UCLA's Kate Richardson Named NCAA Today's Top VIII Recipient

Dec. 19, 2006

UCLA gymnast Kate Richardson has been chosen by the NCAA Honors Committee as one of eight recipients of this year's NCAA Today's Top VIII Award. The prestigious award honors the nation's top eight student-athletes for their athletics success, academic achievement and community service.

Richardson, from Coquitlam, BC, ended her UCLA career in April of 2006 as a three-time NCAA individual and two-time NCAA team champion and a 13-time All-American. During her senior season, she won the NCAA floor exercise title, was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and was a nominee for the Honda Award and the AAI American Award. As a freshman in 2003, she won a pair of NCAA individual titles on uneven bars and floor exercise and helped the Bruins capture the NCAA team title. She was also the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and won the all-around and floor exercise titles at the Pac-10 Championships. Richardson excelled in 2004 as well, helping the Bruins win the NCAA title and then being selected to the Canadian Olympic team less than two months later. At the Olympic Games, Richardson became just the second female gymnast ever to compete at the Olympics as a collegiate athlete and the first Canadian woman to qualify for the event finals at a fully-attended Olympics. She placed seventh on the floor exercise.

Richardson was equally successful in the classroom as well. The psychobiology major was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team three times (2004-06), the NACGC/W Scholastic All-America team four times and the Pac-10 All-Academic squad three times. She was awarded a NCAA post-graduate scholarship and the Pac-10 Conference Medal.

In addition to her athletic and academic accolades, Richardson, a Bruin team captain in 2005-06, has been involved with the Bruin Athletic Council and the Bruin Pen Pal and I'm Going to College programs. She has also volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity, the LA Covenant House, and the Vancouver Spinal Cord Research Center.

The other Today's Top VIII Award winners are Alison Crocker from Dartmouth College (skiing and rowing), Laura Gerraughty from North Carolina (indoor and outdoor track and field), Adrianne Musu Jackson-Buckner from State University college at Oneonta (indoor track and field), Ryan Koch from St. Cloud University (football and outdoor track), Beth Mallory from Alabama (indoor and outdoor track and field), Heather O'Reilly from North Carolina (soccer), and Cat Osterman from Texas (softball).

The Top VIII Award winners are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which comprises of eight athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes. The recipients will be recognized at the NCAA Honors Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 7 at the 2007 NCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

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