Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat Wins Honda Award for Cross County

She is the first Crimson Tide member ever to win the Honda Award, which signifies the best of the best women in college athletics
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Alabama cross country standout Mercy Chelangat continues to make history. 

Last month, she become the first member of the Crimson Tide to win the individual national champion in the 1,000 meter race, which she won by six seconds. 

On Wednesday afternoon, she was named the Honda Sports Award winner, as announced by by Chris Voelz, the Executive Director of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards.

The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 45 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 2021 Honda Cup, which will be presented on a telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 28th at 9 pm ET.

“I am so honored to receive this prestigious award from the CWSA and Honda," Chelangat said in a press release. "It means so much to me. While running is an individual sport, I didn’t do this alone. A huge thanks goes to everyone who has supported me on this journey - my family, my teammates and coaches, the entire Crimson Tide support staff and of course The University of Alabama as a whole. 

"I am so grateful not only for the athletic opportunities but just as importantly to me, the ones I’ve been given academically. Competing for the Crimson Tide has been an awesome experience and I am looking forward to another fabulous season.”

It is the first time in Alabama's history that a woman has taken home the honor. Other finalists included the Crimson Tide's Amaris Tyynismaa, Air Force's Mahala Norris and Oregon's Taylor Roe.

“We are super excited for Mercy and so proud of the way she continues to represent The University of Alabama at the highest level," coach Dan Waters said. "This honor represents all the hard work, dedication and drive she brings to everything she does. There is no doubt that she exemplifies the core values of the Honda Award as an athlete, a student and most importantly, as a person. I am also extremely proud of the fact that Alabama had two finalists for this year’s Honda Award for Cross Country. That is a testament to everything our team accomplished during a very different year and the perseverance and focus of our student-athletes, women’s distance coach Will Palmer and our entire Crimson Tide staff.”