Women's Track and Field standouts Marshevet Hooker and Walker along with Softball's Osterman finalists for Honda Awards
AUSTIN, Texas -- Three outstanding University of Texas female student-athletes have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Honda Award (national player of the year) in their respective sports for the 2005-06 spring seasons, as announced by the committee which oversees The Collegiate Women's Sports Awards, as sponsored by Honda.
Longhorn senior softball pitching ace Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas), last year's Honda Award winner for her sport, is again a finalist for the honor. Texas has two of the finalists for the Honda Award for National Track and Field Athlete of the Year - Marshevet Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) and senior Melaine Walker (Kingston, Jamaica). Hooker was finalist last year as well.
The winners from each sport will be decided by nationwide voting among NCAA member schools, and will be decided upon by the end of the week. Each Honda Sports Award recipient then becomes a nominee for elite The Honda-Broderick Cup, awarded annually to the nation's outstanding collegiate woman athlete of the year.
In addition to the honor of this selection, American Honda will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic fund of each nominee's university. The winner's program will receive $5,000. The program is in its 30th year and recognizes the top woman collegiate athlete in each of 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.
The 2006 Honda Sports Award nominees for softball are: Osterman; junior righthanded pitcher Monica Abbott (Tennessee); All-America senior third baseman Andrea Duran (UCLA); and All-America senior outfielder Sarah Fekete (Tennessee).
On June 7, Osterman, Abbott and Duran were all named to the 2006 Women's College World Series All-Tournament Team at the national championship which concluded late Tuesday (June 6) evening. Osterman is the three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year (in 2003, 2005 and this year) and led UT into the WCWS for the third time since 2003. She finished her senior campaign by leading the nation in both ERA (0.42) and strikeouts-per-seven innings (15.4), and was second nationally in victories (going 38-4). Her 630 strikeouts were the second-highest single season total in NCAA history. Osterman finishes her career with the NCAA records for strikeouts (2,265) and for strikeout ratio (strikeouts-per-seven-innings, 14.35).
The 2005-2006 Honda Sports Award finalists in track and field in addition to Hooker and Walker are UCLA senior pole vaulter and NCAA-record holder Chelsea Johnson and hurdler and NCAA-record holder Virginia Powell of Southern California.
With the exception of Hooker, the other three Honda Award finalists in track and field are participating in the 2006 NCAA Championships, currently taking place in Sacramento, Calif.; Hooker had to withdraw from the entire NCAA competition on June 7 due to a hamstring injury suffered two weeks ago. In Wednesday's (June 7) first day of the NCAA meet, Walker clocked 13.00 in the 100-meter hurdles preliminary round and timed at 12.86 in the semifinals to land a spot in Friday's 100m hurdles finals. Walker also filled in for Hooker on the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay, as Texas advanced to the finals with a second-place preliminary-round time of 43.25.