Alabama Gymnast Wins Honda Award

Alabama senior Kayla Hoffman has won the 2011 Honda Sports Award in gymnastics, given annually to the nation's top collegiate female gymnast.



The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic eligibility to become a "Top Three" finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Alabama senior Kayla Hoffman was voted over three other nominees for the 2011 award: Michigan senior Kylee Botterman, UCLA senior Brittani McCullough, and Penn State sophomore Sharaya Musser.

"It was such a surprise to be named the 2011 Honda Award winner," Hoffman said. "I was more than honored to be nominated with this great field of gymnasts that I know very well and have competed with for years. To win the Honda Award is a reflection of the support I've received from my team this year and the confidence that I've had competing with this team. They believed in me as a leader and together we were able to do great things and this award reflects that."

Hoffman, who was named the 2011 Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Award winner earlier this week, is the sixth UA gymnast to earn the Honda Award, following Penney Hauschild (1985 and 1986), Dee Foster (1993), Andreé Pickens (2002), Jeana Rice (2004) and Ashley Miles (2006).

"When you look at all the Alabama gymnasts who have earned this award before me, it's truly humbling to now stand among them," Hoffman said.

The Crimson Tide's captain this season, Hoffman led Alabama to the 2011 Southeastern Conference, NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships, which was UA's first "triple crown" since 1988.

"This is such a tremendous award, one that honors all the best aspects of collegiate athletes, and I think it is a testament to the truly remarkable career that Kayla enjoyed here at the University of Alabama," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "She led our ladies to SEC, regional and national championships this season while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom and giving of herself and her time in the community. I have been thrilled to watch her grow and mature as an athlete and a person and am excited to watch as she begins the next chapter in her life."

Hoffman, a native of Union, N.J., clinched the Tide's fifth NCAA Championship earlier this month with a 9.95 on the floor exercise and was the NCAA runner-up in the all-around and balance beam and earned All-American accolades in the all-around, vault and balance beam, finishing her career with five first-team honors.

She was named the 2011 SEC Gymnast of the Year and the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the first in league history to win both in the same season, after clinching Alabama's 2011 SEC title by winning the vault with a 9.95.

The NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year, Hoffman won the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championships. She also earned an SEC Postgraduate Scholarship, is a three-time Scholastic All-American and carries a career 4.0 grade point average in Human Development and Family Studies.

The Honda Award is 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 35th year

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has sponsored The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program for 26 consecutive years. Honda has donated over $2 million in grants and sponsorships to universities over the course of the program.

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