Stanford swimmer and U.S. Olympian Simone Manuel has been named the 2018 recipient of the Honda Cup, given annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards to the best female college athlete in the country. Manuel was named the Honda Sport Award winner in swimming in April, beating out Lilly King, Ella Eastin, and Katie Ledecky for that honor, which pitted her against winners from other NCAA sports for the national award.
Manuel, who turned professional this summer with a year of collegiate eligibility remaining, was nominated for the Honda Sport Award in swimming in each of her 3 NCAA seasons. She earned 14 NCAA Championships, including 6 in her final year of competition in 2018, and is a 21-time All-American: the maximum possible in 3 years. She went a perfect 3-for-3 in NCAA titles in the 100 free.
Her Stanford career included 6 American Records, 7 NCAA Records, and 7 School Records, and was a member of the last two NCAA Championship teams at Stanford.
Academically, she’s a two-time Pac-12 Academic honoree and a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American.
This marks the 2nd-straight season in which a Stanford athlete has won this award (Katie Ledecky won as a freshman last season); and the 3rd time in 4 seasons in which a swimmer has been honored (Missy Franklin from Cal won in 2015). Since the award was first given in 1976, Manuel is the 8th swimmer (on 9 occassions) to win the Honda Cup. That trails only basketball (15 awards) as the most by any one sport.
Stanford’s 4 total awards across all sports ties UConn and UCLA for the most by any single institution. Stanford’s 3 swimming awards are also the most by any school.
All-Time Honda Cup Award Winners from Swimming & Diving
- 1981 – Tracy Caulkins, Florida
- 1982 – Jill Sterkel, Texas
- 1984 – (TIE) Tracy Caulkins, Florida/Cheryl Miller, USC (basketball)
- 1987 – Mary T. Meagher, Cal
- 2000 – Cristina Teuscher, Columbia
- 2004 – Tara Kirk, Stanford
- 2015 – Missy Franklin, Cal
- 2017 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford
- 2018 – Simone Manuel, Stanford
Other award winners named this week:
- Honda Inspiration Award – Megan Cunningham (Missouri, Track & Field/Cross Country)
- Honda Division II Athlete of the Year – Caroline Kurgat (Alaska Anchorage, Cross Country)
- Honda Division III Athlete of the Year – Eudice Chong (Wesleyan University, Tennis).