Smit Earns Honda Award for Swimming

March 31, 2010

STANFORD, Calif.--Stanford senior Julia Smit (Mt. Sinai, NY) became Stanford's 10th winner of the Honda Sports Award, giving to the top women's swimmer. Smit, who set two world shortcourse records and broke her own American, NCAA and school-records in the 200 IM and 400 IM, is now a nominee for the Honda-Broderick Cup, given to the top female athlete across 12 sports.

“I am honored to receive the Honda Sports Award for my accomplishments this season. I truly believe that I am receiving the award on behalf of everyone involved with Stanford Swimming including my teammates, coaches and our alumni,' said Smit. 'We had such a tremendous year and exceeded so many expectations. I know that our team helped me every step of the journey and I appreciate the great environment at Stanford, which was invaluable to me throughout my career.”

Smit was the NCAA Championship Swimmer of the Meet in March, winning titles both the 200 IM and 400 IM for the third time in her career. She also swam on the winning 400 free relay team and on the runner-up 200 and 400 medley relay teams, helping her team to a second-place finish.

Smit is the world record holder in both the 200 and 400 IM short-course, set at the Duel in the Pool in Manchester England this past December. She broke two of her own American/NCAA records last season in the 200 IM and 400 IM at the Pac-10 Championships, where she was named Swimmer of the Meet.

Smit was also Pac-10 Swimmer of Month for an unprecedented four straight months and won six career Pac-10 individual titles. She left the school as a 26-time All-American.She also left holding five individual school-records.

As a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she distinguished herself as the only active collegiate swimmer to win two medals, earning Silver in the 400-meter free relay and bronze in the 800 meter free relay. An Anthropology major with a 3.51 GPA, Smit is a three-time Academic All-Pac-10 selection.

Previous Honda Award winners from Stanford University for swimming include: Jenna Johnson (1985 and ’86); Janet Evans (1990); Summer Sanders (1992); Janel Jorgensen (1993); Jenny Thompson (1995); Misty Hyman (’98, 2001) and Tara Kirk (2004), who went on to win that year’s Honda-Broderick Cup as Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

About the Honda Award: The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 34th year. Smit was also nominated for the award in 2009. The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Smit was voted over three other nominees for the 2010 award, including her teammate, senior Elaine Breeden, University of Georgia sophomore Allison Schmitt, and University of Florida senior Gemma Spofforth.Stanford will receive $2000 for Breeden and Smit being nominated and the swim program receives an additional $5000 for Smit's win. Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients include Penn State University’s Megan Hodge for volleyball, the University of Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri for cross country, Katie O’Donnell from the University of Maryland for Field Hockey and Whitney Engen from the University of North Carolina for soccer. Honda Award winners in basketball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, tennis and track & field will be announced in the coming months.  The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup in June 2010.