Cameron Muh | Posted: 8 Dec 2021 | Updated: 1 Sep 2022

Orton named 2021 Honda Sport Award winner

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Whittni Orton 2022 Honda Award

PROVO, Utah — Whittni Orton was named the 2022 Honda Sport Award winner for cross country, the Collegiate Women's Sports Awards (CWSA) announced today.

Presented annually by the CWSA for over 40 years, the Honda Sport Award recognizes the top women's athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, signifying "the best of the best in collegiate athletics."

Orton was joined by Mercy Chelangat (Alabama), Cailie Logue (Iowa State) and Ceili McCabe (West Virginia), who each finished in the top-4 of this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships, as finalists for the award. 

“I'm very honored to even be nominated for this award,” Orton said. “There are so many well deserving athletes who could have received it. I want to express my gratitude to Coach Taylor, the other coaches that I've had in my career, my family, my husband and all of BYU Athletics for always giving us a chance to succeed. It really does just come down to having that opportunity, so I am extremely grateful and feel very blessed to have had them."

The senior from Panguitch, Utah, is the first BYU women's athlete to be awarded the honor, and is now a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and 2022 Honda Cup, which will be presented in a broadcast on CBS Sports Network on June 27th at 9 p.m. EDT.

Winning the school's first ever women's individual title at Nationals, Orton led BYU to a runner-up finish, it's third podium finish in as many years. 

“Whittni has had a tremendous career here," said BYU women's cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor. "Her hard work, dedication, commitment and sacrifice for her dreams have paid off in so many ways. I am grateful for the opportunity to watch the growth and grind over the last five years. Her latest accomplishment, the first individual female NCAA Champion at BYU, was the best way to cap off an incredible season and career. I am incredibly proud of all she has accomplished, but more importantly, who she has become.”

Orton capped off her BYU career with the individual national championship, totaling three USTFCCCA All-American honors in cross country during her time as a Cougar.

Read the full CWSA release here