Every season, the Collegiate Women’s Sports Award program recognizes the top collegiate female student-athlete in 12 sports. This year, Florida athletes top three NCAA rosters. Kelly Barnhill, Alex McMurtry, and Belinda Woolcock all received invites to the 2017 Honda Sports Awards. Tonight, they will find out if they made the Top 3 of the group of 12. Then, one of Florida’s athlete’s could be the Top NCAA Female Athlete of 2017.
Kelly Barnhill- Softball Star
Kelly Barnhill led the Gators to a Finals appearance in this year’s Women’s World Series… as a sophomore. Barnhill’s insane pitching arm caused 359 strikeouts, making it almost impossible for teams to score against Florida. But, Florida was not the only place that recognized Barnhill’s talent.
— AllThingsUF (@AllThingsUF) May 31, 2017
She was named Player of the Year by USA Softball and espnW. She made the First Team for CoSida, the NFCA, and the SEC. Barnhill’s various Pitcher of the Week honors are probably what led to her SEC Pitcher of the Year honor. She also led the Finals in ERA (0.51) and strikeouts per 7 innings (13.0). Obviously, Kelly Barnhill is a diamond on the diamond. Her mile-long accomplishments should put her in a good spot to be a finalist tonight.
Alex McMurtry- Gymnastics Goddess
— Grace Remington (@Grace_Remi) February 25, 2017
Avid UF Gymnastics fans know what it means when junior Alex McMurtry takes the floor. After posting perfect 10’s in three events this season, it’s not hard to see why McMurtry won this award. After all, she was only one of two gymnasts to do so. McMurtry is a bars specialist and was the un-even bars co-champion this season. But, considering her All-America first team honors in all five events, nobody would know McMurtry has one specialty. She is also a star in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. This did not go unrecognized. After all, McMurtry was only the second person in the SEC history to win Gymnast and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. McMurtry’s many talents may put her over the edge at the finals tonight.
Belinda Woolcock- Tough Tennis Player
— Scott Carter (@GatorsScott) June 9, 2017
Senior Belinda Woolcock is the best player on this season’s best NCAA Tennis team. During the 2017 Championships, she was the Most Outstanding Player, helping Florida win its 7th NCAA title. Woolcock was on the SEC First Team for singles and doubles and won singles runner up in D1 Women’s Tennis. She played No. 1 singles in every dual match after having played the top spot only once in her career prior to this year. Also, Woolcock was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll for three straight seasons and received her Bachelor’s degree in April. Woolcock’s tenacity on the tennis court could easily wind her up in the top 3 tonight.
Barnhill, McMurtry, and Woolcock will join the nine other student-athletes tonight to accept their awards. They will join 5-time Olympic Gold medalist Katie Ledecky and top WNBA draft pick Kelsey Plum, among others. Tune into the 2017 Honda Sports Awards tonight at 9 on CBS Sports Network.