April 11, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University athletics hosted its annual athletics banquet this evening, recognizing its outstanding student-athletes for the 2011-12 school year.
The "Student-Athlete of the Year" award recognizes the male and female that best represents community service, academic performance and athletic accomplishment equally. Two senior record setters, running back Alfred Morris and women's distance runner for both cross country and indoor/outdoor track, senior Rebecca Hallam, were honored with this award. Morris finished atop the FAU all-time lists in rushing yards (3,529), rushing touchdowns (27), total touchdowns (31) and all-purpose yards (3,843), and earned off-season invitations to the Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Game and the NFL combine. At the last outdoor track meet, Hallam set the new FAU school record in the 5,000 meter run, breaking the record she previously set as a junior. She now holds both the FAU indoor and outdoor marks.
The "Community Service" is an award given to the individual who not only gives their time, but inspires and leads teammates to do the same. The 2012 recipients were women's soccer player Emily Kelly, and the senior co-captains of the men's golf team, Michael Baskovich and Justin Thompson. Kelly appeared in all 18 matches last season and averaged 44 minutes per match.
"These young men are outstanding representatives of FAU and the men's golf team," said head men's golf coach Angelo Sands.
"The Sportsmanship Award" recognizes those who honor the values that so many student-athletes have lost. This honor was given to Ryan Davis of the men's cross country team, and Kimberly Smith from women's basketball. Smith always has a smile on her face and never lets her play affect her demeanor on the court. She embodies what a student-athlete is all about.
"Ryan is a team leader who primarily leads by example. He is an extremely hard worker and is a delight to have on the team," said Smolka.
The "`Owl'standing Spirit Award" is chosen based on the student-athlete that affirms the dedications of FAU and every student-athlete by showing support at games. A pair of seniors were chosen for this award: Baseball catcher/second baseman Mike Albaladejo, and Lexi Edwards from the cheerleading squad.
"Lexi is the epitome of spirit. She is passionate about FAU and it shines through in all she does," said Heather Henderson, FAU cheer coach.
"Mike attends all FAU events and spreads cheer by being loud and proud," said John McCormack, FAU head baseball coach.
The "Outstanding Academic Achievement" award, based on overall grade point average (GPA), also was awarded to football's Andrew Stryffeler and Erika Mrazkova of women's tennis. Stryffeler is a junior majoring in political science who holds a 3.88 GPA and made the President's and Dean's List last fall. Mrazkova will graduate this spring with a degree in Finance and had a perfect 4.0 GPA. She was also a member of both the Dean's and President's list last fall.
The "Athlete of the Year" award is given to the student-athlete who provided leadership and excelled, and whose athletic ability propelled their respective team toward its goals. From the FAU baseball team, ace pitcher Ryan Garton received the honor. Garton has been the team's Friday starter for the last three seasons. As a junior, he was 5-4, and so far this season, is 6-2 with a 2.81 earned run average. On the women's side, junior forward Chenise Miller was honored. Miller led the Owls in scoring (10.6 points per game) and rebounding (7.4), for a team that improved 10 wins from the previous season, and advanced to the women's postseason NIT.