SAAC Hosts Annual Powercat Choice Awards

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

The ceremony resembles the ESPY Awards and includes all 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 2013 to Winter 2014.

This year’s event featured a special recognition as Wildcat student-athletes honored the late Chapman, the namesake for the annual event, who passed away last month. A KSU Foundation President’s Club member and 2012 Alumni Fellow, Chapman was generous in his support of many causes at Kansas State University, including K-State Athletics. He provided funding for the Coaches’ Workroom in the new Basketball Training Facility in addition to being the principle benefactor for these awards.

Top team honors on the night went to the 2013 baseball team and women’s track and field squad. The baseball team won the school’s first conference title in 80 years, hosted and won the NCAA Manhattan Regional and was one win away from the College World Series after falling to Oregon State in the third and decisive game of the Corvalis Super Regional. The track and field squad advanced two student-athletes to the NCAA Championships while also seeing two performers win Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and an individual conference title.

Baseball’s Big 12 Championship-clinching win at home over Oklahoma won Showstopping Moment of the Year honors, while head coach Brad Hill, the 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year, won Coach of the Year honors from the student-athletes.

Equestrian captured the Wildcat Cup on the night for its excellence in the five core areas of student-athlete well-being: academics, athletics, career, personal and service. The win was the second straight for the equestrian team.

Tyler Lockett (football) took Male Athlete of the Year honors following a season that saw him earn All-America, All-Big 12 and Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year honors.

Petra Niedermayerova of women’s tennis won both Female Athlete of the Year and Female Scholar Athlete of the Year honors after a remarkable career. Niedermayerova leaves K-State as the all-time winningest player in school history in both singles and doubles and was a four-time All-Big 12 pick. In the classroom she was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 pick and accumulated a perfect 4.0 GPA in each of the last two seasons.

Track and field’s Kyle Wait was crowned Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. A senior Big 12 Champion in the pole vault, Wait has maintained a 3.7 GPA in agriculture.

Kersten Kober (volleyball) was named Best Female Athlete in a Supporting Role, while D.J. Johnson (men’s basketball) took honors as the Top Male Athlete in a Supporting Role.

In addition, Marcus Foster (men’s basketball) and Sara Savatovic (women’s track and field) were named the male and female Newcomers of the Year.

The recipient of the Most Inspirational Award was Jessica Kuhlman of the women’s rowing team, while Ryan Mueller of the football team earned the Purple Pride Award, which is given to the student-athlete who demonstrates the most school spirit.  

Laura Lefnitzegger (equestrian) and Nino Williams (men’s basketball) 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.

Carlos Rodriguez (track and field) 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.

Blake Slaughter (football) 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.

Three student-athletes were awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes a senior letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade-point average in undergraduate work, as Courtney Cook, Abigail Weaver and Daniel Wood all maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA.

The athletics department has had another outstanding academic year in 2013-14. A total of eight student-athletes were Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winners, which were the second most among all Big 12 schools, while 260 were named to the Fall 2013 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the most since 2008.

2013-14 Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards

Athletic Award Winners
Male Newcomer of the Year – Marcus Foster, men’s basketball
Female Newcomer of the Year – Sara Savatovic, women's track & field
Best Supporting Male Athlete of the Year – D.J. Johnson, men's basketball
Best Supporting Female Athlete of the Year – Kersten Kober, volleyball
Purple Pride Award – Ryan Mueller, football
Most Inspirational Award – Jessica Kuhlman, rowing
Men's Team of the Year - Baseball
Women's Team of the Year – Women’s Track and Field
Coach of the Year – Brad Hill, baseball
Showstopping Moment of the Year – Baseball’s Big 12-clinching win over OU
Female Athlete of the Year – Petra Niedermayerova, women’s tennis
Male Athlete of the Year – Tyler Lockett, football
Academic Award Winners
Scholastic Achievement Award – Courtney Cook (volleyball); Abigail Weaver (rowing); Daniel Wood (men’s golf)
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort – Nino Williams
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort – Laura Lefnitzegger
Gina Sylvester Memorial Award – Carlos Rodriguez
Veryl & Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award – Blake Slaughter
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year – Kyle Wait
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year – Petra Niedermayerova
Senior SAAC Recognition
Blair DeBord
Chantay Caron
Kyle Hanson
Amelia Crites
Jacquelyn Bogstad
Tre Walker
David Klaudt
Tyler Norris
Gianna Misenhelter
Aly Bronder
Petra Niedermayerova
Ryan Harshberger
Tristan McCarty
Dr. Gerald Lage Award
Courtney Cook
Beth DeMars
Meggie Murray
Zach Nemecheck
Petra Niedermayerova
Tyler Norris
Jennifer Smisek
Abigail Weaver

Wildcat Cup Trophy Winner