Caroline Kurgat, a senior from the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Class of 2018 DII Honda Athlete of the Year, was named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for track & field as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda. Kurgat won the DII Honda Athete of the Year award last year as a finalist for cross country.

Kurgat is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 43rd year.

Kurgat, hailing from Eldoret, Kenya, is already a part of the CWSA family having won the DII Honda Athlete of the Year award last year as the representative for cross country and is now a two-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) Female Athlete of the Year.

At the NCAA Div. II Outdoor Championships, she became just the third woman in NCAA Div. II history to complete the distance double in back-to-back years as she won individual titles in the 5,000 and 10,000.

She set the NCAA Div. II record over 10,000 meters with a 32:08.09 against a stacked field of professional and NCAA Div. I athletes at the Stanford Invitational. She also now ranks third in division history in the 5,000 with her 15:40.45 that she posted at the Bryan Clay Invitational to take third overall in the event, behind two NCAA Div. I athletes.

Kurgat was crowned champion in the 1500, 5,000 and 10,000 in the GNAC during outdoors as well, where she set facility and conference meet records in the 1,500 and 5,000. She was back-to-back GNAC Athlete of the Meet at the outdoor conference championship.

“I am very happy and honored for Caroline to earn this award”, said head coach Michael Friess. “She has done a tremendous job this season to improve on the track this season. Caroline was able to win multiple championships this season in both indoor and outdoor track and field and continue to earn high grades in the classroom. Her dedication and hard work will follow her in whatever her future may bring.”

All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Honda Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 24, 2019, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 43 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.   Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.

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