Swimming & Diving: Douglass wins Honda Sport Award for second-straight year

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia senior Kate Douglass was named the Honda Sport Award winner for swimming & diving for the second year in a row, as announced Monday by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).

The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 47 years 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 2023 Honda Cup, which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network in June.

Douglass was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Maggie MacNeil (LSU), Anna Vazquez (North Carolina) and Gretchen Walsh (Virginia).

“I’m so honored to win the Honda Award for the second year in a row. I never really thought I’d be able to outdo my performance last year, so I’m just really proud of all the hard work I put in this year to make that happen. My team is my motivation, so this one’s for them too,” said Douglass.

Douglass, a senior from Pelham, N.Y., earns the Honda Award for Swimming & Diving for the second straight season.

Most recently, she was named the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Swimmer of the Year, for the second year in a row, and was twice named the ACC Swimmer of the Year. She helped Virginia to its third straight NCAA Championship title and earned the honors of CSCAA Swimmer of the Meet.

At the 2023 NCAA Championship, Douglass was the back-to-back winner of three individual NCAA titles (200 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 breast) and now boasts seven career individual NCAA titles and eight NCAA relay championships for 15 career NCAA wins. In all three of her individual wins, she set American, NCAA and US Open records.

Overall, she is a 28-time CSCAA All-American and a 28-time All-ACC performer. She led her team to its fourth consecutive conference title and 19th overall.

Outside the pool, she is a 2023 College Sports Communicators (CSC) First Team All-America and last season was named the 2022 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She is a member of the U.S. National team and competed at the Tokyo Olympics capturing a bronze medal.

“Excited for Kate to be honored as one of the best female athletes in the NCAA. For the second year in a row, she’s done something not many in our sport accomplish, winning three individual NCAA titles, in record fashion. She has been a dominate force that many young female athletes in our sport aspire to emulate. Not only did she win three individual NCAA titles this year, she did so in NCAA record fashion and was also instrumental in four NCAA record setting relays that also won national titles. Seven national titles, in back-to-back years, and team titles, three-straight years. It’ll be decades before another student-athlete accomplishes that same feat. She was surrounded by arguably the best supporting cast in history that rose to the same level to help her, and UVA, stand above all. Kate is truly a titan,” stated Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo.

The CWSA, entering its 47th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.  Since commencing its partnership in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.