Honda Tabs Koll as Nation's Best
NEW YORK - Lisa Koll, a senior long distance runner at Iowa State University, has won the Honda Sports Award in track and field, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in the sport. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 34th year.
The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic eligibility to become a “Top Three” finalist for Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year. Koll was voted over three other senior nominees: Queen Harrison of Virginia Tech University, Mariam Kevkhishvili of the University of Florida and Blessing Okagbare of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Noted Koll: “Winning the Honda Sports Award for track and field is a huge honor. There are so many great track and field athletes in the NCAA this year and so many great female athletes that I have watched over the last five years. Last year at this time I was really struggling with injuries. I wondered if I was ever going to be back to the form that I once demonstrated. To overcome the struggle that I came through these past two years has been a tribute to dedication, not giving up and being determined. To succeed even when things are not going well you have to have faith that it will get better.”
Koll is the collegiate record holder in the 10,000-meter run and the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that race with a personal-best time of 31:18.07. She is a two-time NCAA champion and a nine-time All-American, as well as a nine-time Big 12 Conference champion. She was named the 2010 Outdoor Big 12 Female Performer of the Year after winning the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meters in Columbia, Mo., becoming the only woman to win four consecutive Big 12 titles in the same event (10,000-meters). She recently finished first in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races at the NCAA West Regional in Austin, Texas, earning her a trip to the upcoming NCAA Championships in Eugene, OR June 9-12.
Like many Honda Sports Award winners, Koll is an academic standout in addition to her excellence in athletics. The three-time academic All-American and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American graduated Summa Cum Laude in just three years at Iowa State, with a 3.98 GPA in Biology. The 2009 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the year is currently in her second year of Veterinary Medicine school at ISU.
Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients include the University of Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri for cross country, Katie O’Donnell from the University of Maryland for field hockey, Whitney Engen from the University of North Carolina for soccer, Megan Hodge from Penn State University for volleyball, Julia Smit from Stanford University for swimming & diving, Maya Moore from the University of Connecticut for basketball, Susan Jackson from Louisiana State University for Gymnastics and Caroline Hedwall of Oklahoma State University for golf. Honda Award winners in lacrosse, softball, tennis and track & field will be announced in the coming weeks. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions. On June 21, 2010, the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at a ceremony in Los Angeles, at which the “Top Three” finalists are scheduled to attend.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has sponsored the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program for 25 consecutive years. Honda has donated over $2 million in grants and scholarships to universities over the course of the program. See www.hondaawards.com for more information.
Visit the "video" slideout tab or click the play link in the photo above to see a video featuring Koll.