winner for Cross Country last year and a finalist for the Honda Cup. A native of Urbandale, Iowa, the senior was the NCAA Outdoor Champion in the 5000m and captured the 3000m and 5000m titles during the NCAA Indoor season. Her in indoor performance in the 3000m broke a nine-year collegiate record and she is the sixth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back Outdoor titles in the 5000m. Overall, she holds six NCAA titles and 10 NCAA and USTFCCCA first-team All-America honors.
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport Award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 42nd year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their 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.