Courtesy: Pac-12 Conference
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has voted to award Arizona women’s swimming student-athlete Sarah Shimomura with the Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award for 2017-18. Shimomura received the award for displaying exemplary sportsmanship and teamwork in the face of adversity.
Early this season, Shimomura was walking home from practice when an ambulance struck her while she was in a crosswalk. The incident fractured her femur and pelvis in three separate places. Surgery was required in order to place her femur and pelvis back into place, including placing a metal rod into her femur, two metal screws into the top of her femur, and one metal screw above her knee.
Shimomura continued to go to practice to support her teammates and coaches during her recovery, despite not being able to get in the water. When she was finally cleared to swim, she was unable to use her legs and could only swim with her arms, a term called “pulling” in the swimming world.
Unfortunately, she received news that her femur had formed an incredibly rare condition, known as a non-union. Non-union means the femur was not touching and growing properly. This also meant she would have to have another surgery, news she received just before the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas.
The surgery took place on Saturday, November 25th and the team left for the meet on Tuesday, November 28th. Determined to be with her team at the meet, Shimomura was on the flight three days after having surgery in order to support her Wildcats.
Shimomura continues her recovery and her journey back to swimming with the hopes of being able to compete next year.
The Sportsmanship Award is selected by members of the Pac-12 SAAC and is based on good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in participation of intercollegiate athletics, as well as a demonstration of good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Nominees must have demonstrated the values of respect and integrity through a specific action. The student-athlete must have consistently demonstrated the values of respect and integrity in his or her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics. Conference award winners are then nominated for the NCAA Division I Sportsmanship Award.
Previous Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award winners:
2004 Grayling Love, Arizona State
2005 Channing Frye, Arizona; Cara Chlebicki, California
2006 Eric Nygard, Washington State; Anna Key, California
2007 Mitch Canham, Oregon State; Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana, Stanford
2008 Michael Capbarat, California; Arianna Lambie, Stanford
2009 Stenn Parton, USC; Lindsey Kelley, Arizona
2010 Ben Ashmore, Arizona State; Stanford women’s rowing team
2011 Jeff Gudaitis, Washington; Katie Matusik, Arizona
2012 Bryson Beirne, Arizona; Brittany Hart, Oregon
2013 Kylie Sharp, Washington
2014 University of Colorado Student-Athletes
2015 UCLA women’s gymnastics team
2016 Riley Sorenson, Washington State
2017 Anna Rosen, Washington State
2018 Sarah Shimomura, Arizona