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KC's Hart Named DIII Honda Award Nominee

Kenyon freshman Crile Hart is the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for swimming & diving
Kenyon freshman Crile Hart is the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for swimming & diving

Story Courtesy of the Kenyon Sports Information Department

Kenyon College freshman swimmer Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken) was named the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for swimming and diving as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Hart is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year award. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 42nd year.

"I would like to thank all my teammates, coaches and specifically my family for giving me the opportunity to attend Kenyon and to continue my love of swimming. I am very humbled by this nomination and I am proud of all the other nominees for their hard work in and out the classroom this year." Hart said. "Being a part of the Kenyon swimming and diving team has given me the pleasure of training and racing with some of the best teammates I've ever had. I'll always wear the Kenyon cap with pride."

Hart, hailing from Pepper Pike, Ohio, was named the 2018 NCAA DIII Swimmer of the Year after capturing four national titles at the NCAA Championship. She claimed the 200-yard backstroke, setting an NCAA record, and the 100-yard backstroke titles to become the first Kenyon swimmer to sweep the stroke events since 1999. She also won the 200-yard individual medley, setting another NCAA record in what was her first-ever race at the national meet. Additionally, Hart was a part of Kenyon's title-winning 400-yard medley relay team, as well as the runner-up 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay teams.

The Honda award nominee is the latest honor for the distinguished freshman who was named the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Women's Swimmer of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. She captured six of the seven events she competed in at the NCAC Championship meet.

Earlier in the season she was named the CollegeSwimming NCAA Division III National Swimmer of the Week after claiming victory in five events over the course of two meets on the week.

"Crile is an amazing woman and is propelled by a uniquely simple and profound love of the water and her team. She loves what she does and who she gets the chance to do it with," Kenyon Head Coach Jess Book said. "Through her personality and performance, she has brought to us all someone we can both count on in the water and out of it. That is a wonderful thing to be able to say as a coach."

In the history of the NCAC, three student-athletes have been named the DIII Woman Athlete of the Year by the CWSA. A pair of Kenyon swimmers won the award in back-to-back years in the early 90's, with Jennifer Carter collecting the award in '93 and Carla Ainsworth in '94, while Oberlin women's basketball player Ann Gilbert was the league's first recipient of the award in 1991. In addition, DePauw women's tennis player Liz Bondi earned the honor in 2007, prior the school joining the NCAC.

All Honda Sports nominees from DIII and DII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year award in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 27, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII NCAA-sanctioned sports. Those sports include cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball and track and field.

THE CWSA has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 42 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.