NCAA Champ Soma Added to Top Dawg Honors

June 14, 2005

SEATTLE - Washington senior Kate Soma was named Tuesday as a recipient of the 2005 Top Dawg Award, given annually to the male and female UW student-athletes who demonstrate the highest caliber of excellence in athletics.

Soma joins fellow 2005 Top Dawg Award winners Tina Frimpong (women's soccer), Kristen Rivera (softball), C.J. Klaas (men's soccer) and Alex Vlaski (men's tennis). Those four received their awards Friday at a graduation ceremony in Conibear Shellhouse, which Soma was unable to attend due to her participation in the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Soma won the NCAA pole vault title Saturday night, becoming just the fourth UW woman -- and the first since 1988 -- to win a national championship in track and field. During her four-year career at Washington, Soma captured NCAA, Pac-10 and West Regional titles, and earned five-career All-America honors, the most-ever for a UW woman. Her personal bests indoors and out are both Washington school records, while her lifetime best of 14 feet, 3 ½ inches equals the seventh-best ever by a collegiate women's vaulter.

The Portland, Ore., native has also excelled in the classroom, earning ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII first-team honors, and is on the ballot for Academic All-America, to be announced June 21. She graduated Saturday with a 3.50 grade-point average, earning her degree in business administration with a focus in marketing.

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