CHICAGO – University of Chicago senior Khia Kurtenbach was named the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for cross country on Wednesday, and is now one of 11 finalists for the DIII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year.
The award will be voted upon at the end of the academic year by 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) program.
"It means a lot to me that I get to represent UChicago as the DIII cross country nominee," Kurtenbach said. "I'm honored to be nominated and thankful to my coaches and teammates for supporting me this past season and throughout my running career. I wouldn't be half as successful of an athlete if my UChicago teammates weren't so amazing, inspiring, and fun to run, cross-train, and race with."
Kurtenbach capped her cross country career by winning the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship on Nov. 18. The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) picked her as the Division III Woman's National Athlete of the Year. Kurtenbach is a three-time cross country All-American, two-time USTFCCCA Division III Midwest Region Athlete of the Year, and a three-time First Team All-University Athletic Association (UAA) honoree.
"I find it difficult to put into a few words everything that Khia has meant to our cross country team," said head coach Chris Hall. "Her performances as an athlete have obviously been special, but what she has done for our program as a leader is truly extraordinary. Khia has used her position as a team leader to not only set a great example to her teammates of how to train, but how to balance what it takes to excel as both a student and an athlete. Khia will go on to do much greater things after she graduates and will apply the lessons she learned as an athlete. Our team will continue to learn from the example she set here and strive to live up to that model.
"I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Khia," Hall continued. "She is exactly what you hope for as a coach: a talented athlete who works extremely hard to get the most from her gifts while balancing the demands of being a student and an athlete."
All Honda Sports nominees from NCAA Division II and Division III become finalists for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 27, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 NCAA-sanctioned sports – cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball and track & field.
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.