Three female student-athletes from the SEC, who won the Honda Sports Award for their respective sports, are finalists for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2015 Honda Cup, which will be presented tonight, June 29 at 9 p.m. ET, live on the CBS Sports Network.
Alabama junior Emma Talley was named the Honda Sports Award winner for golf on June 8. Talley, who was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools, was the 2015 NCAA Individual Champion and the first ever in school history. She posted a bogey-free final round of 69 to claim this year's title. Talley also earned First Team All-America honors from the Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), making her a three-time All American after being named to the second team as a freshman and receiving honorable mention honors during her sophomore campaign. She is just the fifth player in history to win both an NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur (2013).
Florida senior pitcher Lauren Haeger was named the Honda Sports Award winner for softball on June 10. Haeger, the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year, posted a record of 32-2 from the circle and a 1.23 ERA as she helped lead the Gators to their second consecutive NCAA title. In the championship series vs. Michigan, she went 5-for-7 with four RBI and two runs scored in addition to pitching 13 innings, fanning six batters and owning a 1.08 ERA. For her efforts, Haeger was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Women's College World Series. She holds the SEC record for career home runs (71), making her and Babe Ruth the only players in Division I softball, baseball or Major League Baseball history to record over 70 career victories and career home runs.
Florida senior Kytra Hunter was named the Honda Sports Award winner for gymnastics on May 1. It was the second such honor for Hunter, as she became Florida's first gymnast in 30 years to claim the honor in 2012. The 2015 SEC Gymnast of the Year helped lead the Gators to their third consecutive National Championship in April. Hunter won a share of the NCAA all-around title and also became Florida's first in 30 seasons to win the NCAA floor exercise title. Her two titles in 2015 along with her two wins as a freshman (2012 all-around, vault) makes her the Gators' leader in NCAA event titles. Hunter earned four All-America honors at the 2015 NCAA Championships, bringing her career total to a Florida all-time high of 15 honors earned in NCAA competition.
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top women athletes for 39 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 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.