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Olympic Swimmer Simone Manuel Wins Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year

FILE – In this July 28, 2017, file photo, United States’ Simone Manuel smiles after winning the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions of the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olympic champion swimmer Simone Manuel of Stanford won the Honda Cup on Monday night for collegiate woman athlete of the year.

It’s the second time Stanford has had back-to-back winners. Katie Ledecky, Manuel’s Olympic and collegiate teammate, won last year. Swimmer Tara Kirk won the award in 2004, followed by volleyball player Ogonna Nnamani the next year.

Manuel, of Sugar Land, Texas, received the trophy at the Galen Center on the Southern California campus.

She became the first black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, where Manuel also won another gold and two silvers.

She finished her collegiate career with six American records and seven NCAA records and was a member of two NCAA championship teams and two Pac-12 Conference title squads. Manuel won 14 NCAA titles over her career, including six at this year’s championships.

In the classroom, Manuel was a two-time Pac-12 Academic honoree and a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American as a communications major.

Manuel, track and field star Maggie Ewen of Arizona State and basketball star A’ja Wilson of South Carolina were the top three finalists from a field of 12. They were selected in voting by nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools.

The Honda Inspiration award was presented to cross-country runner Megan Cunningham of Missouri. The Division II Athlete of the Year award went to cross-country runner Caroline Kurgat of Alaska-Anchorage and the Division III Athlete of the Year was tennis player Eudice Chong of Wesleyan.

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