SE: Top 10 Female Athletes of 2011

Dec. 27, 2011

By Mark Janssen
K-State Sports Extra

The 2011 calendar year was truly remarkable for the women’s team sports of Kansas State University.

Just for fun, “Sports Extra” came up with a Top 10 (really 11) individual standouts from those teams. (We encourage you to make a list of your own.)

Okay, let’s roll with this year’s – 2011 – Most Outstanding Female Athletes.

10) Stephanie Patterson AND Alecia Zimbelman of the K-State equestrian team.
Patterson earned team Hunter Seat MVP honors and Hunter Seat Most Outstanding Junior honors for the Wildcats. Patterson won three match-MVP awards, plus notched a total of eight wins, which included one over Baylor at the Big 12 Championships.

Zimbelman concluded her senior equestrian season as the Western squad MVP and Western Squad Most Outstanding Senior. A member of the Academic All-Big 12 first team, Zimbelman helped the Wildcats to a Reserve National Championship with two wins at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.

9) Traci Smiley was named to the All-Central Region Second Rowing team in 2011. She’s only the fifth Wildcat to be recognized with such an honor. Smiley helped K-State to a 1st Varsity 8 third-place finish at the Big 12 Championships and sixth-place finish at the Conference USA Rowing Championships.

8) Jalana Childs was one of the most improved players in the Big 12 Conference and was recognized as a second team all-league performer.  The forward from Orlando, Fla., averaged 13.6 points, which ranked second on the team and 18th in the league in the category. In league action, she notched an average of 15.7 points per game to rank 12th in the league and helped lead the team to a tie for third in the league standings and earn K-State a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

7) Nina Kokot concluded her K-State career with a sixth-place finish and All-American in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at a wind-aided distance of 21-2.75. Kokot did have a legal jump of 20-11.25, which gives her the school record outdoors and indoors. Kokot was also ninth at the NCAA Indoor meet. In the classroom, Kokot was named K-State’s female scholar-athlete of the year and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team with a 3.919 GPA and degree in kinesiology.

6) Lilla Porubek was pivotal in leading K-State into the NCAA Volleyball Tournament and to a fourth-place standing in the Big 12 standings. She ranked seventh in the Big 12 in kills per set with 3.39. She stepped up for the Wildcats while Kaitlynn Pelger was limited with an injury for a few matches, and helped carry the team to victories over Texas A&M and No. 23 Oklahoma. Against the Sooners, the honorable mention all-Big 12 honoree had her first career double-double playing all six rotations for the first time and tallied 14 digs to go with 23 kills.

5) Brittany Chambers became the first K-State sophomore to earn All-Big 12 first team honors since the 2002-03 season and is the eighth player in school history to be named to the All-Big 12 first team. Chambers was one of two players in the Big 12 to register 450+ points, 150+ rebounds and 80+ assists this season, as she averaged over 16 points per game. Chambers’ high was 35 points against Texas A&M, a team that eventually won the NCAA Tournament. Chambers also earned a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District VII third team citation and Academic All-Big 12 first team honors.

4) Martina Tresch enjoyed a calendar year where she placed in three NCAA meets. She finished her calendar year by placing 47th in the NCAA cross country championships and eighth in the Big 12 meet helping her to a position on the Midwest All-Region Team. Earlier in the year, Tresch was third in the Big 12 steeplechase and 10th at the NCAA meet. She did set a Switzerland national record at the European Under-23 Championships, and in indoor competition, she was fifth in the 3000-meters at the Big 12 Championships and 10th at NCAAs.

3) Kaitlynn Pelger finished her sophomore season as only the third Wildcat volleyball player in history to be honorable mention All-American with 500 kills to tie for fifth in school history. Pelger owned a .309 hitting percentage in helping the Wildcats to the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the program’s history. The first-team All-Big 12 talent had 20 or more kills in 11 matches to rank second for a single season at K-State. For the second straight year Pelger also tallied a triple-triple season reaching the century mark in three statistical categories.

2) Petra Niedermayerova ended her tennis season with a 24-10 record, which included a 9-2 mark at No. 1 singles in the Big 12 giving her both Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. She became only the second player in history to win both honors in the same year. The Czech Republic native also earned the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region Rookie of the Year. Niedermayerova owned the second-most wins by a freshman in school history and was tied for fourth in school history for overall wins in a season. She was also recognized as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete with a perfect 4.0 in the classroom.

1) Ryann Krais put her stamp on the track and field world in 2011 by running, jumping and throwing her way to become the best overall female athlete in the nation. Krais won the NCAA heptathlon competition with a personal record score of 5,961, and … AND … placed third in the grueling 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for an overall performance coach Cliff Rovelto called “truly remarkable.” The junior transfer from UCLA also placed sixth in the NCAA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon with a personal best score of 4,115. Krais is the only K-State female athlete to earn three All-American certificates in the 2011 calendar year.

To all, “Sports Extra” salutes you, and thanks you, for a remarkable year.

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