BOULDER – University of Colorado senior Jenny Barringer has won the 2009 Honda Sports Award in track and field, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in that sport. The honor was 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 33rd year.
The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Barringer was voted over three other nominees: Sarah Bowman, a senior at the University of Tennessee, Tiffany Ofili, a senior at the University of Michigan and Blessing Okagbare, a junior at the University of Texas, El Paso. The candidates were selected by Women’s Track and Field Coaches.
Noted Barringer, “It’s quite an honor to join the women who have won the Honda Award for track and field before me. As I -- and other women -- continue in their footsteps, women’s athletics is becoming more competitive and elite. This is an exciting time to be a part of women’s collegiate athletics and to receive this award means a great deal to me.”
The 2008-09 University of Colorado Athlete of the Year, Barringer completed a record-breaking season in her final year at the school. She captured her first indoor Big 12 championship in the mile run with an NCAA- record-setting time of 4:25.91, breaking the previous NCAA indoor record of 4:28.31, in place since 1988. It was the fastest time recorded in the world in 2009. She also ran a time of 15:01.70 in the 5,000-meter run at the Husky Classic, breaking the former record of 15:14.18 from 2004 – the second fastest by an American woman in 2009. She completed her sweep of indoor NCAA records when she set the 3k mark en route to her first ever indoor crown, winning in a record time 8:42.03. She continued her record-breaking streak in the outdoor season, debuting at the Oregon Relays with a then-school record of 4:08.38 in the 1,500-meter run, followed the next day with 2:05.43 in the 800 – the second fastest time run by a Buff in 29 years.
For the Big 12 Outdoor Championship, Barringer debuted in her specialty event, the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She won with 9:58.14, over 30 seconds faster than the runner-up. She went on to became CU’s first four-time region champion when she captured the steeplechase title in the fastest time ever run on American soil (9:26.20), which is also the fastest in the world this year as well as an NCAA, meet and stadium record.
And just this past Sunday, Barringer ran in the star-studded Prefontaine Classic against the top milers in the world. She wowed the national television audience by finishing second overall (3:59.90) in the 1500, just .01 seconds out of first. In doing so, Barringer became the third American to ever finish the race in under four minutes as well as the youngest member of that trio. The time was an NCAA and CU record as well as the third best time in the world this year (fastest American, second fastest performer).
Barringer is a political science and economics major and will graduate in December. The eight-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll carries a 3.564 GPA and has been a member of the Dean’s List four times. She is a three-time member of the Big 12 All-Academic First team.
Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients are Danielle Lawrie from the University of Washington for softball, Duke University’s Mallory Cecil for tennis, Purdue University’s Maria Hernandez for golf, Northwestern University’s Hannah Nielsen for lacrosse, the University of Connecticut’s Renee Montgomery for basketball, the University of Georgia’s Courtney Kupets for gymnastics, Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego for cross-country, Susie Rowe from the University of Maryland for field hockey, Casey Nogueira from the University of North Carolina for soccer, Nicole Fawcett from Penn State University for volleyball and Dana Vollmer from University of California for swimming & diving. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at a ceremony in New York on June 22, 2009.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. See http://awards.honda.com/ for more information.