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Several Claim Top Awards At 2021-22 CUSPY's


News Junkie
General Athletics

Link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2022/4/26/general-several-claim-top-awards-at-2021-22-cuspy-s.aspx

BOULDER — Several major awards were presented Monday night as the University of Colorado honored its best in athletics at the 22nd annual CU Sports Performers of the Year (CUSPY) Awards.

Over 300 student-athletes, coaches, staff and C-Club board members attended the annual year-end banquet for the first time in three years, as the last two events were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration, as always, was organized by CU's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 2021-22 athletic year.

The Female Athlete of the Year was shared by two NCAA individual champions, Micaela DeGenero (indoor track) and Magdalena Luczak (alpine skiing).

DeGenero earned All-American honors in most impression fashion, winning the NCAA Indoor Mile in a time of 4:33.92.
Hanging near the back of the pack in the 10-woman race, with 420 meters to go she put on the burners and never looked back and eventually built a 10-meter lead; she ran the final 400 in an impressive 61 seconds. She also posted top 10 times at CU in both the indoor 800 and mile.

Luczak was the NCAA giant slalom champion, winning the race despite starting in the 29th position. In earning first-team All-American honors, she became the seventh CU woman, and second in a row, to capture the national GS title. She posted the fastest times in both runs and won by one and one-fourth seconds, considered a large margin. She also competed for her native Poland in the '22 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Two others were finalists, Mya Hollingshed (basketball) and Abby Nichols (cross country & track).

There was also a tie for the Male Athlete of the Year Award between Eduardo Herrera (cross country and track) and Filip Forejtek (alpine skiing).

Herrera has enjoyed quite a senior year to date, setting school records for the mile and Indoor 3,000-meter run, earning first-team All-American honors in both events. He was named the Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Week after running the top time in the 1,500 in the NCAA West region. He finished fifth in the indoor 3,000 and 24th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships for a pair of All-America finishes. He was also third in the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships and is currently having a stellar outdoor season.

Forejtek was the individual champion in the NCAA Giant Slalom, earning first-team All-America honors, and also earned second-team recognition with a 10th place showing in the slalom. He captured the GS by nearly three-fourths of a second as he was second after the first run and took over the lead with the fastest the second time down. He was voted the national men's alpine skier of the year as well as the giant slalom MVP in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association.

The two other finalists were Jabari Walker (basketball) and Carson Wells (football).

Evan Battey was the unanimous choice for Male Career Athletic Achievement Awards. One of the most popular student-athletes in school history – not only by the fans but his peers – he overcame a stroke suffered in his freshman year to rebound and play in a school records 88 wins. He became the 12th Buffalo to score at least 1,300 points with 600 rebounds in a career (1,307 and 667, respectively), and finished in the school's top 20 in games played and starter, minutes, points and rebounds. He finished his career shooting 50.2 percent from the field (465-927) and 74.8 percent from the line (324-933). He was a 2021-22 Senior CLASS All-American and a second-team All-Pac-12 performer.

The other finalists included Eduardo Herrera (cross country and track), Nate Landman (football) and Joey Young (skiing).

Hollingshed and Sadie Grozier (lacrosse) were co-recipients of the Female Career Athletic Achievement Award.

Grozier, a two-time All-Pac-12 team performer likely to be selected a third time this spring, recently became the fourth player in school history to score 150 career goals. A 2021 All-Region second-team selection, she has been honored three times as the Pac-12's offensive player of the week. She is in the top five in 14 different all-time CU career rankings, including fourth in points (182) and has 23 games with three or more goals

Hollingshed, recently selected eighth overall by Las Vegas in the 2022 WNBA Draft, returned for a fifth-year at CU with designs on leading the Buffs into the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years. Mission accomplished, as CU posted a 22-9 record. She finished sixth on CU's all-time scoring (1,681), rebounding (911) and double-double (25) lists in setting a school record with 141 games played. She also was ninth in three-point field goals made (164) and was a two-time All-Pac-12 team member and a two-time honorable mention All-American.

The two other finalists for the honor were Micaela DeGenero (indoor track) and Abby Nichols (cross country).

Justin Biwer of the golf team won the Male Freshman of the Year honor. Already owning school records for a freshman with 18 subpar rounds and six subpar tournaments, his 70.59 stroke average is nearly two strokes better than the school record for a frosh (72.51 by Jeremy Paul in 2013-14). He is flirting with several other marks and is bidding to become the first freshman since Paul and just the sixth overall to lead the team in stroke average. He's also sixth in the Pac-12, the first freshman in the conference and leads his rookie peers in several other categories.

Other finalists were Jacob Dilling (alpine skiing), Nikko Reed (football) and K.J. Simpson (basketball).

Luczak also shared the Female Freshman Athlete of the Year Award with cross country's Hanna Miniutti. Selected as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for cross country, she finished 12th in the conference meet. Her top finish was 10th in Wyoming's Cowboy Jamboree and she also participated in the NCAA Championships where CU finished fourth as a team (85th overall, but was Colorado's fifth and final scorer to keep fifth place Notre Dame at bay).

The other finalists were Kindyll Wetta (basketball) and Hanna Abrahamsson (Nordic skiing).

SAAC members selected several award winners, including the staff member of the year which was awarded to Katherine Kubancik, the assistant director of CU's leadership and career development office, and the Student Athlete Support Award, which was presented to the performance nutrition department staff.

Other nominees were Kimbirly Orr (executive director, Alumni C Club), Adam Ringler (Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning/Head of Sport Science Research), Skylar Rubalcaba (assistant strength and conditioning coach), Taka Sakamoto (assistant athletic trainer for volleyball and women's golf) and the student workers at training table. The other three support award finalists were the staffs for leadership and career development, custodial, Herbst Academic Center and athletic training.

In addition, nominations are submitted by many for CU's Sports' "Moment of the Year." From a list of solid choices, they were narrowed down to five, with the winner selected during the event by votes from those in attendance. The five finalists were the men's and women's sweep of the cross country championships; the debut of Ralphie VI, CU's live buffalo mascot; DeGenero's pulling away from the pack to win the NCAA Indoor Mile; the Forejtek and Luczak sweep of the NCAA giant slalom titles; and the men's basketball team's 79-63 win over No. 2 Arizona. And the winner was … Ralphie VI's inaugural run against Northern Colorado last Sept. 3.

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 18 student-athletes: Evan Battey (men's basketball); Devon Bayer and Molly Galloway (lacrosse); Max Bervy, Kaitlyn Harsch and Ryan Jackson (skiing); Malak Bouraeda and Alisha Lau (women's golf); Clayton Castro, Jaida Drame and Dominque Williams (track and field); Taylor deProsse (volleyball); Megan Forster (tennis); Aubrey Knight (women's basketball); Bailey Nock, Paxton Smith and Josh Torres (cross country & track) and Hannah Sharts (soccer).

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 Maura Singer (women's basketball), who missed two full seasons after suffering knee injuries and finally suited up this year; she appeared in seven games before suffering another knee injury.

The other finalists were Bayer, Battey, Cleo Braun (skiing), Knight and Smith.

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 Bervy, Galloway, Joshka Gustav (football), Issy Simpson (women's golf), Smith and Williams.

The Sports Performance Awards for strength and conditioning accomplishments (or "lifters of the year") were presented to Garrett Nelson (men's track and field) and Hailey Stodden (women's soccer).

Two newly created honors were the Championing Change awards, which were awarded to both a staff member Alexis Williams (senior associate athletic director/external operations) and a student-athlete, Williams.

The selection committee annually leaves open the possibility that all of the above awards could be augmented once the spring sport seasons are complete in fairness to those sports (golf, lacrosse, outdoor track) that still have important portions of their seasons and/or NCAA events still ahead of them (lacrosse and tennis are done; both golf squads have individuals in NCAA regionals and the track teams have Pac-12's and NCAA's remaining). For example, Herrera is having an outstanding outdoor season to date and could receive additional consideration for the career honor.

Originally created in 2001, the annual event remains one of the most popular among the athletes, as they have tailored the function to be the final social gathering solely amongst themselves for the last time before finals and summer vacation, if not for a longer period of time for those graduating. It is believed to be one of the only events in the country almost entirely organized by the student-athletes, and certainly was among, if not, the first.
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Club Member
Club Member
Congrats to all those recognized, and hope all there had a great time!

Video of full awards ceremony -