Five Pac-12 student-athletes win Honda Sports Awards in 2019-20
SAN FRANCISCO - Five Pac-12 student-athletes were named Honda Sports Award winners during the 2019-20 campaign. It is the second time in three years the Conference has had five winners in a single season. The Honda Sports Award acknowledges athletic achievement, as well as scholastics and community involvement. Though the award is given to female athletes in 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports each year, only eight student-athletes were recognized this season due to the cancelation of spring sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Honda Sports Award winner is recognized as the top collegiate female athlete in her sport, and the award is considered by many as one of the highest honors a female college athlete can receive in the nation.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA and the sport winners are chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools and among four finalists in each sport. Since the program began in 1976-77, 132 student-athletes from Pac-12 institutions have won the Honda Sports Award honor, and 14 have gone on to win the Honda Cup, the most of any conference in the country. The five Pac-12 Honda Sports Award winners in are:
Basketball: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
The No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft, Ionescu was the consensus national player of the year for 2019-20 after completing a sweep of the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and Wade Trophy, while also being named player of the year by the Associated Press, USBWA and ESPN.com. For the third year in a row, Ionescu won the Nancy Lieberman Award which is presented to the point guard of the year. She earned her third-straight Pac-12 Player of the Year honor and third-straight first team All-America nod. Ionescu led the Ducks to a 31-2 overall record, and a sweep of the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament championships. The only collegiate player ever to reach 2,000 career points (2,562), 1,000 assists (1,091) and 1,000 rebounds (1,040), Ionescu matched her own NCAA single-season record as a senior with eight triple-doubles to give her 26 for her career, more than twice as many as any other player in history. She is the Pac-12 all-time assists leader, ranks fifth all-time in points and 19th in total rebounds.
Gymnastics: Kyla Ross, UCLA (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)
Ross is the second gymnast in Conference history to be named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year two years in a row (2019-20) . She is the first female gymnast ever to win Olympic, World and NCAA Championships. The 24-time All-American has earned 22 perfect 10s in her career including a NCAA-best 14 in a season in 2019. Ross is the only student-athlete this season to be named to the All-Pac-12 first team in every event. The senior ended the 2020 season ranked first in the country on bars with an average score of 9.960. Five-time Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week and two-time Pac-12 Specialist of the Week.
Soccer: Catarina Macario, Stanford (San Diego, Calif.).
Macario is a two-time NCAA Champion (2017, 2019), two-time MAC Hermann Trophy winner (2018-19), and three-time espnW Player of the Year. The junior is also a three-time United Soccer Coaches All-American and two-time ESPNW National Player of the Year. A two-time Pac-12 Forward of the Year (2017, 2018), she was tabbed the Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year in the fall, she recorded the most goals (32), assists (23) and points (87) in a season in Conference history while leading the Cardinal to a fifth-straight league title. Macario's 32 goals are the eighth-most in NCAA history, while her 87 points are tied for the third-most in NCAA history.
Women’s Swimming and Diving: Abbey Weitzeil, California (Saugus, Calif.)
Weitzeil is a two-time Honda Award nominee, an American record holder in the 50-yard freestyle event and was the 2019 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year. Weitzeil holds school records in the 50-free (20.90), 100-free (46.35) and four relays at Cal. In December 2019, Weitzeil was the first-ever woman to swim the 50-free in under 21 seconds. The senior captain was a member of six NCAA title-winning relays over her career and was the 2019 NCAA 50-free champion. Weitzeil was a member of the 2019 U.S. World Championships team and medaled at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, earning silver in the 400-free relay and gold in the 400-yard medley relay.
Volleyball: Jenna Gray, Stanford (Shawnee, Kan.)
Gray, a senior setter from Shawnee, Kan., is a three-time Pac-12 Setter of the Year and led her team to its second-straight and third NCAA title in four years, and the team's third-straight Pac-12 crown. She was named first team AVCA All-American for the third time, was a 2019 Senior CLASS Award finalist and was honored by the Kansas City Sports Commission as the 2019 Co-Sportswoman of the Year. She paced the Pac-12 and ranked seventh nationally in assists per set (11.62), ending her career ranking seventh all-time in league history in total assists (5,410). She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team after recording 39 assists in the championship match.