UCLA’s Kristen Maloney Voted Gymnastics Athlete of the Year
Gymnastics star Kristen Maloney, a senior at the University of California Los Angeles, has been voted the nation’s top collegiate female gymnast. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 29th year.
Maloney’s victory will earn her the Honda Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports as well as an automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She was voted over three other nominees: Annabeth Eberle from the University of Utah, Elise Ray from the University of Michigan, and Richelle Simpson from the University of Nebraska.
A native of Pen Argyl, PA, Maloney was a member of the U.S. Olympic team and competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She won back-to-back U.S. all-around titles in 1998 and 1999. A nine-time All-American and 2005 NCAA vault and beam champion, she spent the final 10 weeks of the 2005 season as the nation’s top-ranked all-around gymnast and placed second in the all-around competition at the NCAA Championships despite competing with a sprained ankle. She won the 2005 NCAA vault and beam titles, becoming only the third gymnast ever to win that combination in the same year. She also won the Pac-10 all-around, vault, beam and floor titles and the NCAA West Regional vault, beam and floor crowns and was selected the Sports Illustrated on Campus National Gymnast of the Year, the West Region Gymnast of the Year and the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year.
Other Honda Award winners already announced include: Seimone Augustus for basketball; Ogonna Nnamani for volleyball; Kelly Dostal for field hockey; Leslie Osborne for soccer; Kim Smith for cross-country; and Kirsty Coventry for swimming. Athletes voted the most outstanding in golf, lacrosse, softball, tennis and track & field will be named in the coming months. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup in New York on June 29, 2005.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.