Nichols Named Finalist for Honda Award
NORMAN – Oklahoma sophomore gymnast Maggie Nichols was named a nominee for the 2018 Honda Sport Award for the second consecutive season, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) announced Tuesday.
Nichols is one of four finalists, joining LSU’s Sarah Finnegan, UCLA’s Christine Peng-Peng Lee and Stanford’s Elizabeth Price as nominees for the prestigious accolade.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 41 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics." The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W). The Honda Sport Award winner for gymnastics will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Last weekend, Nichols helped lead Oklahoma to a runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships. The Sooners recorded a 198.0375 in the Super Six for an unprecedented 10th score of 198 or better during the 2018 season.
Nichols, a sophomore from Little Canada, Minn., followed up her record-breaking freshman year with an even more impressive sophomore campaign. She was the 2018 NCAA Individual All-Around Champion with an NCAA-record 39.8125. She was also the co-individual champion on the uneven bars, posting just the third perfect 10 on the event in NCAA semifinal competition. Her final accolade at the NCAA Championships was a co-individual championship on floor exercise with a 9.9625.
The 2018 Big 12 Gymnast of the Year and 2018 South Central Region Gymnast of the Year, Nichols set an NCAA-record with an all-around regional qualifying score (RQS) of 39.830. She led the Sooners to a seventh-consecutive Big 12 Championship, securing five All-Big 12 accolades, just the second gymnast in Big 12 history to achieve the feat in multiple seasons.
Nichols, who now owns 15 career perfect scores, recorded eight scores of 10.0 or better in 2018, including at least one on every event to become the first gymnast to complete a “Gym Slam” in back-to-back seasons. She is also the first to ever score at least two perfect 10.0s on every event. She holds the OU program record for most perfect marks in a season, besting her 2017 total of seven.
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards 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 $3.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.
Nichols will look to join Kelly Garrison as Sooners who have earned the Honda Award. Garrison received the honor in both 1987 and 1988.