Student-Athletes Host Annual 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 for the seventh 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 2015 to Winter 2016.

Top team honors on the night went to the 2015 men’s and women’s track and field squads. The men’s track and field team captured a third-place finish at the 2016 Big 12 Indoor Championships, while the women’s track and field squad finished third at this year’s Big 12 Indoor Championships and was ranked among the nation’s Top 10 for a majority of the season and finished eighth at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships.

The men’s basketball team’s home win over No. 1 Oklahoma on Feb. 6, 2016, captured the Showstopping Moment of the Year honor, while head coach Jeff Mittie of the women’s basketball team won Coach of the Year honors from the student-athletes.

Women’s tennis garnered 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.

Cody Whitehair (football) took Male Athlete of the Year honors after having a highly decorated senior season which included All-Big 12 First Team honors from the league’s coaches and an Academic All-Big 12 First Team citation.

Akela Jones of track and field won Female Athlete of the Year for the second straight year after winning the NCAA Indoor Championship in the high jump and was named the USTFCCCA/Big 12 Indoor Performer of the year for the second consecutive year.

Glenn Gronkowski, a 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team recipient was crowned Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Dani Winters of women’s track and field, who is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, a 2015 USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree and the 2016 NCAA Indoor Champion in the shot put, took home top female scholar honors. Rhizlane Siba (track and field) was named Best Female Athlete in a Supporting Role, while Shane Conlon (baseball) took honors as the Top Male Athlete in a Supporting Role.

In addition, Dean Wade (men’s basketball) and Megan Deines (women’s basketball) were named the male and female Newcomers of the Year.

The recipient of the Most Inspirational Award was DJ Johnson of the men’s basketball team, while Morgan Burns of the football team earned the Purple Pride Award, which is given to the student-athlete who demonstrates the most school spirit.  

Gretchen Koenen (equestrian) and Ifeanyi Otuonye (track and field) 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.

Logan Smith (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.

William Ash (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. Clayton Dalrymple (baseball) and Kali Retzler (equestrian) were also honored with the Outstanding Service to the Community awards.

One student-athlete was awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes a senior letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade-point average in undergraduate work, as Stanton Weber (football) was honored.

K-State has had an outstanding start to the 2015-16 academic year. The Wildcats had 255 student-athletes on the Fall 2015 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, which is the 16th consecutive semester K-State has placed 200 or more student-athletes on the honor roll. K-State saw 24 student-athletes graduate in December of 2015. The fall sports were recognized with the following honors: 32 Academic All-Big 12 recipients, Kersten Kober was named the Big 12 Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Kober, Katie Brand (volleyball), Jack Cantele (football) and Glenn Gronkowski (football) were named CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 selections in their respective sports.

2015-16 Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards

Athletic Award Winners

Male Newcomer of the Year – Dean Wade, men’s basketball
Female Newcomer of the Year – Megan Deines, women’s basketball
Best Supporting Male Athlete of the Year – Shane Conlon, baseball
Best Supporting Female Athlete of the Year – Rhizlane Siba, track and field
Purple Pride Award – Morgan Burns, football
Most Inspirational Award – DJ Johnson, men’s basketball
Outstanding Service to the Community – Clayton Dalrymple, baseball
Outstanding Service to the Community – Kali Retzler, equestrian
Men's Team of the Year – Track and Field
Women's Team of the Year – Track and Field
Coach of the Year – Jeff Mittie, women’s basketball
Showstopping Moment of the Year – Men’s Basketball beats No. 1 Oklahoma
Female Athlete of the Year – Akela Jones, track and field
Male Athlete of the Year – Cody Whitehair, football
Academic Award Winners
Scholastic Achievement Award – Stanton Weber, football
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort – Gretchen Koenen, equestrian
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort – Ifeanyi Otuonye, track and field
Gina Sylvester Memorial Award – Logan Smith, track and field
Veryl & Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award – William Ash, football
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year – Glenn Gronkowski, football
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year – Dani Winters, track and field
Wildcat Cup Trophy Winner
Women’s Tennis