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UVU student-athletes, community honored at Wolverine Club Awards

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:11 p.m. MDT

Lauren Sack (left) of women's soccer and Ben Aird (right) of men's baskebtall pose after being named UVU's Most Outstanding Athletes for the 2013-14 athletic year.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

The 2014 Wolverine Club Athletic Awards were held Wednesday night at the ballroom on the campus of Utah Valley University. Some 350 student-athletes, athletic staff and Wolverine Club members were in attendance to honor the achievements of UVU athletics during the 2013-14 seasons.

Highlighting the night was the Michael V. Jacobsen Bronze Wolverine Award that was bestowed upon retired UVU Senior Associate Athletic Director D.J. Smith for his distinguished service at Utah Valley. The Michael V. Jacobsen Bronze Wolverine Award is the highest honor presented by the Wolverine Club and recognizes supreme stewardship and loyalty to UVU's students and student-athletes. In March, Smith retired from his position at Utah Valley after 29 years of dedicated service with the Wolverines. In his tenure at UVU, Smith saw Utah Valley grow from competition in the NJCAA to the highest level of collegiate athletics — NCAA Division I.

In the final awards of the night, women's soccer player Lauren Sack took home Outstanding Female Athlete honors, while men's basketball player Ben Aird was named the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year. This season, Sack was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season as well as first team all-conference for the third time. She led the WAC in saves per game average (4.65) and finishing second in the league in saves (93) and save percentage (.762). Aird earned the male honors after being named first team all-conference for the second straight season. He led the WAC champion Wolverines in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and blocks (1.2 bpg), and he was second in scoring average (11.8 ppg).

Other award winners are as follows:

Outstanding Female Athletes by sport: McKell Camp-Nielson (track and field), Brookelyn Hall (volleyball), Brooke Hodson-Davies (cross-country), Katie Kuklok (women's basketball), Lauren Sack (women's soccer), Josi Summers (softball) and Brooke Whittaker (women's golf)

Outstanding Male Athletes by sport: Ben Aird (men's basketball), Brayden Eriksen (men's golf), Adam Fager (wrestling), Andrew Freter (baseball), Michael McPherson (track and field) and Trac Norris (cross-country)

Newcomer of the Year: Brittney Vansway (softball) and Zach Nelson (men's basketball)

Most Inspirational Athlete: Ali Shields (track and field) and Avery Garner (wrestling)

Women's Play of the Year: Rhaiah Spooner-Knight's (women's basketball) late game heroics in a WAC victory over Kansas City.

Men's Play of the Year: Keawe Enos' (men's basketball) last-second, clutch free throws against New Mexico State.

Individual Performance of the Year: Josi Summers (softball) throws no-hitter vs. Albany, and JT Timmons (men's golf) wins Pat Hicks Invitational.

Walk-On of the Year: Brianna Gatlin (softball) and Patrick Wolfe (baseball)

Crowd Pleaser: Macky Treanor (volleyball) and Holton Hunsaker (men's basketball)

Wilson Sorensen Spirit of Sport: Brooke Hodson-Davies (track and field) and Levi Ball (track and field)

Assistant Coach of the Year: Erkin Tadzhimetov (wrestling)

Coach of the Year: Chris Curran (men's golf)

Athletic Service Award: Heather Mathison (women's golf) and Ross Taylor (wrestling)

Distinctive Service Award: Dr. Mike Shively

Advisor of the Year: Gae Robinson

Scholar Athlete of the Year: Haley Curtis-Poole (women's soccer) and Holton Hunsaker (men's basketball)

Women's Game of the Year: Women's golf wins the Wildcat Invitational

Men's Game of the Year: Men's basketball's overtime victory against New Mexico State

Team GPA: Women's golf

Team Green: Women's soccer

Fan of the Year: Brian and Stefanie Barthel

Teams of the Year: Men's cross-country and men's basketball

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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