NEW YORK, N.Y., June 21. STANFORD'S Tara Kirk (Bremerton, WA/Bremerton HS) was named the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and walked away with the 28th annual Honda-Broderick Cup at a press conference in New York City on Monday at the Low Library of Columbia University. Kirk becomes the first student-athlete from Stanford to win the honor.
"I really believe in women's sports, so it's a huge honor to win this award and a real thrill for me," said Kirk.
"Tara Kirk had an outstanding collegiate career as a student-athlete and has proven to be one of the elite swimmers in the world," added Stanford Athletic Director Ted Leland. "We're honored that she has been recognized with such a prestigious award. The selection speaks volumes of her accomplishments, especially when considering the many outstanding female student-athletes that have represented Stanford."
Kirk currently holds one world record (100 breast – short course meters) and six American marks (50 breast – short course meters; 100 breast – short course yards; 100 breast – short course meters; 200 breast – short course yards; 200 breast – short course meters; 400 medley relay – short course yards).
She is also Stanford's school record holder in the 100 and 200 yard breast, and a member of the school-record setting 400 yard medley relay team.
Kirk won 11 NCAA crowns during her collegiate career and earned 16 All-American honors. She became the first women's swimmer ever to win an NCAA title in a breaststroke event for four consecutive years by winning the national title in each of her collegiate seasons in the 100 breast and finishing her collegiate career with an unbeaten 35-0 record in the event.
She also won the 200 breast in each of her final three campaigns and captured her final 19 races collegiately at the distance. She rounded out her NCAA titles by swimming the breaststroke leg on Stanford's winning 200 and 400 yard medley relay teams at both the 2001 and 2002 NCAA Championships. Kirk also added 14 career Pac-10 titles, including three in the 100 yard breast and three in the 200 yard breast.
"Tara is an unbelievable student-athlete, and it is an unbelievable achievement for her to win the Honda-Broderick Cup," said Stanford head coach and three-time Olympic head coach Richard Quick. "It's a great honor for a very deserving individual to be honored among all the other outstanding female student-athletes involved with collegiate athletics."
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards are sponsored by American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year balloting involves all NCAA-member institutions, with nominees selected from among 12 women chosen as the most outstanding in their sports during the school year. There is no corresponding award for men.
Kirk had been named the nation's Most Outstanding Collegiate Woman Athlete in swimming and diving earlier on April 2 to receive a Honda Award and was named a Broderick-Cup finalist along with Catherine Reddick (North Carolina, soccer), April Ross (USC, volleyball), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut, basketball) and Jessica van der Linden (Florida State, softball) last Wednesday, June 16.
Kirk will be competing at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in Long Beach (July 7-14) for an opportunity to represent the United States at the 2004 Olympic Games.