Honda Cup

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Simone Manuel latest Olympic swimmer to win Honda Cup

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LOS ANGELES — 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 is the fourth straight Olympic gold medalist to take the Honda Cup after Missy Franklin, Breanna Stewart and Ledecky. Other Olympic champion swimmers to earn the award included Tracy Caulkins (twice), Mary T. Meagher, Jill Sterkel and Cristina Teuscher.

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 swimming title in Rio, 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.

MORE: Katie Ledecky announces swimsuit sponsor

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Katie Ledecky first freshman to win Honda Cup in 35 years

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Katie Ledecky wasn’t named the best athlete in her own conference, but she did take the Honda Cup, awarded to the NCAA female athlete of the year.

She’s the second freshman to win the Honda Cup and the first in 35 years after triple 1984 Olympic champion Tracy Caulkins.

Ledecky, a four-time Rio Olympic champion, beat out finalists include Washington basketball star Kelsey Plum. Plum broke the NCAA women’s scoring records for a single season and a career.

Earlier this month, Plum was named the Pac-12 Network athlete of the year over Ledecky.

In her first year at Stanford, Ledecky became the first swimmer in 29 years to sweep the 200-, 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle NCAA titles.

The last swimmer to win the Honda Cup was Missy Franklin for her sophomore season in 2014-15.

Ledecky is in Indianapolis to compete this week at the USA Swimming National Championships, part of the TeamUSA Summer Champions Series, presented by Comcast.

MORE: USA Swimming Nationals broadcast schedule

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