Katinka Hosszu has racked up a slew of awards this season, which has been for her one of the finest NCAA seasons we’ve ever seen. She earned 5 All-American awards, 3 individual National Championships (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly), Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year, and NCAA Swimmer of the Year. She now has another one to add to her trophy case: The 2011 Honda Award, which is awarded each season to the top college athlete in 12 women’s sports.
Along with recognition an automatic spot amongst the finalists for the “Top 3” Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year, USC will receive a $5,000 scholarship for its women’s athletics fund. Hosszu will also be invited to attend a ceremony in New York City in June, where the Honda-Broderick Cup will be awarded to the top NCAA female athlete.
The 3 other finalists for the award were Minnesota’s Jillian Tyler, Auburn’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, and Georgia’s Allison Schmitt. Each of those schools will receive a $1,000 donation from Honda for women’s athletics.
This is a huge honor for any female athlete, including last year’s recipient Julia Smit of Stanford. One other USC Trojan has won this award for swimming, and that was Kristine Quance both in 1996 and 1997. Hosszu will have a chance to match that next year when she returns for her senior season next year.
“I am very honored to win the Honda Sports Award,” Hosszu said in a press release. “I had never won an NCAA championship before and this year I won three times, but not without help. I can attribute my performances this year to my coaches and my teammates for helping me get better every day. I am very proud to be a part of this team. Everyone worked extremely hard this year to achieve our team goal of a top 5 finish.”
Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients include Sheila Reid from Villanova University for cross-country, Katie O’Donnell from the University of Maryland for field hockey, Melissa Henderson from Notre Dame for soccer, and Blair Brown of Penn State University for volleyball. Remaining Honda Award winners are basketball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, tennis, and track & field.