LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Sheila Reid of Villanova University, who successfully defended her national championship title against the University of Oregon’s Jordan Hasay, has been named the recipient of the 2011-2012 Honda Sports Award in cross country. It marks the second time that the fifth-year senior from Newmarket, Ontario, has been tapped as the top female collegiate athlete in cross country by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.
Reid’s repeat victory as the individual NCAA champion came with a closing kick past her longtime rival in the final 150 meters of the race. Reid is a five-time All-American and chosen National Female Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for 2011. She made track history by winning both the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter NCAA championships, an unprecedented double.
“Over the last 12 months Sheila Reid has had one accomplishment after another,” says Lynn Tighe, Villanova’s Senior Woman Administrator. “She’s a true champion in every sense of the word—on the track, in the classroom, and in the community.”
“We were thrilled last year to be back in the mix with the Honda award after not being among the honorees for a number of years. It’s an award that has become representative of topnotch female athletes. There’s a lot of prestige connected to it.”
As a high school student Reid was a standout runner in her native Canada. In her first year (2007) at Villanova, Reid qualified for the individual cross country championships. She suffered a hip injury in 2008 but returned to lead her team to NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010. That year she won her first NCAA individual crown by a two-second margin, the closest finish in women’s Division I history. Reid, an English major, is a four-time Big East Academic All-Star, and a first-team Capitol One Academic All-American carrying a 3.4 GPA.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Reid becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Honda Cup. Reid was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Hasay (Oregon), Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth College) and Emily Infield (Georgetown University).