K-State Celebrates Powercat Choice Awards

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State celebrated another outstanding athletics year on Monday night, as student-athletes from each of the school's 16 varsity sports converged on Bramlage Coliseum for the inaugural Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards.

The ceremony, which replaced the Mark A. Chapman Recognition Ceremony for Student-Athletes, was reconfigured to resemble the ESPY Awards and expanded to include all the team and individual highlights from the past year both on the field and in the classroom.  All the performance-related awards were voted on by members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  The voting was based on the accomplishments of sporting teams from Spring 2009 to Winter 2010.

"We would like to thank all the members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Powercat Choice Awards Steering Committee and department staff for all their hard work in making the show possible," said Kristin Waller, director of Life Skills programs.  "It's a great way to end the semester to honor the hard work of all 450 of our student-athletes."    

The 2009-10 men's basketball team captured six awards during the evening, including Men's Team of the Year, Show-Stopping Moment of the Year (win over Xavier), Coach of the Year (Frank Martin), Male Athlete of the Year (Jacob Pullen), Best Male Athlete in a Supporting Role (Jamar Samuels) and Most Inspirational Award (Chris Merriewether).  The squad won a school-record 29 games, including 11 in Big 12 play, and advanced to their first Elite Eight in more than 20 seasons.

The 2008-09 women's rowing team earned honors as the top women's squad after finishing second at the Big 12 Championships.  The 1st Varsity Eight also won the most heavily weighted race at the championship, defeating Texas by nearly 10 seconds. 

All-American Loren Groves of the track and field team was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year, while teammate Tiara Walpool was named the Best Female Athlete in a Supporting Role.  Groves, a NCAA Woman of the Year finalist, won the NCAA Midwest Regional title in the hammer throw and finished seventh in the event at the 2009 NCAA Championship.  Walpool competed in a number of events for the Wildcats, including a Top 25 finish in the triple jump at the 2009 NCAA Championship.   

In addition, Nick Martini (baseball) and Brittany Chambers (women's basketball) were named the male and female Newcomers of the Year.  Martini, who set K-State freshman records for runs scored (54) and hits (78), was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2009.  Chambers was the only freshman in the Big 12 to record 350 points, 180 rebounds and 80 assists in 2009-10.  She also was named to the Waco Tribune All-Big 12 Freshman Team. 

Julianne Chisholm (women's volleyball) won the Purple Pride Award, which is given to the student-athlete who demonstrates the most school spirit.  

Several individuals were honored for their academic excellence during the evening, highlighted by Jeron Mastrud (football) and Beverly Ramos (women's cross country) earning the Kansas State Male and Female Scholar-Athlete Awards.  The honor recognizes the outstanding senior male and female student-athletes for the 2009-10 season.

Brock Unruh (football) and Morgan Campbell (women's equestrian) were this year's recipients of the Bob and Lila Snell Award of Excellence and Effort, recognizing the outstanding male and female student-athletes who improved their academic standing through sustained effort and commitment to learning.

Luis Colon (men's basketball) was honored with the Gina Sylvester Memorial Award.  The award recognizes an arts and sciences student who has progressed toward graduation and used the advising system to overcome challenges.

Victor Ojeleye (men's basketball) was the recipient of the Veryl and Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award.  The award recognizes a student-athlete who is involved in student organizations and multicultural affairs, demonstrates leadership on a team and on campus, and is active in community service.

Abbi Sunner (women's golf) was awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes a senior letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade-point average in undergraduate work.  She has a 4.0 GPA in kinesiology.

The athletics department, which has led the Big 12 Conference in overall graduation rate in each of the past three seasons, had another outstanding academic year in 2009-10.  Five players were named Academic All-Americans, including first team honors by Scott Sellers, while four others were selected to the Academic All-District VII team.  In all, 59 student-athletes were named to Academic All-Big 12 squads, while a combined 419 student-athletes were named to the Spring 2009 and Fall 2010 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll.

2009-10 Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards

Show-Stopping Moment of the Year
Men's Basketball's Sweet 16 win over Xavier in two overtimes

Men's Team of the Year
2009-10 Men's Basketball

Women's Team of the Year
2009 Women's Rowing

Coach of the Year
Frank Martin (men's basketball)

Male Athlete of the Year
Jacob Pullen (men's basketball)

Female Athlete of the Year
Loren Groves (women's track and field)

Best Male Athlete in Supporting Role
Jamar Samuels (men's basketball)

Best Female Athlete in Supporting Role
Tiara Walpool (women's track and field)

Male Newcomer of the Year
Nick Martini (baseball)

Female Newcomer of the Year
Brittany Chambers (women's basketball)

Most Inspirational Award
Chris Merriewether (men's basketball)

Purple Pride Award
JuliAnne Chisholm (women's volleyball)

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Jeron Mastrud (football)

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
Beverly Ramos (women's cross country)

Bob and Lila Snell Academic Award For Excellence and Effort
Morgan Campbell (women's equestrian)
Brock Unruh (football)

Veryl and Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award
Victor Ojeleye (men's basketball)

Gina Sylvester Memorial Award
Luis Colon (men's basketball)

Scholastic Achievement Award
Abbi Sunner (women's golf)

Chick-Fil-A Community of Champions
Fall - Kylie Hanson (women's rowing)
Winter - Chris Merriewether (men's basketball)
Spring - Abbi Sunner (women's golf)

Academic All-Americans
JuliAnne Chisholm (women's volleyball)
Loren Groves (women's track and field)
Jeron Mastrud (football)
Scott Sellers (men's track and field)
Ashley Sweat (women's basketball)

Academic All-District VII
Kelsey Chipman (women's volleyball)
Jeffrey Fitzgerald (football)
Tysyn Hartman (football)
Kari Kincaid (women's basketball)