Press Release Courtesy: Collegiate Women Sports Awards
Polina Lapshina, a senior from Queens University of Charlotte, was named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for Swimming & Diving for the second year in a row as announced today by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
The CWSA has been balancing the recognition of deserving honorees with these unusual times as collegiate athletics have come to a halt. Given the nationwide pandemic, the CWSA will be announcing the final winter honorees, the 2020 Inspiration Award finalists and winner and will soon announce the status of the 2020 event as those details become clearer.
The reigning CSCAA and Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Year, Lapshina is a 10-time conference champion in individual and relay events and a 10-time all-BMC honoree. She was a 2019 National Champion in the 100-Yard Backstroke, 100-Yard Butterfly, 50-Yard Freestyle, 100-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, 400-Yard Freestyle Relay, and 400-Yard Freestyle Relay and was poised to compete in those events in 2020 prior to the Championships being canceled. Prior to the cancellation after 3 of 8 sessions of the meet, she placed 2nd in the 50 free.
Hailing from Pepper Ekaterinburg, Russia, Lapshina garnered seven All-America honors in 2019 and led her team to its sixth straight BMC Championship. The Royals won seven of 10 events on the final day of competition, bringing their combined total to 31 victories during the four-day meet.
“We have been so blessed to have had Polina compete in a Queens cap and suit”, said Queens Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Planning and Leadership Development/ Director of Swimming Operations Jeff Dugdale. “We appreciate all that she brought to our program. Her contributions have been well beyond her NCAA records and wins, for this we are grateful. Her legacy will live forever within the Royal family. I’m sad that she could not finish her last NCAA championships however smiling with the recognition as a finalist for the Honda DII Athlete of the Year award.”
The Honda Sports finalists are recognized in 11 DII and DIII 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 44 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 $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.