Jan. 13, 2002
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Kim Black, a former Georgia swimmer and gold medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, was honored Sunday night as a recipient of the NCAA Today's Top VIII Award at a banquet at the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The award honors eight distinguished student-athletes from the preceding calendar year for achievement in athletics, achievement in academics, character and leadership.
"As always, we are extremely proud of Kim," said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. "She has done so much for our program and the University of Georgia."
Black's distinction marks the fifth consecutive year that a student-athlete from Georgia has been a winner of the Top VIII Award and the sixth recipient overall. Terry Hoage, who was a two-time All-American in football, was Georgia's first winner in January of 1984 when the award was NCAA Top VI, but it was 13 years later before the Bulldogs claimed winner No. 2 in swimmer Lisa Coole in 1997. Football player Matt Stinchcomb followed in 1998, and track and field star Debbie Ferguson was honored in 1999. Last year fellow swimmer and Olympian Kristy Kowal was a recipient.
"It is unprecedented that we've had five winners in a row from Georgia, especially with three being swimmers," added Bauerle.
Recognition for the group at Sunday's Honors Dinner is in conjunction with the NCAA Convention. CBS Sports broadcaster Clark Kellogg served as master of ceremonies for the event. Kellogg, a graduate of Ohio State University, was a standout basketball player at his alma mater and the 1982 No. 1 draft pick of the NBA's Indiana Pacers.
"It is great to be up here at the NCAA Hall of Champions and see our banners and now the plaques of the outstanding student-athletes that we have had," said Bauerle. "It is a tremendous point of pride for everyone at Georgia and a terrific thing to see."
In addition to Black, the 2001 Top VIII honorees include Emily Bloss, a basketball and outdoor track and field student-athlete from Emporia State University, André Davis, a football player and indoor and outdoor track and field student-athlete from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Misty Hyman, a swimmer from Stanford University, Leah Juno, an indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country student-athlete from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Nancy Metcalf, a volleyball player from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Bryce Molder, a golfer from Georgia Institute of Technology, and Ruth Riley, a basketball player from the University of Notre Dame.
A native of Liverpool, N.Y., Black, who was named the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year in October, helped the Lady Bulldogs to their third straight NCAA championship and fifth consecutive SEC title in 2001. She was a member of the winning 800-yard freestyle relay team at the 2001 NCAAs and SECs, and she set season-bests in three events at SECs. Black was a member of the World University Games team after an eighth-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle at World Trials. She won a gold medal as a member the U.S. 800-meter freestyle relay team at the World University Games in Beijing, China. That is the same event she earned a gold medal in at the 2000 Olympic Games.
"With the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, Olympic gold medal, NCAA team championships under her belt, the SEC postgraduate scholarship and now the Top VIII Award, we could not ask for anything more," offered Bauerle. "She has been a dream to coach, and it is exciting to see our athletes in situations such as these. It brings much glory to Georgia."
Earlier this year, Black was honored as the Verizon Academic All-America Fall/Winter Women's At-Large Team Member of the Year as announced by Verizon and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America (Atlanta division) by receiving the Peach of an Athlete Award, as well as being the female recipient of the 2000-2001 H. Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. She has been honored by the NCAA on two more occasions this year, becoming the first Georgia swimmer to receive the Walter Byers Post-Graduate Scholarship and later with the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
The Today's Top VIII honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee comprised of eight athletics administrators at member institutions, conferences and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes. The members of the NCAA Honors Committee are: Harry Carson, president, Harry Carson, Inc., Eugene F. Corrigan, commissioner emeritus, Atlantic Coast Conference, Joseph N. Crowley, regents' professor/president emeritus, University of Nevada, Clyde Doughty Jr., athletics director, New York Institute of Technology, Jack Ford, ABC news anchor/correspondent, Jo Ann Harper, senior associate athletics director, Dartmouth College, Karen L. Johnson, director of institutional research, Alfred University, and Valerie Richardson, assistant commissioner, West Coast Conference. Potential candidates are nominated by NCAA member institutions and selected by the committee, which is chaired by Richardson.