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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Gov. Gary Herbert talks to the media at the Governor's Utah Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

SALT LAKE CITY — As a former high school athlete, Gov. Gary Herbert understands the value athletics can add to a person’s life.

As a businessman and public servant, he appreciates them for the way they can enhance a community. Which is part of the reason he and the leadership of the Utah Sports Commission joined forces to honor the best in Utah’s athletic performances. The Governor’s Third Annual State of Sport Awards will honor the best Utah athletic achievement’s in 2013 for accomplishments in prep, collegiate and professional sports.

A committee nominates the athletes and teams, as well as selecting events and plays to recognize from local competitions or games. But the winners in the 10 categories are chosen by fan voting, which began on March 16. Winners will be announced on April 22. Fans can vote one time per device in each 24-hour period. The nominees and voting takes place at www.stateofsportawards.com.

In addition, this year, Herbert will honor Olympic and Paralympic athletes with Utah ties at the event scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the EnergySolutions Arena. Local professional golfers Johnny Miller and Billy Casper will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement in Sport Award, while professional golfer and philanthropist Jack Nicklaus will be the night’s featured speaker and will present awards to winners alongside the governor.

"I am pleased to be part of this great event to recognize excellence in sports and I would also like to extend a very special welcome and thank you to Jack Nicklaus for joining us," said Herbert.

2014 Governor's State of Sport Awards nominees

High school female athlete

Sarah Feeny — cross-country, Ogden High School

Kailie Quinn — basketball, Judge Memorial High School

Kirtlyn Bohling — softball, Salem Hills High School

Eliza Katoa — volleyball, Layton High School

Lauryn Dela Cruz — volleyball/basketball, Timpview High School

Tatiana Su'e Su'e — softball, San Juan High School

High school male athlete

Ula Toluta'u — football, East High School

Dusty Hone — wrestling, Cedar High School

Scott Nichols — football/track, Bingham High School

Brekkott Chapman — basketball, Roy High School

Britain Covey — football, Timpview High School

Osa Masina — football, Brighton High School

College female athlete

Michelle Plouffe — basketball, University of Utah

Cloee Colohan — soccer, Brigham Young University

Georgia Dabritz — gymnastics, University of Utah

Jennifer Hamson — basketball/volleyball, Brigham Young University

College male athlete

Kyle Van Noy — football, Brigham Young University

Jason Washburn — basketball, University of Utah

Zac Blair — golf, Brigham Young University

Cody Hoffman — football, Brigham Young University

Tyler Larsen — football, Utah State University

Trevor Reilly — football, University of Utah

Professional/Olympian female athlete

Sarah Hendrickson — ski jumping, U.S. Ski Team

Heather Richardson — speedskating, U.S. Speedskating

Noelle Pikus-Pace — skeleton, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton

Brittany Bowe — speedskating, U.S. Speedskating

Professional/Olympian male athlete

Kaycee Feild — rodeo, PRCA

Damian Lillard — basketball, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Trey Burke — basketball, Utah Jazz, NBA

Ted Ligety — Alpine skiing, U.S. Ski Team

Kyle Beckerman — soccer, Real Salt Lake, MLS

Steve Holcomb — bobsled, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton

Coach of the year

Quincy Lewis — basketball, Lone Peak High School

Matt Wells — football, Utah State University

Keith Johnson — baseball, Salt Lake Bees

Kristen Bailey — volleyball, Timpview High School

Corbin Talley — cross-country/track, Davis High School

Team of the year

Utah State University football

Real Salt Lake

Davis High School girls cross-country

Lone Peak High School boys basketball

Salt Lake Bees

Duchesne High School football

Game or event of the year

University of Utah football beats No. 5 Stanford

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City, MLS Cup

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Utah National

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Sky View's Jalen Moore hits game-winning basket

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