Annual recognition award winners for 2011-12 to be honored

Former CSU volleyball player Katelyn Steffan has added the Virginia K. Frank award to her resume.

Former CSU volleyball player Katelyn Steffan has added the Virginia K. Frank award to her resume.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State University Department of Athletics will honor six student-athletes this fall for their outstanding contributions in competition and in the classroom during the 2011-12 season. The six 2011-12 Student-Athlete Award winners will be publically recognized at the annual Athletics Hall of Fame banquet, which will take place Oct. 26 at the Lory Student Center Theatre.

CSU’s six award-winners for this past season include three current student-athletes and three alums. The six awards are the Nye Trophy (outstanding male athlete, Wes Eikmeier); Virginia K. Frank Award (outstanding female athlete, Katelyn Steffan); Merrill-Gheen Award (male scholar-athlete, Jesse Carr); Mencimer Memorial Award (female scholar-athlete, Nicole Peters); Thurman “Fum” McGraw Award (Chris Nwoke) and the Keli McGregor Award (Greg Myers).

The Hall of Fame banquet, which includes recognition for the six individuals listed above in addition to the induction ceremony for the Class of 2012, will be held Friday, Oct. 26 at the Lory Student Center Theatre.  Admission is $50 for Ram Alumni Athlete Association (RAAA) members and $55 for non-members. Registration will begin in early September.  Tables accommodating 10 guests can also be purchased for $500.  Those interested in attending are encouraged to contact CSU Events (877/498-7787) for more information.

ABOUT THE AWARDS AND RECIPIENTS
Nye Trophy – Wes Eikmeier (Men’s Basketball)
The Nye Trophy was established in 1929 and is presented annually to the school's most outstanding male athlete. Some previous winners include Andy Ogide, Gartrell Johnson, Jason Smith, Bradlee Van Pelt, Casey Malone, Greg Myers, “Fum” McGraw and Glen Morris. Nominations come from the head coaches and the media relations staff; recipients are voted on by the head coaches and senior leadership team.

Wes Eikmeier was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Nye Trophy after leading the CSU men’s basketball team back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine seasons.  Eikmeier, then a junior on the squad, ranked as the Rams’ top scorer, pouring in 15.5 points per game.  He earned a firstÂ?]team allÂ?]Mountain West, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) all-district accolades, and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) allÂ?]district second team honors.  Eikmeier led the team in scoring in 16 of 32 games, and tallied 26 doubleÂ?]digit scoring games and nine games of 20 or more points.

Virginia K. Frank Award - Katelyn Steffan (Volleyball)
The Virginia K. Frank Award was established in 1976 and is presented annually to the school’s most outstanding female athlete. Some previous winners include Amy Van Dyken, Becky Hammon, Mekana Barnes, Janay DeLoach and Loree Smith. Nominations come from the head coaches and the media relations staff; recipients are voted on by the head coaches and senior leadership team.

As the lone senior on the 2011 volleyball squad, Katelyn Steffan switched to the left side and completely transformed her game, averaging 3.71 kills, 4.47 points and 0.94 blocks per set. The figures ranked first, second and 10th, respectively, in the Mountain West. Her performance led to CSU’s third consecutive Mountain West title and the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Rams finished the year with a record of 24-6 and ranked No. 25 in the nation. Steffan was named the Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP. Additionally, she was a 2011 AVCA All-American. After the conclusion of the season, she was also tabbed as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame’s College Female Athlete of the Year and was honored at a banquet alongside former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, among others.

Merrill-Gheen Award – Jesse Carr (Men’s Basketball)
The Merrill-Gheen Award was established in 1964 and is presented annually to the school's most outstanding male scholar-athlete. The award is based on academic excellence and athletic achievement.  Some previous winners include Jeff Horinek, Casey Malone, Greg Myers, Steve Fairchild and Jack Upton. The award is voted on by the senior leadership team upon recommendations by the Athletic Academic Services staff.

Jesse Carr was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Merrill-Gheen Award, for his efforts on the hardwood and in the classroom.  A key contributor for Colorado State’s men’s basketball team, Carr played in all 32 games for the Rams in 2011-12, making five starts, and averaging 7.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, while dishing out a team-leading 86 assists and shooting better than 43 percent from beyond the arc.  Carr also excels in the classroom where he has maintained a 3.722 cumulative grade-point average as a Business Administration major.

Mencimer Memorial Award – Nicole Peters (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field)
The Mencimer Memorial Award was established in 1976 and is presented annually to the most outstanding female scholar-athlete. The award is based on academic excellence and athletic achievement. Some previous winners include April Thomas, Liz Toman, Shelly Greathouse (Borrman) and Katherine Whitney. The award is voted on by the senior leadership team upon recommendations by the Athletic Academic Services staff.

Nicole Peters graduated from Colorado State University with an impressive 3.842 grade-point average, earning her degree in Natural Resources Management, while making a name for herself as one of the program’s most successful runners. Peters earned second-team All-America accolades for her 12th place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 NCAA championships in June, capping her spectacular career at CSU. Earlier in the year she was awarded all-region honors for her 15th place finish in the NCAA Mountain Regional. Peters placed first at the Wyoming Invitational and was the top finisher among CSU runners in four out of six races during the 2011 cross country campaign. She received three all-conference awards during the 2011-12 season, capturing the conference championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, and a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the MW indoor and outdoor championships. The Houston, Texas, native set school records in the indoor 3,000-meter run at 9:27.18; and the outdoor 5,000-meter run at 16.12.02, breaking the previous record by more than eight seconds. She was also named to the USTFCCCA all-academic team, one of only 29 female athletes in Division I track and field to receive the honor.

“Fum” McGraw Award – Chris Nwoke (Football)
The “Fum” McGraw Award was established in 2002 following McGraw’s death and is presented annually to the CSU student-athlete who best exemplifies academic and athletic excellence, character, leadership, service, and Ram pride. Other winners have included Jeff Horinek, Jason Smith, Loree Smith, Angela Knopf and David Anderson. The award is selected by the senior leadership team upon recommendations from head coaches, senior staff and academic services.

CSU running back Chris Nwoke is the 2012 recipient of the award.  An academic all-MW performer, Nwoke rushed for 1,130 yards, including a pair of 200Â?]yard rushing games against – against Air Force (269) and San Diego State (232) – during his sophomore campaign in 2011.  His effort vs. Air Force was the fourthÂ?]best singleÂ?]game total in the country this season and established Hughes Stadium and Mountain West rushing records. He ranked as one of just six individuals nationally last season with multiple 200Â?]yard games, and was twice named MW Offensive Player of the Week. 

Keli McGregor Award – Greg Myers (Football)
The McGregor Award was first presented in 2010. The award recognizes the characteristics that best defined McGregor's legacy as an All-America tight end and outstanding student at CSU (1980-84). McGregor went on to achieve professional success as an NFL player and as an administrator in both intercollegiate and professional sports, including nine years as the President of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, prior to his untimely death in 2010. The award recognizes an outstanding former CSU student-athlete based on post-graduation accomplishments. It is selected by the senior leadership team of the Athletic Department with recommendations from head coaches, senior staff and alumni/development staff.

A former All-America defensive back and Jim Thorpe Award Winner for the Rams, Greg Myers was the first player in WAC history to earn first-team all-conference honors in four consecutive years (1992-95). Myers, a member of the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame (2001) and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (2012), was selected in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He played for both the Bengals and Dallas Cowboys during a five-year NFL career. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a minor in anatomy from Colorado State in 1996, and completed his completed his M.D. in 2006.  Now an anesthesiologist at Denver Health Medical Center, Myers was selected in May for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame, and will be inducted Dec. 4 in New York, N.Y.

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