2009 Y Award WInners

BYU student-athletes, alumni and Cougar Club members gathered at the 2009 Cougar Club Y Awards to celebrate accomplishments of BYU Athletics on and off the field during the past year on Tuesday night.

The ceremony will be televised nationally on BYUTV at a later date.

Several BYU athletic programs received national recognition during the past year, including two individual National Champions. Both Amy Menlove and Lacy Cramer were honored at the Y Awards for their achievements at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Menlove claimed the title for the pentathlon, while Cramer’s 800-meter first-place finish marked the first time a BYU freshman won an individual national title.

Cramer’s win that upset the No. 1 seed and two 800-meter National Champions was selected as Play of the Year, as she took the lead in the final 50-meters of the race.

Menlove was selected as the Cougar Club Memorial recipient, given to a junior student-athlete with high scholarly achievement. Her Husband David Otis accepted the award on behalf of his wife, who is currently in Texas competing.

During the past year BYU won seven Mountain West Conference titles, earning over 100 All-MWC selections, collecting four Athlete of the Year awards, garnering four Coach of the Year awards and two Freshman of the Year honors.

The women’s track and field team stole the show with both National Champions being honored and taking the honor of Female Team of the Year. The team finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the highest mark in program history.

Men’s cross country took the Men’s Team of the Year honors as they finished the 2008 season with a No. 16 national ranking and a with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

The women’s soccer team also came out on top with several awards. Head coach Jennifer Rockwood earned Coach of the Years honors for her success at the helm of the soccer program.

“It’s an honor and a blessing to be a part of BYU Athletics,” Rockwood said. “I had so much fun on and off the field this year – we had a tremendous season.”

Rockwood was awarded her third MWC Coach of the Year award as the team finished 18-5-1 with MWC Regular-Season and Tournament Championship titles. Her career record of 228-70-21 over 14 seasons ranks her in the top-10 all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history, based on winning percentages.

Katie Larkin also earned two awards; she was drafted to the Los Angeles Sol of the new Women’s Professional Soccer League. The season began on March 29.

“I am thankful to be home,” Larkin said. “Living in California has made me realize how much I love BYU. I’m very honored to represent this school and I’ve been proud to wear a Cougar uniform.”

Larkin was named Female Athlete of the Year as a three-time All-American and a four-time All-Conference First-Team member.

She also received Female Crowd Pleaser of the Year honors for scoring the game-winning goal in both the regular-season and conference championship games against Utah.

Jessica Carter added two soccer awards to the total. As a Hermann (soccer’s Heisman) Award Candidate she anchored a BYU Defense that ranked eighth nationally. She was honored with the Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award and as the Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete.

Soccer freshman McKinzie Olson was named Female Rookie of the Year. She ranked eighth-nationally in total shutouts and allowed only one goal in MWC play.

Several student-athletes were recognized for their accomplishments off the field. Jonathan Tavernari received the Floyd Johnson Service Award, for his commitment to giving back to the community.

The Cougar Club took the time to honor those who have given their time to BYU Athletics, giving Al Smith the Volunteer of the Year honors. Smith has spent four years as the football practice security coordinator.

The BYU softball team took the Y Games award, for their support of all other BYU sports.

Grant Nelson, a BYU linebacker was honored with the Kimball Memorial Award for his academic success. Nelson maintains a 3.97 grade point average, as was a Heritage Scholarship recipient.

Matt Reynolds, a Freshman All-American on the football field, was awarded the Male Rookie of the Year and David Nixon won the Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award.

Several other athletes were recognized for their accomplishments.

Freshman Futi Tavana was named Walk on of the Year, after leading the men’s volleyball team this season. He has been named National and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week.

Jessica Villegas was named Comeback Player of the Year following a complex elbow injury that required surgery and 10 months of rehabilitation before returning to compete in eight gymnastics meets.

Jimmer Fredette was named Male Crowd Pleaser, for his trademark ability to hit long jumpers off the dribble and get to the basket with his cross over dribble.

Senior basketball player Lee Cummard was named Male Athlete of the Year and was honored with the Dale McCann Spirit of Sport Award as a two-time captain, three-time All-MWC honoree, 2008 Co-Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American.

The night was topped off with a slideshow honoring the accomplishment of all of BYU’s 19 athletic teams. Master of Ceremonies and Voice of the BYU Cougars, Greg Wrubell, capped off the night with a call to the upcoming seasons.

“We look forward to the athletic achievements of 2009 and 2010.”

Below is a description of each award and its winner(s):

Amy Menlove

- Fourth Cougar to win an Indoor National Championships on March 13, 2009 in the pentathlon.

- Four-time All-American and 2009 MWC Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year.

- Led the BYU women’s track to a No. 3 finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Lacey Cramer

- Only BYU freshman to win an individual National Title when she won the 800-meter event at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

- Helped BYU women’s track to a No. 3 finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

- Defeated the No. 1 seed and two 800-meter national champions.

Men’s Team of the Year

Given annually to BYU’s most outstanding men’s team and BYU’s most outstanding women’s team.

Cross Country

- Finished the season with a No. 16 national ranking and a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

- Finished first at the MWC Championships for its fifth-consecutive win, marking its ninth Conference crown in 10 years.

- Coach Ed Eyestone was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.

Women’s Team of the Year

Given annually to BYU’s most outstanding men’s team and BYU’s most outstanding women’s team.

Track & Field

- No. 3 final ranking at the NCAA Indoor Championships marked the highest ever achieved by a BYU team.

- Won the MWC Championships in 2009 with 224 points, beating out TCU who placed second with 117 points.

- Lacey Cramer and Amy Menlove became the first duo to claim two national titles for BYU at a single meet.

Y Games Award

Softball

The Y Games consist of one home event for each of BYU’s 21 teams that all student athletes are encouraged to attend. Attendance is counted at each of these Y Games, and the Y Games trophy is presented to the team with the highest percentage of student athletes attending these events to cheer on their peers.

Coach of the Year

The award is annually given to an outstanding head coach.

Jennifer Rockwood

- Awarded her third conference Coach of the Year award in 2008, Rockwood’s guidance helped the team to an 18-5-1 overall record.

- The team finished undefeated during the MWC regular season, and topped the Utes in the MWC Tournament Championship game, earning the 1-0 victory.

- BYU advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 11th time under Rockwood.

- Rockwood’s 14-year career record of 228-70-21 ranks her in the top-10 all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history based on winning percentage.

- Rockwood has won seven Conference tournament championships and six regular-season championships.

- Her program has produced nine All-American athletes and three who have gone on to play professional soccer in the United States.

Assistant Coach of the Year

The award is annually given to an outstanding assistant coach.

Shawn Olmstead

- Completed his first season as an assistant with the BYU women’s volleyball team.

- Responsible for the team’s defensive preparation and scouting.

- Attended BYU and played libero for the men's volleyball program, helping the Cougars win National Championships in 2001 and 2004 along with a national runner-up finish in 2003.

Kimball Memorial Award

Grant A. Nelson

- Maintains a 3.97 grade point average while participating as a linebacker on BYU’s football team.

- Majoring in economics with a management minor and plans to attend business school after graduation.

- Two-time Academic All-MWC selection.

- Named a Heritage Scholarship recipient.

Female Athlete of the Year

Given to the female athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication, and determination, leading them to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both

teammates and fans.

Katie Larkin

- Three-time All-American, four-time All-Region, and four time MWC All-Conference First-Team.

- Led her team to the regular season and MWC Championships, receiving MWC Offensive Player of the Year and MWC 2008 Tournament MVP honors.

- Drafted by the Los Angeles Sol of the new Women’s Professional Soccer League, also a member of the U.S. National U-23 Team.

Male Athlete of the Year

Given to the male athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication, and determination, leading them to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both teammates and fans.

Lee Cummard

- Was a four-year letterman, team captain, three-time All-MWC honoree, 2008 MWC Co-Player of the Year, all-district performer, and an honorable mention All-American.

- Led BYU in scoring (16.8 ppg) and blocks (30), and was second in field goal percentage (51.1%), rebounding (6.2 rpg), three-point shooting (38.1%), and assists (111).

- A two-time team captain and a positive representative of his team and the university on the court, on campus, and with the media.

Female Rookie of the Year

This award is given to the freshman student athlete who contributes the most in their true freshman or red-shirt freshman year.

McKinzie Olson

- Named Freshman All-American.

- Ranked eighth nationally in total shutouts, 14th in total shutouts, and was ranked fourth nationally in save percentage out of 318 Division I teams.

- Allowed only one goal in MWC play.

Male Rookie of the Year

This award is given to the freshman student athlete who contributes the most in their true freshman or red-shirt freshman year.

Matt Reynolds

- Earned four Freshman All-America awards, including three first-team honors.

- Started every game as a freshman on veteran offensive line with four other senior starters.

- Allowed only one sack all season on quarterback Max Hall while protecting his blind side.

Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete

The oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU male athlete; given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship.

David Nixon

- Voted as a team captain and earned All-MWC Second Team honors as a linebacker.

- Recorded a team-best three interceptions to rank fourth overall in the Mountain West Conference and tied for first among linebackers.

- Tied for team best with 11.5 tackles for a loss while ranking second in total tackles with 90 and quarterback hurries with five.

Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete

The oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU female athlete; this award is annually given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship.

Jessica Carter

- Two-Time All-Region–NSCAA, team leader, and two-time MWC First Team.

- Hermann (soccer’s Heisman) Award Candidate in 2007.

- Two-Time Academic All-Region–NSCAA & four-time MWC Scholar.

Walk on of the Year

This award is given to one non-scholarship athlete at BYU who plays a significant role on his or her team.

Futi Tavana

- Leads the team with a .401 hitting percentage and 118 total blocks on the season (1.49 per set).

- Has started every match this season and was named National and MPSF Player of the Week following back-to-back double-double performances against No. 5 Long Beach State.

- Voted Most Valuable Player of the BYU Tournament during the fall season.

Cougar Club Memorial Award

Established in memory of eight Cougar Club members who lost their lives in an airplane crash at the Point of the Mountain in November of 1965; given to an outstanding junior male or female athlete with high

scholarly achievement.

Amy Menlove

- The 2009 National Pentathlon Champion and an All-American.

- Member of the MWC 10th Anniversary Team.

- The No. 7 long jumper in the nation, garnering All-American Honors.

Comeback Player of the Year

Presented to the BYU student athlete who has returned to excel at his or her sport after overcoming a serious injury or other difficult circumstances.

Jessica Villegas

- Has come back from a very complex elbow injury that required surgery and 10 months of rehabilitation.

- Doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of returning to gymnastics in Dec. 2007, but she has returned and competed in all but two meets this year.

- Spent 2-3 hours each day doing painful range of motion exercises, determined to work hard and never give up.

Male - Crowd Pleaser

Presented to the male athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd.

Jimmer Fredette

- Second on the team in scoring (16.2 ppg), three-point shooting (38.2%), and free throw shooting (84.7%); first in assists (135), and steals (50).

- Named USBWA All-District and was the only sophomore to earn first-team all-MWC honors.

- Hits long jumpers off the dribble and is excellent at getting to the basket with his cross over dribble and finishing over taller opponents such as Utah’s Luke Nevill.

Female - Crowd Pleaser

Presented to the female athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd.

Katie Larkin

- Scored the game-winning goal in both games against Utah. She scored the first goal in BYU’s 5–0 regular-season win and the only goal in the Cougars’ 1–0 win to clinch the 2008 MWC Tournament Championship.

- Was three-time NSCAA All-American, the MWC Offensive Player of the Year, and the 2008 MWC Tournament MVP.

- Member of the U-23 National Team; was drafted by the Los Angeles Sol in the Women’s Professional Soccer League.

Floyd Johnson Service Award

Given to male or female athlete who make a positive impact in the community and among their teammates.

Jonathan Tavernari

- He participates in an average of three events per week with projects that include “The Buff Don’t Puff, ” speaking at firesides and to young men’s and young women’s groups as well as attending DARE graduations and charity balls.

- Tavernari also served as a role model for Sports Hero Day.

- Has participated for the last three years with the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation, and has been involved with the United Way.

Play of the Year

In athletic competition there are moments where incredible performances engrave themselves into memory. This category honors some of the truly extraordinary plays made this year.

Lacey Cramer

On March 14, 2009, Lacey Cramer became the first BYU athlete to win an individual National Championship as a freshman. Her performance in the 800-meter event at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships significantly helped BYU to a No. 3 final national ranking. Cramer, who sat in fifth, sixth and seventh for most

of the race, found an opening on the inside rail in the last 50-meters to take the lead and steal the championship from the nation’s No. 1-seed Phoebe Wright of Tennessee. Cramer also defeated two 800-meter national champions in her title run.

Volunteer of the Year

Given in recognition of volunteers who selflessly serve the BYU Athletic Department without thought of recognition or reward.

Al Smith

With a great love of BYU Athletics, stemming

from his time at BYU as a student, Al Smith has spent the last four years as a BYU volunteer. His hard work and friendly personality have touched many lives. Al isbeing honored as this year’s Volunteer of

the Year. After beginning as a volunteer at Legacy

Hall, Al is entering his fourth year as the Football Practice Security Coordinator. His responsibilities include the coordination of more than 30 volunteers who staff the daily football practices.

Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award

Presented in memory of Dr. Leona B. Holbrook; this award is given to the senior female athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.

Jessica Carter

- Two-time All-West Region, leader of the team, and Hermann (soccer’s Heisman) Award Candidate in 2007.

- Two-time MWC First Team, two-time Academic All-Region, and & four-time MWC Scholar Athlete.

- Anchored BYU’s Defense to place eighth nationally in shutout percentage.

Dale McCann Spirit of Sport Award

Presented in memory of Dale R. McCann; this award is given to the senior male athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.

Lee Cummard

- Was a four-year letterman, team captain, three-time All-MWC honoree, 2008 MWC Co-Player of the Year, all-district performer, and an honorable mention All-American.

- Led BYU in scoring (16.8 ppg) and blocks (30), and was second in field goal percentage (51.1%), rebounding (6.2 rpg), three-point shooting (38.1%), and assists (111).

- A two-time team captain and a positive representative of his team and the university on the court, on campus, and with the media.

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