LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Alaska Anchorage cross country national champion Caroline Kurgat received major postseason recognition by being named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for Cross Country, announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda, Thursday.
Kurgat is one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year. A vote will come at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 42nd year. “I'm very happy to be receiving this award on behalf of my university and my team,” Kurgat said. “I'm very thankful for the opportunities offered to me and hope to continue my efforts to the same level or greater.”
Kurgat, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, captured the 2017 NCAA DII Cross Country Championship by nearly 20 seconds and was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women’s National Athlete of the Year. The first national champion in women’s program history, she also became a three-time USTFCCCA All-American and was named the West Region and GNAC Athlete of the Year.
This season she was undefeated in DII meets, after finishing fifth behind four NCAA DI runners to open the season at the University of San Francisco Invitational. She also earned USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week three times and became a three-time GNAC All-Academic Team member.
“This is a great honor for Caroline,” coach Michael Friess said. “This award is very prestigious and the fact that Caroline is one of the few to be nominated is a testament to her successes as not only a student-athlete but as a person as well.”
All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 27, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees 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 42 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.