June 17, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia true freshman Kendell Williams joins Arkansas State’s Sharika Nelvis, Texas’ Courtney Okolo and Oregon's Jenna Prandini as the four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for women's track and field, according to a recent announcement by THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”.
The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a group of experts representing the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The Honda Sports award winner for track and field will be announced later this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote. The Honda Cup winner will be announced during the live telecast of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 30, at the USC Founders Club at Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Williams, a native of Marietta, Ga., won both the NCAA pentathlon title indoors and the NCAA heptathlon title outdoors to become a two-time First Team All-American in her first season. Last week in Eugene, Ore., at the outdoor Nationals, Williams rebounded after being tripped and falling to the track in heptathlon’s final event, the 800 meters, to clock a time necessary to clinch her victory.
Williams set American Junior (under-20), World Junior and collegiate records in the pentathlon indoors with a score of 4,635. Outdoors, she established an American Junior record in the heptathlon after scoring 6,018 points to win the Bulldog Heptathlon in Athens. The Kell High School graduate set a collegiate, NCAA Championships meet and school record with her 12.99 in the heptathlon’s 100 hurdles last week.
Named the USTFCCCA Indoor National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and the Southeastern Conference Female Field Athlete of the Year both indoors and outdoors, Williams also garnered USTFCCCA South Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year honors both indoors and outdoors. In addition, she is a nominee for The Bowerman Award, which is track and field’s version of the Heisman Trophy.
With her sweep of both the 2014 NCAA pentathlon and heptathlon titles, she becomes only the third person and only the sixth instance in NCAA history who has won both championships in the same season.
Five other student-athletes from the sport of track and field have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup, including Jackie Joyner (UCLA, 1985) and most recently Angela Williams (USC, 2002).
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 $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.