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2020 Honors and Graduation News for Student-athletes

AztecBuff

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Club Member
Thought I'd start this thread to list the various honors given to Buff Student-Athletes, as well as cover anything see regarding any graduation news later in the month.
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To start with, a week or two ago the annual academic awards were announced, with, initially, a Youtube video released with the news. (Subsequent to that, there's been individual snippets released of individual awardees via the https://twitter.com/BuffsHACademicsaccount, as well as the https://www.youtube.com/user/buffvision/videos channel.)

Congrats to all the honorees!!!

Full announcement show-

Associated cubuffs.com article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/4/22/cross-country-cu-athletics-honors-its-academic-best.aspx

Quoting the full article:

"
CU Athletics Honors Its Academic Best

By: David Plati, Associate AD/Sports Information

28th Annual Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet Went Virtual

BOULDER — Over three dozen University of Colorado student-athletes, including two dozen with perfect 4.00 grade point averages for one or both semesters last year, were honored for a variety of outstanding academic accomplishments Tuesday on-line on Facebook and YouTube, as the school's 28th Annual Student-Athlete Academic Recognition Banquet was virtual for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually over 300 people attend the event, including university faculty and staff, coaches and student-athletes; this year, those presenting submitted videos announcing the recipients of the awards. A replay of the virtual event can be viewed here: .

The Clancy A. Herbst, Jr., Student-Athlete Achievement Award were presented to redshirt sophomore men's basketball player Frank Ryder and sophomore football player Jaylon Jackson. The award is given to athletes who overcome personal, academic or emotional challenges difficulties to succeed both academically and athletically.

Ryder, who is majoring in Economics, in his first year in college at the University of San Diego, he suffered from an infection that led to a stroke and two heart surgeries. A Boulder Fairview High School graduate, he transferred back home and joined the team as a walk-on. With all this going on in his life, and while working hard in rehabilitation and then to get back into playing shape. He became the first men's basketball player to record a 4.0 grade point average for a semester in recent memory. Jackson, a Communication major who is also earning a minor in Ethnic Studies, has kept a positive attitude while dealing with assorted injuries that have limited his participation for his first three years as a member of the football team.

Four students were presented with the Morgan Family Buff Club Scholar-Athlete Award, as the recipients include a member of the sophomore and junior classes and male and female members from the senior class who have accumulated the highest cumulative grade point average in their respective class (and are awarded by academic year, not eligibility class). The winners were:
  • Caleb Penner, Sr., Track & Field (3.984 GPA, Engineering Physics and Applied Mathematics.
  • Sage Hurta, Sr., Cross County & Track (3.979 GPA, (Chemical & Biological Engineering and Pre-Med Studies)
  • Libby Geraghty, Jr., Soccer (4.00 GPA, Integrative Physiology and Pre-Med Studies)
  • Tallulah Farrow, Soph., Tennis (4.00 GPA, Philosophy, Anthropology and International Affairs)
Penner earned the honor for his junior year while Geraghty was the recipient her sophomore year,

Academic team winners for grade point average were the women's cross country team for the seventh straight year (and 16th time in 28 years) for a sport with its championship in the fall semester (3.498) and the women's ski team, also the seventh time in a row (and 15th time overall) for those who compete in the spring semester (3.434). The volleyball team was honored for the most improved honor for a team, as its cumulative GPA rose an impressive .242 (from 2.957 after the fall of 2018 to 3.199 through last fall), one of the highest increases since the award was created.

Out of 352 student-athletes, 189 attained a 3.0 grade point cumulatively through the Fall 2019 semester (53.7 percent; 190 recorded 3.0's for the semester term). There were 85 with aggregate GPA's of 3.5 or better, with 106 earning that mark or better for the semester alone. The fall grade point average of all 360 worked to a 2.945, the fourth-best on record in nearly 25 years of compiling the information, with the cumulative average overall the third-best at 3.006. That's 11 straight semesters over a 2.9 – out of 12 all totaled – with 11 of CU's 15 programs owning team GPA's in excess of 3.0. Those continue to be impressive numbers when realized that CU's curriculum is one of the toughest in Division I athletics, which is easily evidenced by the roll call of majors being undertaken by many of the award winners.

In the 2019 calendar year, there were 24 student-athletes who studied to perfection, as in 4.00 grade point averages for at least one semester if not the full year; that nearly matched the established record of 27 set last year. All were thus inducted into CU's 4.0 club; membership now stands at 420 since 1994. Those honored included five recognized for their fourth straight year, all on the track and field team: Hurta, Penner, Kaitlyn Benner (Chemical & Biological Engineering), Bri Schwartz (Strategic Communication Public Relations) and Michaela Wenning (Chemical & Biological Engineering and Biochemistry).

Honored for a third consecutive year were: Hannah Cardenas (Integrative Physiology and Psychology), Libby Geraghty (Integrative Physiology and Pre-Med Studies) and J.J. Tompkins (Psychology) from soccer; Tonje Trulsrud (Architectural Engineering) from skiing. A second-time honoree was Elle Otten (Accounting and Psychology) from women's golf.

First-time members of the club include Farrow, Ryder, Hunter Appleton (Integrative Physiology), Ryan Ganson (master's in Organizational Leadership), Ethan Gonzales (majoring in Environmental Engineering), Joe Klecker (Biochemistry and Pre-Dentistry), Karina Mann (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies) and Wyatt Rhoads (master's Organizational Leadership). all from cross country and track; Sondre Bollum (International Affairs and Political Science) from Nordic ski; Tim Lynott, Jr. (master's in Organizational Leadership), Valentin Senn (Pre-Business) and Jonathan Van Diest (Business Management) from football; Caroline Perry (Business-Finance) from lacrosse; and Hannah Sharts (Communication) from soccer.

Justine Spann, a senior who just completed her career on the volleyball team, Delrick Abrams, a senior on the football team. and Mya Hollingshed, a sophomore major on the women's basketball team, were recognized as the recipients of the Most Improved Student-Athlete Awards. Spann, Sociology major, who is also earning a minor in Communication, saw her grade point rise 1.5 points from her first semester grade point to her best-semester high of 3.075. Hollingshed, a junior Communication major, earned the honor for underclassmen, as she has increased her grade point average every semester since enrolling at CU in the fall of 2017. Abrams, majoring in Ethnic Studies, prioritized his commitment to academics after arriving at Colorado from junior college and has inspired those underclassmen on the football team.

There were three recipients of the Byron R. White Leadership and Initiative Award, named for CU's legendary football All-American, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It is awarded to those student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding initiative and demonstrate a strong commitment to service to the CU and Boulder communities. The winners were Penner (who received the award for seniors), Liz Phillips (sophomore, lacrosse), who is majoring in Integrative Physiology and the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Alisha Lau (junior, golf), a Strategic Communication major. The three were selected among nine nominees from across all sports.

The Student Support Services Academic Award was presented to Zoe Myers, a senior student assistant who has worked four years in the equipment department, most particularly with the volleyball program. The owner of a 4.0 grade point average as a Business major (Management) along with a minor in Leadership Studies, this award is presented to a student worker who maintains a 3.0 GPA while demonstrating strong commitment and leadership to CU athletics. Myers, who is also the president of her sorority, also earned certificates in Business Leadership and Technology, Arts & Media.

Klecker was asked to represent all the award winners with the closing comments. He admitted his was disinterested in his major at first. "My main goal when I first got to campus was to make the varsity cross country team. (Ahead of his sophomore year) The first day back on campus, coach (Mark) Wetmore asked us what are goal was for being here. He called on a few people who gave answers were to win a national title or a Pac-12 title, or even just to get a degree, but all of those were wrong answers. To which he replied, 'Your goal for being here should be to graduate so you don't have to move home and live on your parents' couch. Essentially you should be self-sustainable adults.' This point really stuck with me. I realized that I needed to find a path and a major that I was deeply excited about as I was my sport. That path was dentistry. I doubled down on my efforts in the classroom. As Buffs, we have the best of both worlds, we have incredible support in our sport, amazing nutrition, amazing facilities and great coaching, and equally incredible support from the Herbst academic staff. Use the resources you have here while you have them."

Academic medallion sponsors for this year's recognition awards included Kathy & Tom Anselmo, Lawren & Fred Bradford, Dana & Ben Broussard, Jeff Brown, Pat Confer, Lori Dumler & Tami Dick, Janis & Steve Freel, Stephen Hansen, Carol & Dick Lewis, Gineva McKinney, Kimbirly Orr, Molly & David Santisteven, Sarah Sterkel, Robert Umbreit and "The Ultimate Scholarship Group."

In other academic news, the National Football Foundation's Colorado Chapter released its annual Academic All-Colorado Team this week, with six Buffaloes earning first-team honors (minimum 3.3 GPA): Van Diest, defensive back Lucas Cooper, punter Alex Kinney, guard Tim Lynott, Jr., defensive tackle Nico Magri, and placekicker Davis Price. Nine others earned honorable mention: receiver Daniel Arias, tight end Jalen Harris, guards Chance Lytle and Colby Pursell, outside linebackers Alec Pell, Mark Perry and Carson Wells, inside linebacker Ray Robinson and cornerback K.J. Trujillo. Last week, the NFF announced the 2019 Hampshire Honor Society team, rewarding those senior student-athletes who have in excess of a 3.2 grade point average. Cooper, Harris, Kinney, Lynott and Price all were named to that squad, as Colorado was represented for the 14th straight year, the entire history of the team; CU is one of just eight FBS schools to be have been recognized all 14 years.
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AztecBuff

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Club Member
Wanted to add regarding the major upcoming things I'd see covered in this thread:
  • I'd assume there will be Academic Awards released, hopefully with a Youtube video similar to the one I showed above for the Academic honors. (These are typically announced at the annual CUSPY Awards ceremony.)
  • Re graduation, just at this point wanted to quote what the University says re the overall planned ceremony at this point (at https://www.colorado.edu/commencement2020/ , which is where the livestream will also be available.):
"
Buffs, we’re proud of you, your achievements, your adaptability and your resilience during this time. Although we wish we could celebrate in person this spring, we’re still going to celebrate together virtually.

Join us for a livestreamed commencement ceremony on May 16, 12:00 pm MDT.

And to celebrate in person, we invite you to join us on campus next spring, where we can fully celebrate our Class of 2020 with special recognition events, including the traditional procession in commencement regalia from Norlin Quad to Folsom Field.

We are Buffs together, now and always.
#ForeverBuffs

"
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Edit - Re following Buffs graduation news and celebration on social media, just wanted to quote what I wrote in last year's thread-

"
Social media- If others don't do it 1st, I'll try to post any social media that is student-athlete relevant in this thread. However, If you just want to see words from and/ or photos of happy graduates and their families, whether athletes or not- In the commencement homepage, folks are asked to hashtag #ForeverBuffs in their tweets (and I assume instagrams), so assume that will be another way to follow along with the general festivities from the general graduating student- side. (Assume there will also be a lot of #gobuffs and #skobuffs used.)

Links - https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/foreverbuffs/ , https://twitter.com/search?q=#Foreverbuffs&src=typd&vertical=default&f=tweets
"
Re Instagram, CU also has a wall set up so that any 'grams or tweets that include #ForeverBuffs can be seen at https://www.colorado.edu/commencement2020/social
 
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AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
I probably won't post all of these as they become more plentiful, but wanted to mention I noticed my 1st couple tweets related to student-athletes graduating this semester.

Note/ edit- Just saw that today was supposed to be graduation day.

1st,Soccer Coach Sanchez tweeted out congrats to 3 of his team's new grads (Camilla Shymka, Kelsey Aaknes and Tatum Barton)-

And, I saw my 1st tweet from a student-athlete themselves re their graduating. Congrats to hurdler Eriana Henderson!

 
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AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
Nice Instagram from WBB's Asst. Coach Shandrika Lee about their one grad this season Quinessa Caylao-Do.

 

AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
It's graduation (ceremony anyways) day!

CONGRATS GRADS!!!

Thanks for all the fun you've given me (and MULTITUDES of others) while playing your sports (I know backed by loads of HARD work in practice, weight rooms, etc.), and wish you (and ALL the other CU grads) all nothing but the best in your futures! (Stay safe out there.)


(I'll probably be posting A LOT of Tweets and Instagram posts today.)

 
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AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
Was wondering when they might release their annual athletic awards (The CUspy's).

Congrats and thanks to all the winners and nominees!

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/5/27/general-20th-annual-cuspys-presented-virtually.aspx

Largely just pulling out the intro info and quotes showing the winners-

"
20th Annual CUSPY's Presented Virtually

CU's Athletic Best Honored In On-line Ceremony Wednesday

BOULDER —
Several major awards were presented online Wednesday as the University of Colorado honored its best in athletics in a virtual ceremony of the 20th annual CU Sports Performers of the Year (CUSPY) Awards.

Usually over 300 student-athletes, coaches, staff and C-Club board members attend the annual year-end banquet, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it could not be business as usual. Thus the idea to present the awards online in a "Virtual CUSPY's" was born, organized by CU's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) along with BuffVision to honor athletic accomplishments for the 2019-20 athletic year.

A replay of the virtual CUSPY festivities are available to view at https://www.facebook.com/coloradoathletics and on https://www.youtube.com/buffstv.

The Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors were both shared in the same year for just the third time since their inception back in 1984-85.

Seniors Taylor Kornieck (soccer) and Mikaela Tommy (alpine skiing) were selected as co-recipients of the Female Athlete of the Year honor.
...

The Male Athlete of the Year honor was shared between Joe Klecker (cross country) and McKinley Wright IV (basketball).
...

(Dani) Jones was the unanimous selection for the Female Career Athletic Achievement Award.
...

Klecker and Steven Montez (football) shared the Male Career Athletic Achievement Award.
...

Magnus Boee of the Nordic ski team won the Male Freshman of the Year honor.
...

Jaylyn Sherrod of the basketball team claimed the Female Freshman Athlete of the Year Award.
...

SAAC members selected several award winners, including the staff member of the year, of which athletic director Rick George was selected for the third time in his seven years heading the department, and the Student Athlete Support Award, which was presented to the Facilities and Custodial Crew, also for the third time.
...

In addition, SAAC members nominate and then select by vote on the CU's Sports' "Moment of the Year." From a list of solid choices, they selected they reverted back to last June but after the 2018-19 CUSPY's to select Dani Jones winning the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
...

The SAAC Distinguished Service Award, presented to senior members who contributed significantly to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during their CU careers, was awarded to five student-athletes: Quinessa Caylao-Do (women's basketball), Megan McGrew (alpine skiing), Andrew Potyk (Nordic skiing), Paxton Smith (cross country and track) and Rachel Whipple (volleyball).
...

The Spencer Nelson Buffalo Spirit Award, formerly the Athlete's Choice Award and renamed for the CU skier who died in a tragic hiking accident in August 2010, was presented to all spring sport athletes who had their seasons cut short due to the pandemic; those number well over 100 between men's and women's golf, lacrosse, tennis and men's and women's outdoor track, and in reality, football which never had a single spring practice under new head coach Karl Dorrell (soccer and volleyball spring practices and exhibitions were cancelled as well).
...

The Ceal Barry Leadership Awards are given to those student-athletes who most effectively inspire their team, the CU campus and the community in general through their exemplary commitment, their composure in the way they represent themselves and in the integrity of their actions. The recipients were Smith, Evan Battey (men's basketball), Jaylon Jackson and Davion Taylor (football), Aubrey Knight (women's basketball) and Valerie Welch (track and field).

The Sports Performance Awards for strength and conditioning accomplishments were presented to sophomores Teddy Takki (alpine skiing) and Kai Volcy (women's basketball).
...
"
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The full (virtual) awards show-
 

AztecBuff

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Club Member
Congrats to soccer goalie Jalen (JJ) Tompkins and Joe Klecker for being the Buffs named Hanson Award winners this year!
(One female and male are awarded for each of the 12 Pac 12 schools.)


Pac 12 release - https://pac-12.com/article/2020/06/08/pac-12-names-2019-20-tom-hansen-conference-medal-winners

"
SAN FRANCISCO — The 2019-20 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal recipients were announced today. A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution’s outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Conference medal winners have been named every year since the 1960-61 academic year. In 2009, the Pac 12 renamed the award the Tom Hansen Conference Medal in honor of Hansen, who retired at the end of June 2009 after serving for 26 years as Commissioner of the Pac-10.
...
"
 

AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
Congrats to Sage Hurta, Dani Jones, and Joe Klecker!
(Also, nice news in the article for this big Buff fan as it says Ms. Hurta "... will be a senior on the track and field team for the 2021 season.", and I wasn't 100% sure whether or not she was planning on utilizing her available redshirt seasons for indoor and outdoor track. (She is out of cross country eligibility.))


Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/6/25/...named-to-academic-all-america-first-team.aspx

The full article -

"
BOULDER – After another successful year in the classroom and on the track and cross country course, the University of Colorado placed three, Sage Hurta, Dani Jones and Joe Klecker, on the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team.

This is the second Academic All-America honor for Hurta as she was selected to the second team in 2019. Jones and Klecker are making their first appearances on the team.

The three honorees are the most CU has had in one season. Prior to this, the most the Buffs had recorded in one year was two, which they did twice. In 2018 Ben Saarel was named to the first team, while Kaitlyn Benner was tabbed to the third team. The following season Benner was elevated to the second team and was joined by Hurta.

Hurta completed her eligibility in cross country this past fall where she was named the Pac-12 Women's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, but will be a senior on the track and field team for the 2021 season. She became just the second female at CU to earn All-American honors in cross country all four seasons, following in the footsteps of Olympian Shalaya Kipp. The CU outdoor 800-meter record holder (2:00.99), Hurta is pursuing a degree in chemical and biological engineering. She has recorded a 3.97-grade point average over the last four years.

Jones graduated in May. She earned a pair of degrees in psychology as well as speech, language and hearing sciences while recording a 3.33 GPA. A four-time national champion, Jones earned three All-America honors following this past indoor season. She led the NCAA in the mile in 2020 and had the third-best time in the 5k. She broke a 42-year-old CU indoor 800-meter record (2:04.38), which was the fifth-best time nationally this season. Finally, she was part of CU's distance medley relay team that ranked sixth in the NCAA.

Klecker also graduated in May with a degree in Biochemistry and a 3.66 GPA. In his final cross country season, he led CU to a team Pac-12 Championships while earning the individual crown. At the NCAA Championship, he raced to a runner-up finish and helped CU placed third as a team. During the indoor track season, he reset his school record in the 5k (13:34.10) and broke the state of Colorado soil record in the mile (4:01.00). Once converted, that time (3:55.13) led the NCAA. He also ranked sixth this season in the 5k and was seventh in the 3k.


"
 

AztecBuff

Club Member
Club Member
Congrats to golfers Ms's. Lau and Webster!


Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/6/29/womens-golf-lau-webster-named-wgca-all-american-scholars.aspx

"
BOULDER — Two University of Colorado women's golfers have been Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholars for the 2019-20 season.

Junior Alisha Lau and sophomore Kelsey Webster were named to the prestigious list on Monday, becoming the 15th and 16th student-athletes in the program's history to earn the distinction. Both are first-time recipients of the award.

To be eligible for WGCA Golf All-American Scholar status, an individual must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and must have played in 50 percent of the college's regularly scheduled competitive rounds during the season (not including postseason, which obviously didn't come into play this year with the pandemic).

"I'm very proud of both Alisha and Kelsey," CU head coach Anne Kelly said. "Maintaining a 3.5-plus GPA is very difficult for any student, but earning that GPA in addition to playing competitive golf is a quite an accomplishment. Both of these team members have worked hard for this honor and are deserving of the award."

Lau is a Strategic Communication major with an emphasis in Media Studies and finished with the second-best stroke average on the team this past season (73.62); she led the team with five top 20 finishes. Webster is a Psychology major and is minoring is Sociology; she owned a 77.58 stroke norm for 12 rounds.

Senior Elle Otten made the team for the 2018-19 season, but fell just short of the minimum number of rounds to qualify for a repeat honor.
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