LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kelsi Worrell, a senior from the University of Louisville, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for swimming & diving today as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 40 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics". With this honor, Worrell becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders' Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles.
Worrell was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Ella Eastin (Stanford), Lilly King (Indiana) and Olivia Smoliga (Georgia).
"I'm so incredibly humbled to be named this year's Honda Award winner," said Worrell. "It truly wouldn't have been possible without all the support from the University of Louisville, my present and past coaches, my amazing teammates, and my encouraging family. What an huge honor to be named alongside some of the greatest swimmer's this world has seen like Missy Franklin, Mary T Meagher, and Tracy Caulkins. To God be all the Glory! "
Hailing from Mt. Holly N.J., she is a nine-time All-American, the 2015 and 2016 ACC Swimmer of the Year and the 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Swimmer. At the 2016 NCAA Championships, she captured the 100 butterfly setting the American, NCAA and US Open record and won the 200 butterfly with a new NCAA Championship standard.
A member of the USA National team, she set both a World and American record in her first night of competition at Duel in the Pool (USA vs. Europe) for Team USA. In her first international competition, she won Pan Am Gold in the 100-fly going 57.24. She helped Team USA win Pan Am Gold in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay going 3:57.35 with a split 57.63 which was not only a Pan Am record but became the first women to break four minutes. She won Pan Am Silver in the 4 X 100 Free Relay with a time of 3:37.28 with her splitting 54.03. She is also a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American.
"It is very fitting for Kelsi to receive the Honda award for swimming and diving. She has earned her success through her work ethic, team-first attitude, and a huge heart," said head coach Arthur Albiero. "During her four years as a swimmer at the University of Louisville, she has captured our imaginations and allowed us to dream bigger than ever as a program. Yet, in the midst of ACC records, NCAA Records, American Records, and even a World Record, she continues to embody the 'humble and hungry' approach that has impacted our swimming and diving program in all levels. Her success is also a validation of the support Mr Tom Jurich and our entire administration have put forth to create an environment where we are given to the tools to create world-class programs for student-athletes."
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year. Six Honda Sport Award winners for swimming & diving have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup- Missy Franklin (California, 2015), Tara Kirk (Stanford, 2004), Cristina Teuscher (Columbia, 2000), Mary T. Meagher (Cal Berkeley, 1987), Tracy Caulkins (Florida, 1984 &1982) and Jill Sterkel (Texas, 1981).
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship thirty years ago in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.