Courtesy: Columbia University
ORLANDO, FL - Cristina Teuscher, already the finest women's swimmer and one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Columbia or in Ivy League history, received the greatest honor of her career tonight (Monday, June 12) when she was awarded the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nations outstanding collegiate woman athlete.
The announcement and presentation were made at the 24th annual Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Dinner in Orlando, FL, at the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) Convention. Teuscher, who graduated from Columbia last month, is the first Ivy League athlete and only the fourth swimmer ever to receive the award. She follows Olympic standouts Jill Sterkel of Texas (1981), Tracy Caulkins of Florida (1982 & 1984), and Mary T. Meagher of California (1987).
She won the award, in a national vote involving the NCAA-member schools, over the eleven other candidates who won the Honda Award during the 1999-2000 academic year as the best in their respective sports. Teuscher won NCAA championships in March in the 400-meter freestyle (4:04.09) and the 400-meter individual medley (4:33.81), each the second-fastest times in the world this year. She also won two NCAA titles, in the 400 I.M. and 500 freestyle, in 1998, the only other year she went to the NCAA's.
A resident of New Rochelle, NY, Teuscher received her early training with the Badger Swim Club, and continued with Badger throughout her college career. She frequently practiced with Columbia and head coach Diana Caskey in the morning, and then commuted to Lehman College in the Bronx to work out with Badger coach John Collins in the afternoon.
She earned a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, in the 800-meter freestyle relay, even before entering Columbia. In four years with the Lions, Teuscher never lost an individual race, setting 10 school records, four relay team records, and innumerable pool records both at Columbia's Uris Swimming Center and throughout the East.
This season, she won three events, the 100 free, and 200 and 400 individual medleys, in the Ivy League Championships, and was named Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet for the fourth straight year. A four-time recipient of Columbia's Women's Swimming Award, Teuscher this spring received the Connie S. Maniatty Award as the University's outstanding female senior student-athlete.
Teuscher also excelled in the classroom. Twice an Academic All-Ivy League selection, she was graduated from Columbia College with a 3.4 GPA as a psychology major. The Columbia student, who attended New Rochelle High School, is the second person from the New York Metropolitan Area to receive the Honda-Broderick Award in the past three years, following basketball All-American Chamique Holdsclaw of the University of Tennessee, a native of Queens, in 1998. The awards third recipient, basketball star Nancy Lieberman of Old Dominion in 1978-79, also came from Queens.
The Honda-Broderick Cup has been awarded continuously since the 1976-77 season as part of the year-long Honda Awards Program, originated in 1976 to recognize outstanding achievements by collegiate woman athletes. In addition to Teuscher and her fellow Honda Division I award winners, Honda Awards were presented to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year for Division II schools, Jayne Even of North Dakota State, and the Division III winner, Alia Fischer of Washington (MO) University. Both are basketball players. Distance runner Johanna Olson of Luther College received the Honda Inspiration Award.