LOS ANGELES - A fun weekend with family and some new friends culminated for Krista Vansant with the Honda Awards broadcast this evening from USC's Galen Center, and broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Although the overall Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year, with Alabama gymnast Kim Jacob capturing the award, Vansant enjoyed the two days of events alongside the top women's athletes from across the NCAA.
After an evening welcome reception on Sunday, the honorees were up early Monday morning and headed to an area middle school to talk with local students about their careers and youth experiences, and what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level.
Lunch on Monday included a chance to talk with former winners Lisa Fernandez, the 1992-93 winner and softball legend, and Deitre Collins-Parker, a volleyball player who won the 1982-83 award.
"The most fun thing for me was just meeting everyone and getting to talk to all these amazing people and learn their stories," Vansant said, "and how everyone comes from a different background and has had their own struggles but learned how to succeed."
After a session with professional hair and make-up artists, it was time for the awards show. Attending the ceremony was Vansant's mother, Tricia, her grandparents, and younger brother Brett.
"I was definitely more nervous for live TV than playing a match. I can definitely play better than I can articulate my thoughts," she laughed.
Most of the Honda winners were seniors in their final years of eligibility, but Vansant is one of four who will be back to compete next year. The senior-to-be said she is focused on improving for next season, which is now less than two months away.
"I’ve had my thoughts on the season since the moment we lost to Penn State last December," she said. "I’m thinking about that now. We’re all in workouts working hard for that goal in the fall which is winning a national championship."