3 of 4 Honda Sport Award Nominees Are Stanford Cardinal

If there were any doubt remaining about the Stanford women’s dominance after scoring 593 points at the 2018 NCAA Championships and beating 2nd-place Cal by 220 points, and scoring the most points at this championship since 2005, another data point was given on Friday when the Collegiate Women Sports Awards announced the 4 nominees for the 2018 Honda Sport Award for swimming. 3 of the 4 nominees, Ella EastinKatie Ledecky, and Simone Manuel, swim for Stanford. The 4th, Lilly King, swims for Indiana.

The award, whose nominees are selected by a panel of coaches from the CSCAA, honors the best female swimmer or diver (though it’s always a swimmer) for the preceding NCAA season. Ledecky won the award last year as a freshman after winning 3 individual NCAA event titles (including a tie in the 200 yard free), even though Cal’s Kathleen Baker won the NCAA Championship Swimmer of the Meet award from the CSCAA. The winner is decided after voting by NCAA member institutions, with each school receiving a vote.

The winner of the swimming-specific award then moves forward to contend with the winners of 12 other sports for the Honda Cup, which Ledecky won last year.

Stanford swimmers have won the award 12 times, which is more than any other school since the honor was first given in the 1976-1977 season. Cal ranks 2nd all-time with 10. Indiana has never won the honor, though King has been nominated in each of the last 2 seasons (she’s the only Indiana swimmer even nominated).

Of the nominees, two, Manuel and Ledecky, have announced that they will turn pro before using up their collegiate eligibility.

Accomplishments of this year’s nominees:

  • Katie Ledecky, Sophomore, Stanford – The best women’s distance swimmer on earth and 5-time Olympic gold medalist, Ledecky had another successful season as a sophomore. She successfully defended NCAA titles in 2018 in the 500 and 1650 frees, and finished 2nd behind teammate Ella Eastin in the 400 IM. She set the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Records in the 400 IM at the Pac-12 Championships, and in November swam the fastest 1650 yard freestyle in history as well in 15:03.31. While she saw less relay action as a sophomore than she did as a freshman, Ledecky was also a part of Stanford’s title-winning 800 free relay at NCAAs, bringing her career total to 8 in 2 seasons.
  • Ella Eastin, Junior, Stanford – Stanford junior Ella Eastin became the first swimmer to beat Katie Ledecky at the NCAA Championships when she won the 400 IM – in a 3:54.60 that took almost two full seconds from Ledecky’s previous all-time best swim in the event. She won 5 NCAA titles this year (3 individual – the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 fly), and has now 10 total for her career. The 200 IM and 400 IM wins at NCAAs both came in new all-time bests; she did the same in the 200 fly at Pac-12s but was half-a-second slower at NCAAs. This is her 2nd nomination – she was nominated as a freshman, but not as a sophomore.
  • Simone Manuel, RS Junior, Stanford – After battling a hip injury that kept her out of competition for most of the regular season, Simone Manuel made up for lost time in the post-season. She added 6 NCAA titles in her last championship meet, bringing her career total to 14. That included victories in the 50 free (21.18) and 100 free (45.65) that just missed her own all-time bests in those races. She also swam on Stanford’s winning 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay, and 400 medley relay, which included 3 new NCAA Records.
  • King, Junior, Indiana – King had another monumental year as a junior, once again sweeping titles in the 100 and 200 breaststroke – for the 3rd-straight year. She also earned a record 3rd-straight Big Ten Swimmer of the Year honor. She broke National Records in the 100 breaststroke (56.25) and 200 breaststroke (2:02.60), taking around half-a-second off her old record in the 200.


2016-17 Katie Ledecky, Stanford University
2015-16 Kelsi Worrell, University of Louisville
2014-15 Missy Franklin, University of California
2013-14 Felicia Lee, Stanford University
2012-13 Allison Schmitt, University of Georgia
2011-12 Caitlin Leverenz, University of California
2010-11 Katinka Hosszu, University of Southern California
2009-10 Julia Smit, Stanford University
2008-09 Dana Vollmer, University of California
2007-08 Caroline Burckle, University of Florida
2006-07 Kara Lynn Joyce, University of Georgia
2005-06 Mary DeScenza, University of Georgia
2004-05 Kirsty Coventry, Auburn University
2003-04 Tara Kirk, Stanford University
2002-03 Natalie Coughlin, University of California
2001-02 Natalie Coughlin, University of California
2000-01 Misty Hyman, Stanford University
1999-00 Cristina Teuscher, Columbia University
1998-99 Martina Moravcova, Southern Methodist University
1997-98 Misty Hyman, Stanford University
1996-97 Kristine Quance, University of Southern California
1995-96 Kristine Quance, University of Southern California
1994-95 Jenny Thompson, Stanford University
1993-94 Nicole Haislette, University of Florida
1992-93 Janel Jorgensen, Stanford University
1991-92 Summer Sanders, Stanford University
1990-91 Leigh Ann Fetter, University of Texas
1989-90 Janet Evans, Stanford University
1988-89 Jenna Johnson, Stanford University
1987-88 Betsy Mitchell, University of Texas
1986-87 Mary T. Meagher, University of California
1985-86 Jenna Johnson, Stanford University
1984-85 Mary T. Meagher, University of California
1983-84 Tracy Caulkins, University of Florida
1982-83 Tracy Caulkins, University of Florida
1981-82 Tracy Caulkins, University of Florida
1980-81 Jill Sterkel, University of Texas
1979-80 Jill Sterkel, University of Texas
1978-79 Joan Pennington, University of Texas
1977-78 Renee Laravie, University of Florida
1976-77 Melissa Belote, Arizona State University





































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Jim C
4 years ago

I vote for Simone. I also think her picture should be included with the other 3.

4 years ago

Ella Eastin without question.

4 years ago

Janet Evans also won the Sullivan award the same year.

That’s phenomenal!

4 years ago

Eastin should win.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

3 individual titles plus 3 American, NCAA, US Open records this season
Ella Eastin without any discussion

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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