Nelvis Named 2014 Honda Award Track & Field Winner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (6/18/14) – Senior Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State University has been named the 2014 Honda Sports Award winner for women’s track and field as announced this Wednesday (June 18) by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).

COURTESY: Arkansas State 

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”.

Nelvis, the 2014 NCAA Division I national champion in both the women’s outdoor 100-meter hurdles and women’s indoor 60-meter hurdles, was chosen as this year’s award recipient for track and field following a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools.  Nelvis, who’s now a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup, will be traveling to The Collegiate Women Sports Award show in Los Angeles, Calif., following her participation in the 2014 USA Track & Field (USATF) Championships June 25-29 in Sacramento, Calif.

The 2014 Honda Cup winner will be announced Monday, June 30, at 7 p.m. (CT) during the live telecast of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda.  The show will be held at the USC Founders Club at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

“It’s a great honor to be presented this award,” said Nelvis.  “I’m really honored and very appreciative to be chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Honda Sports Award.  It means so much.”

A three-time (2012-14) U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Indoor and Outdoor All-America selection, Nelvis was a finalist for the award as were Texas’ Courtney Okolo, Jenna Prandini of Oregon, and Georgia’s Kenell Williams. The four student-athletes were chosen by a group of experts representing the USTFCCCA.

With her selection, Nelvis is the first female student-athlete from Arkansas State to win a Honda Sports Award in any sport.  The 2014 USTFCCCA South Central Region Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Nelvis received both the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Female Athlete of the Year Award and A-State Athletics’ prestigious Terry Gwin Award for leadership, citizenship, scholarship and athletic performance per the 2013-14 athletics season.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Nelvis went undefeated in 11 finals overall this campaign in the 55-meter hurdles, 60-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles.  She made the most of her final A-State season by winning the long jump, 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 60-meter hurdles at the 2014 SBC Indoor Track Championships en route to scoring a meet-best 40 points.

In the outdoor season, Nelvis produced three Sun Belt Conference titles by recording first-place performances in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, and the 200-meter dash at the Sun Belt Conference Championships and was meet’s top scorer with 38 points.  Nelvis, a four-time (2011-14) indoor All-SBC First-Team pick and a three-time (2012-14) outdoor first-team all-league selection, was also recognized as the USTFCCCA’s Division I National Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week (May 12).

“I’m thrilled Sharika has won an award as prestigious as the Honda Sports Award,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell.  “This is a great honor for both her and the Arkansas State University track & field program.  This recognition caps off a spectacular collegiate career for Sharika.”

Five other track and field athletes have been named recipients of the prestigious Honda Cup, including Jackie Joyner (UCLA, 1985) and most recently Angela Williams (USC, 2002).

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eager ness to participate in community service.  Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.