Maggie Nichols, a junior from the University of Oklahoma, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for Gymnastics as announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 43 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Nichols becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Class of 2019 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 24, 2019, at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET, in downtown Los Angeles.
Nichols was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma), Sarah Finnegan (LSU) and Kyla Ross (UCLA).
“It is such an honor and truly a blessing to receive this award,” stated Nichols. “Being one of the three athletes in OU history to ever receive this award is truly incredible. I also want to congratulate Brenna Dowell, Sarah Finnegan and Kyla Ross on being nominated this year as they are all incredible athletes. I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing University and having the opportunity to compete for OU. I want to thank my amazing teammates and my coaches for everything they do for me and pushing me to be the best I can possible be. Thank you to my parents for being my biggest supporters through it all. And a special thank you to my amazing trainer, Jenn, for being my inspiration this year and being my rock through this season. Without her, this season wouldn’t have been as successful. I also want to thank all the staff at OU, for all the constant support I receive. I am so thankful to be an Oklahoma Sooner.”
Hailing from Little Canada, Minn., Nichols is a three-time Honda Sport Award finalist for gymnastics. She is a two-time All-Around NCAA Champion after defending her title this year and captured the 2019 NCAA individual title in vault. In addition, she led he team to the 2019 NCAA Championship title giving the Sooners their fourth overall NCAA Championship.
A 25-time All-American overall and a 12-time All-Big 12 first-team performer, she helped her team to a 32-0 record on the year and second undefeated season in program history. En route to an undefeated team record, she recorded 36 scores or 9.9 or higher, including a 9.9 or better on bars in every meet she competed.
For her career, she has 120 event titles giving her the top spot in the OU record books and she led all Sooners on the season with 27 event titles in 2019.
“Maggie has been a remarkable example of resilience and grit,” said head coach K.J. Kindler. “To finish on top of the podium two consecutive seasons is incredibly difficult when an athlete is thriving and healthy. Maggie has shown that challenges help us rise, focus and inspire. Her powerful impact on our sport can be felt at every level and her positive message is being received on a daily basis through her many platforms. She is a champion in every aspect!”
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.
The CWSA, in its 43rd year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes 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.