Kara Lynn Joyce Wins NCAA Swimming and Diving Honda Award

ATHENS, Georgia, April 9. KARA Lynn Joyce of the University of Georgia has been chosen as the 2007 recipient of the Honda Award for swimming and diving, signifying the senior as the nation's top collegiate female swimmer.

The Honda Award is given annually to the top female athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Joyce now is automatically nominated for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which will be presented in June to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Georgia now has had the Honda Award for swimming and diving recipient in back-to-back years. Mary DeScenza claimed the honor in 2006, when Joyce also was a finalist.

Joyce, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., was chosen for the Honda Award in voting done by 1,000 NCAA member schools. The other finalists were Stanford's Cassidy Krug, Arizona¹s Whitney Myers and Cal's Dana Vollmer.

"I could not be prouder than I am of Kara Lynn Joyce for representing the University of Georgia the way she has the last four years," Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. "She's been a great ambassador for our school and for our sport in and out of the pool. We are going to miss her so much. She has been a remarkable competitor. She certainly is deserving of the Honda Award for everything she's done."

Joyce capped her career by winning the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events at the NCAA Championship, becoming only the second woman ever to claim four straight national titles in two events. She earned both National Swimmer of Year and Southeastern Conference Swimmer of Year honors for the second straight time. Joyce is second all-time with 18 national titles (nine individual and nine relays) and she won nine individual SEC titles.

The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions. The winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at Columbia University in New York in late June 2007.

Other nominees for the award included Stanford's Cassidy Krug, Arizona's Whitney Myers and California's Dana Vollmer.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.

More About Kara Lynn Joyce
Kara Lynn recently announced a six-year contract with Speedo. The agreement is designed to support Joyce's career goals both in and out of the pool.

The University of Georgia senior is coming off a history-making performance at the 2007 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships earlier this month where she won both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events for the fourth straight year and was named the outstanding swimmer of the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. As stated previously, Joyce finished her collegiate career as the second-most decorated swimmer in NCAA history with 18 titles and only the second swimmer to win four consecutive titles in two events. Her 50 yard free American Record set at the 2006 Women's NCAA Championships still stands.

Joyce is represented by Stanton Shade, the international sports marketing company based in New York that represents a stable of female Olympic athletes including Team Speedo members Sheila Taormina and Sarah Haskins.

"I am thrilled to be joining Speedo at the launch of my professional swimming career," said Joyce. "They've developed a plan for me that recognizes my individual strengths and goals, and are committed to helping me pursue my dreams both in and outside of the pool."

"Kara's impressive college swimming career has been making headlines for years," said Sheree Waterson, President of SPEEDO North America. "Her dedication and pure speed give her the potential to be a serious medal contender at the upcoming Beijing Olympics and we are very excited to welcome her to Team Speedo."

On the international stage, Joyce won gold in the 50m free and helped set an American record in the gold-medal-winning 400 free relay at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Victoria, British Columbia. She was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and earned two silver medals for her relay performances in Athens. She also finished fifth in both the 50 and 100m freestyles at the ‘04 Summer Games.

An Ann Arbor, Mich., native, Joyce will remain in Athens, Ga., and continue to train under her University of Georgia Bulldogs coach Jack Bauerle.

Courtesy of Georgia Media Relations.