SEATTLE – Washington volleyball star Krista Vansant won the Female Sports Star of the Year Award at the 79th Annual MTR Western Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards, held Wednesday at Benaroya Hall.
Vansant, a junior from Redlands, Calif., added the honor to her expanding trophy case, which also includes the 2013 AVCA Player of the Year and the 2013 Honda Sports Award, honoring the nation's top volleyball player. She also earned first-team All-America and Pac-12 Player of the Year this past season as the Huskies won the conference title, advanced to the national semifinals and finished with a 30-3 record.
She is the first Husky ever to win the AVCA Player of the Year and one of just four Huskies ever to win the Honda Award, in any sport.
Other finalists for the Female Sports Star were mountaineer Melissa Arnot, Storm veteran Tina Thompson, Olympic judo medalist Marti Malloy, SeattleU basketball coach Joan Bonvicini and WSU soccer player Macaela Castain.
Vansant joined a long list of Husky winners in the category, including coxswain Mary Whipple (2012), the 2009 UW softball team, soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo (2008), softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2007), volleyball players Courtney Thompson (2006) and Christal Morrison (2005), rowing coach Jan Harville (2001), softball player Becky Newbry (1999), basketball coach Chris Gobrecht (1995), basketball player Rhonda Smith (1994) and swimmer Lynn Colella, who shared the award with brother, Rick, in 1971.
The Male Sports Star of the Year went to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who will take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII Feb. 2. The second-year pro led Seattle to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the NFC.
Wilson beat out Husky tailback Bishop Sankey, who set a UW record by rushing for 1,870 yards in 2013, as well as the Husky men's soccer team, which won the Pac-12 championship with a 17-2-4 overall record and reached the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
Longtime University of Washington supporter Ron Crockett, who played a key role in the renovation of Husky Stadium and is also the primary owner and president of Emerald Downs, was presented with the Paul Allen Award, given annually to an individual who has made a significant or compelling philanthropic contribution. Crockett is also a generous benefactor of Seattle Children's Hospital.
Previous winners include Jamie Moyer, Allen, Detlef Schrempf and Lenny Wilkens.
The Eastlake Little League team's World Series run was named the Sports Story of the Year, edging out three UW-related stories for the honor. Also nominated in the category were the UW men's rowing team's third straight sweep at the IRAs, the Husky volleyball team's Pac-12 title and run to the NCAA semifinals and re-opening of Husky Stadium.
ESPN anchor and Seattle-area native Kenny Mayne served as emcee for the awards, a Seattle tradition that dates back to 1935.