LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After leading her University of Georgia team to a record-breaking NCAA 400-yard freestyle relay victory, 6-time Olympic medalist and Georgia senior, Allison Schmitt (Canton, MI) has received the Honda Sports Award for swimming and becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2013 Honda Cup, to be presented live on ESPNU, June 24 at the USC Galen Center Founder's Room in Los Angeles.
"I know many talented swimmers in the country, so I am truly honored to win the Honda Award. This recognition stirs up so many emotions for me. First of all, I'm excited that I get to share this award with my teammates and my coaches. We set our goals of winning the NCAA and SEC titles, and we stayed focused until we reached them together. They helped make me better every day, so I know their names belong on this award too. Without their support and assistance, not to mention my family members who have been so loving and who have sacrificed so much, there's no way I would be where I am today. And it's humbling to know my name will be linked to the exceptional list of past winners, including Kara [Lynn Joyce] and Mary [DeScenza Mohler], who helped keep Georgia on top during their careers. Swimming has been an important part of my life for years, and it has presented me with so many opportunities. This was definitely a memorable year for all of us, and I can't think of a better way to end my collegiate career than going out as a member of the national championship team. I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of Georgia, a school I love so much," said Schmitt, a member of Georgia's championship relay team including Shannon Vreeland, Chantal Van Landeghem, Schmitt and Megan Romano that broke the NCAA and U.S. Open records in the 400-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championship with a time of 3:09.40 beating the previous record of 3:09.88 set by Cal in 2009.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. With this honor, Schmitt, a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Child & Family Development, becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2013 Honda Cup. Schmitt was chosen by a vote from a panel of swimming & diving experts representing 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Elizabeth Beisel (University of Florida), Breeja Larson, (Texas A&M University), and Elizabeth Pelton, University of California, Berkeley).
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 37 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 $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions. Previous Honda Cup winners include Brittney Griner, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Maya Moore, and Candace Parker.
University of Georgia, Associate Director/UGA Sports Communications
Steven Colquitt (706) 542-1621, scolquitt@SPORTS.UGA.EDU
SOURCE Honda Sports Awards