Mountaineer Named Colorado Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year

Western State Colorado University's Barbara Szabo, a senior from Budapest, Hungary, was honored as the 2013 College Female Athlete of the Year at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Banquet in Denver recently. Some of the biggest names in Colorado sports gathered Thursday night to honor Szabo and other athletes.

Over 900 people were in attendance, including Western Board of Trustees members Meyer Saltzman with his son Scott and grandson Travis.  Along with Saltzman, board of trustees member Linda Morton, and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Todd Wheeler were both in attendance.  Also attending the event was Western's newest President, Dr. Greg Salsbury and wife Marian along with Western Foundation Board member Terry Brace.

Szabo was honored as an athlete-of-the-year along with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, world-champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin, collegiate standout Kapri Bibbs of Colorado State University, high school honorees Christian McCaffery of Valor Christian and Elise Cranny of Niwot.  Cody Field with Special Olympics Colorado was the 2013 recipient of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame's Disabled Athlete Recognition Award.

The 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees into the CSHOF were former Denver Bronco Otis Armstrong, former University of Colorado basketball coach Forrest "Frosty" Cox, Colorado College athlete and long-time collegiate hockey official Andy Gambucci, former University of Colorado quarterback Darian Hagan, former Colorado Rockies player Todd Helton and former Denver Post sports writer Dorothy Mauk.

Szabo was recognized for her accomplishments during 2013, which included two women's high jump national championships.  During the 2013 year, Szabo became a four-time national champion, five-time All-American and seven-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champion. On March 9, 2013 Szabo earned her third consecutive NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championship title in the women's high jump.  Szabo became just the eighth women's athlete to win an indoor national title three consecutive years in any event.  Szabo's winning mark came at 1.85 meters (6' 0.75"). 

Szabo duplicated her success at the indoor championships by earning her first outdoor high jump national title at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 25 in Pueblo, Colo.  Szabo cleared 1.87 meters (6' 1.5") earning her fourth career individual national championship and set a new facility record at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.

During 2012-13, Szabo broke the Western State Colorado University school record in the high jump on Feb. 9 at the Colorado School of Mines Twilight Collegiate Open, clearing the bar at 1.92 meters (6' 3.5").  1.92 meters was the second highest mark in all collegiate divisions last season and was the third highest ever in Division II.  With her 1.92 meter jump, Szabo was ranked eighth in the world by the IAAF and competed at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia over the summer.

Szabo earned conference titles in the indoor women's high jump, indoor triple jump and outdoor high jump.  Szabo was an all-conference performer in the indoor women's high jump, indoor triple jump, outdoor high jump, outdoor long jump, outdoor triple jump and outdoor javelin throw.

Szabo's conference accolades over 2013 also included being named the 2013 RMAC Indoor Track & Field Women's Athlete of the Meet, the 2013 RMAC Indoor Track and Field Women's Field Athlete of the Year and the 2013 RMAC Outdoor Track and Field Women's Field Athlete of the Year.

The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) also recognized Szabo as the South Central Region Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and was named to the South Central Outdoor All-Region Team.

Since 2013, Szabo has won her fourth consecutive national indoor high jump title on March 15, 2014, becoming just the third woman in Division II indoor history to win four championships in a single event. With an indoor mark of 1.91-meters (6' 3.25"), Szabo finished the 2014 indoor season as the all-divisions collegiate leader.  Szabo won the NCAA Division II title with a mark of 6-2 (1.88m), which would have claimed the Division I title the same day. Only four other collegiate women in 2014 have cleared or bettered her NCAA-winning height. 

Szabo also earned RMAC titles in the women's high jump and women's triple jump at the 2014 indoor conference championships, giving her nine conference titles in her career. On March 19, Szabo was named the women's NCAA Division II Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and on March 3, Szabo was named the RMAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. 

Since March 6, Szabo has been receiving votes on the "Bowerman Watch List," for the most outstanding female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation.  Szabo is the only Division II athlete to appear on the list in 2014.

Szabo also became the first-ever RMAC student-athlete to win the Athlete of the Month award four times.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 3:30pm