Angela Bizzari Voted Honda Sports Award for XC, release, note by Larry Eder

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It was less than three weeks ago that Angela Bizzari won the the NCAA Division 1 cross country championships, running a brilliant race over the last half of the 6,000 meter course, capturing her victory in the last four hundred meters! Congrats to Angela on winning the Honda Sports Award!

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Angela Bizzari en route to her NCAA Champs Cross Country win, November 23, 2009, photo by Photorun.net.

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ANGELA BIZZARRI, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SENIOR, VOTED HONDA AWARD WINNER AS TOP FEMALE ATHLETE IN CROSS COUNTRY

-- Bizzarri Is Automatically Nominated for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Award --

December 9, 2009 — Angela Bizzarri, a University of Illinois senior, has won the 2010 Honda Sports Award in cross country, 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 34th year.

The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Angela Bizzarri was voted over three other nominees for the 2010 award: Susan Kuijken, a senior at Florida State University, Kendra Schaaf, a sophomore at the University of Washington and Catherine White, a University of Virginia junior. The candidates were selected by finish at NCAA Cross County Championships.

Noted Bizzarri: "It felt really special to be considered for the Honda Sports Award and to find out that I have won is such an honor. When I learned more about this award, I noticed some of the names of women who had been honored by this program, like Jackie Joyner Kersee and Mia Hamm. It's an amazing feeling to be included in the company of such recognizable athletes."

A native of Mason, Ohio, Bizzarri is an eight-time All-American and was named the 2009 USTFCCCA Cross Country National Athlete of the Year after winning the NCAA Cross Country title with a time of 19:46.8, which broke the school-record time for the 6K. That victory marks her second national title in less than six months after becoming the NCAA 5,000m champion in June.

She also won the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships after tallying runner-up finishes the previous three years and was awarded the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Athlete of the Year accolade. She earned All-Big Ten First Team honors for the fourth year in a row, the first Illini to do so in school history. She took the top spot at this year’s Pre-Nationals Invitational and finished second at the Big Ten Championships, the highest showing of her career at this conference meet.

Bizzarri is a molecular and cellular biology major with a 3.57 GPA and will graduate next December. She was named a second-team Academic All-American by ESPN the Magazine last season and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Honda Award winners in basketball, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field will be announced in the coming months. 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 in June 2010.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.

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