Mallory Comerford from the University of Louisville, Indiana University’s Lilly King, Beata Nelson of the University of Wisconsin and Abbey Weitzeil from the University of California Berkeley are the four finalists for the Class of 2019 Honda Sport Award for Swimming & Diving as announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 43 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 2019 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 24, 2019, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the Collegiate Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of American (CSCAA). The Honda Sport award winner for swimming and diving will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Comerford, a senior from Kalamazoo, Mich., is the three-time ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Year and a 10-time individual and 16-time relay All-American. She led her Cardinals to a best-ever fourth-place finish at the 2019 NCAA Championship. She was the first woman to win both the 100 and 200 freestyle at the NCAA Championship since 2006 and is a four-time NCAA individual champion overall.
King was twice named the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year and is an eight-time NCAA Champion winning the 100 and 200 breaststroke crowns in all four years becoming the first woman in NCAA history to win eight NCAA breaststroke titles. The senior hailing from Evansville, Ind., is a 16-time All-America honoree and a 16-time Big Ten Champion. She has been named to the first-team All-Big 10 in all four seasons and is a four-time Honda Award nominee.
Nelson, a junior from Madison, Wis., is the 2019 CSCAA Women’s Swimmer of the Year and the 2019 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. She captured three individual titles at the NCAA Championship in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 200 IM. She is a two-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Championship and is a seven-time All-American. She is the only woman to break 50 seconds in the 100 backstroke six times and holds the collegiate, U.S. open and American record in the event.
Weitzeil, hailing from Saugus, Calif., helped her team to a runner-up finish at the 2019 NCAA Champions. The junior was the 2019 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and named Cal’s Most Outstanding Swimmer. She was the NCAA Champion in the 50 free breaking her own American record and helped Cal to three NCAA relay Championships. The senior won seven All-American honors this season alone and is an 18-time All-American for her career.
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 2019 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 43rd 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 $3.3 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.