It's been an April shower of honors for University of Florida junior gymnast Alex McMurtry.
McMurtry is a combination of the best in both athletics and academics.
Earlier this month at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, McMurtry won the all-around title and shared the uneven bars win. At the pre-event banquet, McMurtry received the NCAA Elite 90 Award, given to the student-athlete with the top grade point average at the national championship site.
About the Honda Award
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics". With this honor, McMurtry becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup, which will be presented on June 26th in a live nationally televised broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET from Los Angeles, Calif.
The honor is based on the results of national balloting among all NCAA member schools as part of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 41st year. The other finalists were Ashleigh Gnat of LSU and two from Oklahoma - Chayse Capps and Maggie Nichols.
A Gator gymnast has claimed the Honda Award five of the last six years. Gator Greats Bridget Sloan (2013, 2016) and Kytra Hunter (2012, 2015) also received the Honda Award for gymnastics. The first Gator gymnast to receive the honor was Ann Woods in 1982.
McMurtry's 2017 Season
McMurtry's three all-around wins all came in 2017 championship action - Southeastern Conference, NCAA Gainesville Regional and the NCAA Championship. She set the NCAA semifinal record of 39.8125 to take the national all-around win and shared the NCAA uneven bars (9.95) crown. In the NCAA Super Six team final, her 10.0 on bars won the event and was the first perfect mark for a Gator in NCAA Championship action since 1998.
The NCAA Elite 90 Award goes to the student-athlete with the top grade point average at each of the 90 NCAA Championship sites. McMurtry owns a 4.0 grade point average in applied physiology & kinesiology- exercise physiology. She is the first Gator in any sport to receive the honor since it began in 2010.
She is the SEC Gymnast and Scholar-Athlete of the Year - the second in league history to take both honors in the same season.
Here's some more highlights from McMurtry's 2017 season:
- Only gymnast at 2017 NCAA Championships to earn All-America first-team honors on each of the five events
- NACGC Southeast Region Gymnast of the Year
- SEC Championships' all-around champion and shared floor exercise title
- Earned 2017 NACGC All-America honors for vault, uneven bars and balance beam.
- Won all-around, bars, beam and floor at NCAA Gainesville Regional.
- One of two gymnasts in nation to post 10.0 marks in three events in 2017 - vault, bars and floor.
- Led UF with 24 event wins in 2017 (9 bars, 4 vault, beam & floor, 3 all-around)
- SEC Gymnast of the Week after Missouri meet.
- Two-time SEC Specialist Gymnast of the Week (Jan. 24 and Feb. 10).
"I feel truly honored to receive this award on behalf of my team and the University of Florida. Thank you to all who helped make this possible with their support - my Gator teammates, coaches and the Florida fans." - Florida junior Alex McMurtry
"So happy for Alex - what an outstanding representative she is for collegiate gymnastics in both the competitive and academic arenas. This honor celebrates the top collegiate female student-athletes. Thank you to the Honda Award for providing this opportunity to acknowledge these amazing and accomplished young women." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland
The Honda Sports Award acknowledges athletic achievement as well as scholastics and community involvement, and is given to female athletes in 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports throughout the year. Each Honda Sports Award winner is recognized as the top collegiate female athlete in her sport, and the award is considered by many as one of the highest honors a female college athlete can receive in the nation.
In honor of McMurtry winning the award, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will donate $5,000 to the women's athletic program at the University of Florida.
A Gator has been recognized as a Honda Sports winner 20 times across six different sports. Gator Great and U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tracy Caulkins is the only Gator to win the Broderick Cup (renamed Honda Award in 1987), earning the top award in 1982 and 1984. Gator softball's Lauren Haeger was among the final three for the 2015 Honda Cup.