UCLA Gymnast Kate Richardson Nominated For Honda Award

April 24, 2006

Twelve-time All-American and 2006 NCAA floor exercise champion Kate Richardson (Coquitlam, BC) was selected as one of four finalists for the 2005-06 Honda Award for gymnastics.

Richardson wrapped up her illustrious career by capturing the 2006 NCAA floor exercise title with a score of 9.95 and placing third on vault with a two-vault average score of 9.8313. She received two perfect 10s for her final floor routine en route to her third career NCAA individual title. She had previously won NCAA titles in 2003 on bars and beam and also won team titles in 2003 and 2004. Richardson earned first-team All-America honors on floor and vault this season to increase her career total to 12, the fourth-most in UCLA history. She also earned 2006 All-Pac-10 honors on vault, beam, floor and all-around to bring her career total to a school-record 14.

The 2006 Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and UCLA team co-captain led the Bruins this season with 34 individual victories - nine on floor, eight in the all-around, six on vault and beam, and five on bars - and 48 Top 3 placements. She also led UCLA in season average on vault (9.865), bars (9.838), and all-around (39.239). Her career-high scores were 10.0 on vault, beam and floor, 9.975 on bars and 39.85 in the all-around, and she totaled 10 perfect 10s in her career, the third-most in school history.

In 2004, Richardson accomplished what only one other female gymnast has ever been able to do - compete at the Olympic Games as a collegiate athlete. At the Games, she again made history by becoming the first Canadian woman ever to qualify for event finals on floor exercise, where she placed seventh. She also finished in the Top 20 in the all-around finals for the second-straight Games, placing 18th.

Academically, Richardson has accomplished just as much, posting a 3.665 cumulative GPA in Physiological Science. She has earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors twice and Academic All-Pac-10 and NACGC/W Scholastic All-America honors three times and is a finalist for a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

'Kate Richardson far surpasses the ideal of a true collegiate scholar-athlete,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'Her athletic successes include two Canadian Olympic teams, one while she was in college, three NCAA individual titles and two NCAA team titles. Academically, she has positioned herself to graduate cum laude at the end of next year with a degree in Physiological Science.'

'Above and beyond the tangible accomplishments, Kate has been such a tremendous ambassador for the sport of gymnastics and one who is able to transcend any and all allegiance to a particular team or country,' Kondos Field continued. 'While she is a fierce competitor on the floor, she has always embraced all teams, coaches and fans as a part of her athletic family that she adores. In turn, they have always applauded her for her athleticism, her grace, and her obvious love of the sport.'

Other finalists for the 2005-06 Honda Award for gymnastics are freshman Courtney Kupets from Georgia, senior Ashley Miles from Alabama and sophomore Ashley Postell from Utah.

The Honda Award annually recognizes the top female college athlete in each of the 12 NCAA-sanctioned women's sports. The Honda Awards winners are then candidates for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which recognizes the outstanding Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. UCLA has had five Honda Award recipients for gymnastics - Kristen Maloney in 2004-05, Onnie Willis in 2002-03, Mohini Bhardwaj in 2000-01, Jill Andrews in 1989-90 and Sharon Shapiro in 1980-81 - and 26 Honda Award winners overall.

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