Virginia Duo Kate Douglass, Gretchen Walsh Lead Honda Sport Award Finalists

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Virginia Duo Kate Douglass, Gretchen Walsh Lead Honda Sport Award Finalists

Virginia’s Kate Douglass and Gretchen Walsh are among four finalists for the 2023 Honda Sport Award for Swimming and Diving, announced on Tuesday.

Joining the Charlottsville duo are LSU’s Maggie MacNeil and diver Aranza Vazquez Montano of the University of North Carolina. All are coming off outstanding performances at this month’s NCAA Championships.

Douglass is a two-time finalist for this award and won it in 2022. The senior from Pelham, N.Y., won NCAA titles in the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 200 breaststroke at NCAAs, helping UVA to its third straight team title. She was named CSCAA swimmer of the year for the second straight season and is a two-time ACC Swimmer of the Year.

Walsh won the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle at NCAAs and took part in four winning relays within the Cavaliers juggernaut. The sophomore from Nashville is already an 11-time NCAA champion and a 14-time All-American.

MacNeil is nominated for the Honda Sport Award for the third time. The Canadian international starred in a grad student year at LSU, winning the NCAA title in the 50 free, the program’s first. She’s a 25-tme All-American and 14-time conference champ.

Vazquez Montano was named the CSCAA Diver of the Year after winning the 1-meter and 3-meter titles at NCAAs. A junior at Chapel Hill and a Mexican Olympian in 2021, she was the first UNC athlete to win a diving title and won all three ACC crowns this season.

The Honda Sport Award is given out annually in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CSWA). It seeks to recognize the standout women’s athletes in each sport. The swimming and diving award will be revealed this week, and it provides one of the finalists for the Honda Cup award. That will be presented on June 26, as part of the CWSA Awards on CBS Sports Network. The finalists for swimming and diving were nominated, “by a panel of experts and coaches from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.”