Women's Athletics announces year-end academic and sports awards
AUSTIN, Texas -- The 34th annual University of Texas Women's Athletics Annual Awards Banquet and Presentation took place on Tuesday, April 29 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, as the Longhorn teams were saluted for their excellence in competition and achievements in the classroom.
The awards presentation featured six "Awards of the Highest Honor" -- the highest UT women's athletics departmental honors -- and all head coaches spoke about their teams and season and recognized their program's Lowes Most Improved Player and Academic MVP along with their student-athletes with 3.0 grade-point averages (and higher) and those with perfect 4.0 GPA's.
Additionally, there was a music video highlight tribute to all the 11 sports, videos spotlighting each team, and recognition of this year's Big 12 Conference team championships and UT's NCAA Championship participants from last June through this April. Top team finishes this year came from head coach Bev Kearney's indoor women's track and field team (finishing fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships this March with just five performers after a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA outdoor meet); head coach Jerritt Elliott's co-Big 12 regular season championship volleyball team, which went 27-4, finished No. 6 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, and advanced to the NCAA regional finals (final eight); head coach Chris Petrucelli's 16-4-5 soccer squad, Big 12 tournament champions who advanced to the NCAA Championship third round (final 16); and the tennis team, under head coach Patty Fendick-McCain, last year's Big 12 regular season co-champions and 2008 Big 12 tournament runnerup last weekend.
The recipients of the awards of the highest honor were led by All-America senior track and field/cross country standout Temeka Kincy, All-America senior volleyball setter Michelle Moriarty, All-America senior diver and U.S. Olympic Team hopeful Mary Yarrison and junior soccer star Stephanie Logterman and junior basketball standout Earnesia Williams.
Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North HS) received the Women's Athletics highest honor -- the V.F. "Doc" Neuhaus Award. Established in 1976 as the first endowed scholarship in women's athletics, the Neuhaus Presidential Scholarship Award honors both athleticism and academics.
A stellar scholar-athlete, Kincy is a three-time All-American, a six-time All-Big 12 performer, and a three-year Academic All-Big 12 First Team standout. She is UT's top 800 meter runner and also is one of the Longhorns' best cross country performers. At the 2008 NCAA indoor meet, Temeka earned All-America honors with UT's 4x400 meter relay quartet. This outdoor season, she has qualified for the NCAA Regionals in both the 800 run and the 1600-meter relay. In the classroom, her achievements are even more impressive. Kincy holds a 3.6 GPA as a biology and pre-med major, and has been accepted to 10 medical schools for future studies.
Moriarty received the Texas Exes Leadership Award as the 2008 female recipient. One of the most prestigious awards given annually at the awards ceremony, The Texas 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. (Track and Field All-American Leo Manzano received the men's award on April 21.)
Moriarty is a sport management major who carries a 3.7 GPA. As captain of the Longhorns volleyball squad, Moriarty's leadership was instrumental in helping UT advance to the NCAA quarterfinals - the Elite Eight - for the second consecutive year. She claimed All-America honors once again, earning AVCA Third Team honors and Volleyball Magazine Second Team honors. A standout scholar-athlete, Moriarty earned Academic All-America Third Team honors, Academic All-Region and Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors. Michelle is Texas' all-time assist leader with 5,819 assists, and this fall she set the UT single-season record for assists per-game with 14.18 - which ranked her No. 4 nationally in that category.
Williams (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa HS) and Logterman (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS) were co-recipients of the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete Award, while Yarrison (Springfield, Va./Robert E. Lee HS) was acknowledged as the top senior student-athlete with the highest GPA as recipient of the Lorene Rogers Scholar-Athlete Award. All three - Williams, Logterman and Yarrison - also earned their respective team academic MVP awards.
Co-captain of the UT basketball team, Williams averaged 7.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and helped the 22-13 team to the Big 12 tournament semifinals and to the second round of the NCAA Championships. She also was named to the Big 12 Conference's Good Works team this winter for her athletic and community service achievements. A sport management major with a 3.0 GPA, Williams was named to the 2008 Big 12 All-Academic Team and was the UT Longhorn Pride student-athlete of the month in December.
Logterman has played at the elite international level as a member of the USA National Soccer program for many years. An All-Central Region First Team pick this fall, her season was cut short by a knee injury before UT made its run in the NCAAs. In the classroom, Stephanie carries a 3.9 GPA as a humanities and liberal arts honors major. She was a 2007-08 National Soccer Coaches All-America Scholar-Athlete and was named to the ESPN the Magazine's District's All-Academic First Team and to the Big 12 Academic First Team as well.
One of the most decorated UT divers in recent history, Yarrison earned numerous All-America honors on the one and three meter boards and claimed Big 12 championships on both boards as well this year. Earlier in the week, Mary won the three-meter synchronized diving event at the 2008 Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships and also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 3-meter event. This year, Mary was an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Second Team selection. She carries a 3.8 GPA as a double major in English and government.
The two other major awards went to senior rower Danielle Bartz (Woodville, Texas/Woodville HS) who received the Jill A. Sterkel Leadership Award and senior softball pitching standout Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas/Crowley HS) who earned the Big 12 Community Champion honor for her tremendous community service efforts.
Bartz rows on the varsity eight boat and has helped the rowing team to another Top 25 national ranking this spring. Named the rowing team's Academic MVP as well, Danielle carries a double major in Spanish Plan I honors and government and holds a 3.7 GPA. She also was selected a 2007 and 2008 National Scholar-Athlete by the rowing coaches association. Last year, Bartz entered a Rotary Scholarship competition in Dallas and came away as one of the top three finishers, with a scholarship valued at $27,000 for future studies. Earlier in April, she received the Texas Exes Edward S. Guleke Award for outstanding contributions to The University and for bringing high recognition to UT while displaying character and integrity.
On the softball diamond, Denny is UT's top pitcher (currently 18-7 with a 1.87 ERA) and an All-Big 12 performer who was ninth in the nation last year in strikeouts per seven innings (10.2 K's per game). Off the field, Megan is a two-year recipient of a Big 12 Conference Good Works Team award, given to those who excel in their sport and in community service. She has been involved in the Marathon Kids, Longhorn Halloween and Orange Santa outreach efforts, volunteers at Austin's Sanchez Elementary School and with the Marbridge Foundation, helping with the Special Olympics sports banquets. In addition, Meagan is on the Big 12 Student-Athlete Advisory Council and mentors and tutors at-risk adolescents at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center in south Austin.
Soccer defensive standout Jill Gilbeau (San Diego, Calif./Patrick Henry HS) received the Janet Hauber Academic Excellence Award, given to that female student-athlete who excels in the sciences. Gilbeau is a biology major who was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District First Team and to the Big 12 Academic First Team this past fall. She also received soccer's Lowe's Most Improved Award.
Another soccer standout, senior Caitlin Kennedy (Euless, Texas/Colleyville-Heritage HS) was acknowledged with the UnitedHealth Care/Jamie Carey Comeback Award, given to that female student-athlete who has battled through adversity to return to competition. Kennedy, who has had five knee surgeries, has been sidelined for extensive periods the last two seasons, yet has battled her chronic injuries and returned to the starting lineup to help UT reach the NCAA regional round of 16 this year.
Swimming senior Macie Garrett was honored with the Coca-Cola Solid Citizen Award, given to that female student-athlete for outstanding community service and volunteerism. Garrett (Nashville, Tenn./Harpeth Hall) has been a member of the UT Student Athlete Advisory Council since 2006. Among her numerous community service endeavors, she has volunteered on-campus at the annual Marathon Kids, Longhorn Halloween and Orange Santa outreach events, and has been involved in reading to elementary school children at the UT Elementary School. Macie and her fellow swimmers also spend time at the Dell Children's Hospital as volunteers.
Other student-athletes singled out at the awards presentation with 130 who have attained 3.0 grade-point averages (GPA's) and above. In addition, 24 other student-athletes were singled out for achieving perfect 4.0 GPAs in the past calendar year (Spring of 2007 and Fall of 2007); and of those 24, five achieved 4.0 GPAs both semesters. Currently, an impressive 23 percent of the Texas female student-athletes carry a GPA of 3.5 or higher, with 61 percent of UT's female athletes attaining a 3.0 or higher GPA over the last academic year. The cumulative GPA for the last academic year in UT women's athletics was 3.09.
The awards presentation was underwritten by the University Co-op.2007-08 TEAM MOST IMPROVED AWARDS
Basketball: Ashley Lindsey (6-4 Jr. P, Austin, Texas/Pflugerville Connally HS) ... All-Big 12 Honorable Mention this year, averaging 11.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg with a team-high 94 blocks
Cross Country: Larkin Geyer (Jr., Austin, Texas/Austin HS) ... one of top runners on squad this fall, helping UT finish fifth at NCAA Regionals
Diving: Kayla Torske (Fr., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southeast HS) ... freshman who fought off injuries and earned All-Big 12 honors in 1-meter diving this year (placing eighth)
Golf: Caney Hines (Jr., San Antonio, Texas/Reagan HS) ... scoring average of 76.4 per round, with best finish a 10th-place showing at the UT Betsy Rawls Invitational
Rowing: Rebecca Manriquez (Fr., El Paso, Texas/Mountain View HS) ... brand-new rower to the sport of rowing, and moved into the novice eight boat (top novice boat) this spring
Soccer: Jill Gilbeau (Jr., San Diego, Calif./Patrick Henry HS) ... emerged as one of UT's top defenders as UT posted 10 shutouts while allowing just 23 goals in 25 games
Softball: Kelly Melone (Jr., Inf., Anaheim, Calif./Loara HS) ... battled back from two years of injuries to currently rank fourth in batting average (.275), first in doubles (12) and third in RBI (22) to date
Swimming: Susana Escobar (So., Queretaro, Mexico/Institute Orrente Arboledas) ... sophomore distance specialist who was Big 12 titlist (1,650 free) and went on to earn All-America honors (in 500 free) ... will compete for her native Mexico at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing
Tennis: Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas/Thomas Clark HS) ... plays No. 2 singles and just earned her first All-Big 12 singles honor, going 9-2 in league play at second singles
Indoor Track: Jordyn Brown (So., Mesquite, Texas/Mesquite HS) ... sophomore walkon who earned All-Big 12 honors in the indoor shot put (career-best 53' 6 1/2") and qualified for NCAAs in that event
Outdoor Track: Chantel Malone(Fr., Tortola, British Virgin Islands/Elmore Stroutt HS) ... is just 17 years of age ... was All-Big 12 in the indoor triple jump and has outdoor NCAA-regional qualifying mark in the triple jump ... also competes in the long jump, 100, 200 and 400 meter events and relays
Volleyball: Lauren Paolini (Jr., MB, Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline HS) ... emerged as one of the nation's standout middle blockers, gained All-America Third Team honors and All-Central Region and All-Big 12 First Team honors ... was invited to train with the USA National Team for an Olympic spot this winter
2007-08 TEAM ACADEMIC MVP'S
Basketball: Earnesia Williams (Jr. F, Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa HS) ... youth and community studies major (3.0 GPA)
Diving (co-MVP's): Kathryn Kelly (Jr., Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley HS) ... public relations major (3.8 GPA) and
Mary Yarrison (Sr., Springfield, Va./Robert E. Lee HS) ... English and government major (3.8 GPA)
Golf: Kristin Walla (Jr., Aspen, Colo./Aspen HS) ... journalism major (3.6 GPA)
Rowing: Danielle Bartz (Sr., Woodville, Texas/Woodville HS) ... Spanish Plan I Honors and government major (3.7 GPA)
Soccer: Stephanie Logterman (Jr., Austin, Texas/Westwood HS) ... humanities/liberal arts honors major (3.9 GPA)
Softball: Erin Tresselt (So., Missouri City, Texas/Elkins HS) ... business major (3.6 GPA)
Swimming: Alex Basso (So., Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek HS) ... advertising major (3.5 GPA)
Tennis: Courtney Zauft (Sr., San Antonio, Texas/Thomas Clark HS) ... applied learning and development major (education; 3.7 GPA)
Cross Country/Track: Temeka Kincy (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North HS) ... biology/pre-med major (3.6 GPA)
Track (field event performer): Anne Phillips (Sr., Fort Worth Texas/Trinity Valley) ... communication studies major (3.7 GPA)
Volleyball: Michelle Moriarty (Sr., Houston, Texas/Stratford HS) ... sport management major (3.7 GPA)