June 18, 2008
NEW YORK - The Collegiate Women's Sports Awards Wednesday announced the five finalists for its annual top honor, the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The winner will receive the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup. This year's finalists include three ACC women: Amanda Blumenherst, Duke University (golf); Rachel Dawson, University of North Carolina (field hockey); and Angela Tincher, Virginia Tech (softball). The other finalists are Jacquelyn Johnson, Arizona State University (track and field) and Candace Parker, University of Tennessee (basketball).
The finalists were chosen from previously announced Honda Sports Award winners in 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports, by a vote from among more than 1,000 NCAA-member institutions. Three of the five finalists are from ACC members. The winner will be named at a special press conference on June 23 at Columbia University in New York.
Career Highlights of the Final Five
Amanda Blumenherst (golf) - A native of Scottsdale, Ariz., Blumenherst claimed her third straight National Player of the Year award this year, becoming the first three-time winner ever. A first-team All-American since her freshman year, she finished her 2008 season with a No. 1 ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and won the Golfstat Cup for her third consecutive year. Blumenherst matched her own school-record this season with a 71.00 stroke average, won four tournaments and finished in the top five in all 11 tournaments she played, posting 20 rounds of even or under par. In addition to her achievements in golf, Blumenherst is an academic standout. She holds a 3.78 GPA and is majoring in history, along with minors in English and theatre studies.
Rachel Dawson (field hockey) - A native of Berlin, Ne.J., Dawson is a senior back/midfielder and is in her second year as a member of the U.S. national team. She led the Tar Heels in goals this year with 19, captaining her team to the NCAA title and a 24-0 season with 16 shutouts. Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time, the two-time All-American was also named ACC Tournament MVP and National Player of the Year. She is seventh on her school's all-time career list for goals and scoring. A business major and Dean's List student with a 3.6 GPA, Dawson graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina in December. She has been named the 2007 ACC Scholar-Athlete for field hockey and honored as an Academic All-America.
Angela Tincher (softball) - Tincher, from Eagle Rock, Va., is a 5' 7" right-hander who led her team to its first-ever NCAA College World Series this year after a 38-10 season in which she maintained the nation's lowest ERA (0.63), with a nation-leading 13.8 strikeouts per seven innings. This year's Honda National and USA Softball Player of the Year, Tincher also led the Hokies to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title and was named ACC MVP for her second straight tournament, as well as ACC Pitcher of the Year for her third straight season. This year she became the only pitcher ever to record a no-hitter against the U.S. National team on its Bound-4-Beijing Tour. A three-time All-American, Tincher was also named CoSida Academic All-America of the Year. She majored in finance with 3.84 GPA and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Jacquelyn Johnson (track & field) - A native of Yuma, Ariz., Johnson is a seven-time NCAA champion, with four heptathlon and three pentathlon titles. She also won this year's indoor NCAA title with a collegiate record-breaking 4,496 points. In addition, she won her third heptathlon Pac-10 title this year with 6,307 points (third-best total in NCAA history), adding runner-up finishes in the 100m hurdles and long jump, as well as a third place finish in javelin and a tie for seventh in the high jump. Her fourth NCAA heptathlon title made her just the fourth woman to win the same event four times in a career in NCAA history and the first to do so in the heptathlon. She was named Pac-10 Female Athlete of the Meet. In her time at Arizona State, Johnson has led her team to three national and conference titles, the first titles won in the program's history. She graduated with a 3.09 GPA in kinesiology.
Candace Parker (basketball) - A 6' 4" junior, Parker was recently named to the U.S. Olympic team and is scheduled to compete in Beijing this summer. She was also the No. 1 WNBA draft pick this year and has been playing for the Los Angeles Sparks. She led the UT Lady Vols this year to their second consecutive NCAA Championship and was recognized for the second time as Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, only the fourth player ever to do so. A three-time All American, she was also named Player of the Year by AP and ESPN.com. Her 40 blocks in 16 career NCAA tournament games is the second best record of all-time. She also ran a streak of 44 games of double-digit scoring and broke her own school record for single-season free throws made (194) and attempted (277). A sports management major, Parker was named an Academic All American this year in the University division.
Last year's Honda-Broderick Cup winner was volleyball star Sarah Pavan of the University of Nebraska. Other past winners of the Honda-Broderick Cup include some of the most talented and accomplished collegiate athletes in recent history: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field, 1984); Mia Hamm (soccer, 1994), Cheryl Miller (basketball, 1983), Ann Meyers (1978, basketball), Tracy Caulkins (1982, 1984, swimming & diving), Chamique Holdsclaw (basketball, 1998) and Lisa Fernandez (softball, 1993). In 2001, Joyner-Kersee was honored as the "Top Collegiate Woman Athlete for the Past 25 Years."
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.