AUSTIN, Texas -- The 32nd annual University of Texas Women's Athletics All Sports Awards Presentation took place on Tuesday evening, April 25th at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Featuring 12 "Awards of the Highest Honor" and 82 endowed scholarships, also recognized the Most Valuable Players and the Academic MVP's from all Longhorns women's teams.
Additionally, there was a music video highlight tribute to all the 11 sports and a "Senior Salute" video, as well as recognition of this year's Big 12 Conference team championships, UT's NCAA National Championship participants and the Longhorns' 2005 outdoor and 2006 indoor track and field teams, The Awards presentation was underwritten by the University Co-op.
Headlining the Women's Athletics award recipients were five student-athletes who received Texas Athletics' highest departmental honors, led by senior Cat Osterman.
The Women's Athletics Department's highest endowed scholarship honor - the V.F. "Doc" Neuhaus Endowed Presidential Scholarship honor - went to 2004 Olympian and All-AmericanOsterman for the second year in a row. Established in 1976 as the first endowed scholarship in women's athletics, the Neuhaus Presidential Scholarship honors both athleticism and academics.
Additionally, Osterman received the Texas Exes Lifetime Award as the 2006 female recipient (football's David Thomas was the UT male recipient). The Texes Exes award goes to a male and female student-athlete annually who have displayed outstanding leadership and academic and athletic success, with each recipient gaining lifetime membership into the Texas Exes Association.
Osterman (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS) is a two-time USA Softball National Player of the Year (2003, 2005) and who also earned the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top softball performer a year ago. She is a psychology major with a 3.1 GPA. On the pitching mound, her accomplishments are incredible. She currently ranks No. 1 on the NCAA Division I career strikeout list with 2,082- the only player to ever reach the 2,000-strikeout milestone. This spring, she is 29-1 on the mound for the No. 2 ranked Longhorns, and is ranked No. 1 nationally with 15.7 strikeouts per game and No. 1 in earned run average (0.31 ERA).
The 2005-06 Big 12 Conference Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the senior who exhibits the greatest combination of performance in athletics, academics and community achievement, went to co-winners, who, ironically, are both track and field standouts who graduated from the same high school in Houston: All-America sprinters and relay specialists Sheretta Jones and LaTashia Kerr, who hail from Forest Brook HS.
Jones, with a 3.12 GPA in accounting, is a NCAA champion in the 4x400 relay, part of UT's NCAA-record setting 4x400, and a seven-time All-Big 12 performer. She also is ESPN the Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District and Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
Kerr, a nursing student with a 3.35 GPA, is also on that same NCAA record-setting and national championship 4x400 relay team. Right now, Kerr runs the second leg of UT's outdoor 4x100 relay which is ranked No. 1 in the country. She is on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team as well.
The Lorene Rogers Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to the senior student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average over her four-year UT career, went to co-recipients as well. Soccer goalkeeper Melissa Androuny (Monte Sereno, Calif./St. Francis HS), a member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, carries a 3.7 GPA in chemistry, while rower Courtney MacIntosh (St. John's, NL/Newfoundland HS) has a 3.7 in education.
The Jill Sterkel Leadership Award, given to the student-athlete whose exceptional athletic accomplishments have brought attention to The University, went to junior Petra Dizdar from tennis. Dizdar (Split, Croatia/ Vladimir Nazor HS) is a three-time All-Big 12 singles standout who played a huge role last spring in leading Texas to its NCAA National Championship second-place finish, as she upset three top-10 ranked opponents in a row at No. 1 singles to help propel UT to the title match. Dizdar, a public relations major with a 3.49 GPA, also earned tennis Academic MVP honors.
Other special department individual awards went to sophomore softball pitcher Meaghan Denny (Crowley, Texas/Crowley HS), recognized as the 2005-06 Big 12 Community Champion as UT women's athletics top community service volunteer; and eight student-athletes who claimed Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards, which are given to minority student athletes who carry a GPA of 3.2 or higher by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
They are: Kerr; volleyball junior Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico/Chicas San Juan), an education major and Big 12 All-Academic First Team standout; junior Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif./Livermore HS), an education major, Big 12 All-Academic First Team selection and Honorable All-America swimmer; sophomore Delia Huang (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS), a swimmer and a business major.
Also: senior soccer performer Jullie Gailey (San Roman, Calif./San Roman HS), a kinesiology major and a Big 12 All-Academic First Team member; sophomore Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North HS), an All-Big 12 track and field sprinter and biology major; senior basketball guard and corporate communications major Nina Norman (Houston, Texas/Jersey Village HS); and junior diver Nikki Triplett (Houston, Texas/Cypress Falls HS), a public relations major.
In addition to the Neuhaus Endowed Presidential Scholarship, there are six other endowed scholarships which are considered among the "Awards of Highest Honor". They are as follows, with the 2005-06 recipient listed:
Darrell K Royal Endowed Centennial Presidential Scholarship, awarded to volleyball sophomore Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS, education major); two Darrell K Royal Endowed Presidential Scholarships (to All-America and NCAA track and field champion junior Marshevet Hooker from San Antonio/Southwest HS, a corporate communications major; and to soccer junior Karen Haight, business honors major from Beaverton, Ore./St. Mary's HS).
The Barbara Jordan Endowed Scholarship went to junior track and field standout Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas/Red Oak HS), and education major and All-America and NCAA Champion in the shot put; The Donna Lopiano/Jean Kaspar Endowed Scholarship was given to softball senior Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas/Taylor HS), an All-Midwest and All-Big 12 standout and education major; and The Cunningham/Kaspar Endowed Scholarship, awarded to All-Big 12 soccer defender and sophomore Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS), a sociology major.
For those in Central Texas area who subscribe to Time-Warner Cable and have purchased the BEVOD option, the Video on Demand (VOD) channel featuring Longhorn sports programming, you may watch the 2006 awards presentation later this week. BEVOD is digital cable channel 945. For more information, go to TimeWarnerCable.com.