Rams honor six student-athletes with annual awards
July 23, 2010
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Honoring the finest student-athletes in its athletic department, Colorado State on Friday announced its annual student-athlete awards for the 2009-10 academic year.
During Homecoming/Family Weekend Oct. 17, the athletic department will present each of the awards at the Ram Scholar-Athlete Brunch, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lory Student Center.
Bryce Hanstad, Nye Trophy
Presented annually to the school's most outstanding male athlete since 1929, the award was originally sponsored by its namesake, Col. E.L. Nye, a retired professor of pathology and bacteriology, and his brother, Dr. William Nye. Col. Nye lettered in track at Colorado State from 1913-14 and again in 1919, and at one time held the school's record for the 100-yard dash, 9.8 seconds, which at the time was among the fastest marks in the world. He also lettered in football and basketball along with track. Given each summer to a male student-athlete judged to be the best in the program, having contributed to the success of the team with his leadership, sportsmanship and performance. The list of previous winners includes the most prestigious athletes in athletics history at Colorado State, including several future NFL, NBA and MLB professionals, as well as Olympic athletes. Gartrell Johnson, now with the New York Giants, won the honor in 2009.
Kristen Hemphill, Frank Award
Frank, also known as Virginia K. Frank Olson, was a pioneer who organized and coached women's sports long before they were sanctioned by the NCAA. An amateur athlete as a speed skater, skier and softball player, she was instrumental during the 1950s and 60s in introducing track, volleyball, skiing, field hockey, badminton and softball to the CSU athletic department. The award was established in 1976. Previous winners include Amy Van Dyken, Becky Hammon and Mekana Barnes. Hemphill becomes the fifth CSU track athlete in the past seven years to win the honor, joining fellow All-Americans Janay DeLoach (2007, '08) and Loree Smith (2004, '05).
Ryan Friese, Merrill-Gheen Award
Dual majoring in computer engineering and computer science, Friese expects to graduate in spring 2011. The top student in CSU's electrical and computer engineering department, he currently owns a 3.829 GPA. An academic all-conference selection every semester in which he has been eligible, he also has earned academic All-America honors twice and is expected to add a third certificate to his collection later this summer. Winner of the Robinson Upton Award Winner for outstanding track & field performance, he has overcome illness and injuries to achieve a successful career. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer engineering.
Presented annually to the school's most outstanding male scholar athlete, the Merrill-Gheen is based on academic excellence, athletic achievement and campus activities. Upon its inception in 1964, the award originally was named after Russell Merrill, a long-time Rams booster and former baseball player. The name of the award was later changed to include Joseph Gheen, a close friend of Merrill's, beginning in 1969. Prior winners include Jeff Horinek, Casey Malone, Greg Myers, Steve Fairchild and Jack Upton.
Nora Kennedy, Mencimer Award
Kennedy finished fifth in the 1650 Freestyle and seventh in the 100 Butterfly at the 2010 MWC championships, capping a fourth straight year of all-conference honors.
During her time at CSU, she was a member of the pre-physical therapy club, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Athletes in Action. She also served as a swim-lesson Instructor and participated annually in the MS Society Walk.
Since 1976, CSU has presented the Mencimer Memorial Award annually to its most outstanding female scholar-athlete, in memory of Catherine and Floyd Mencimer. Catherine J. Longmore (Mencimer) received her B.S. degree from Colorado State in 1936. She was active in the Women's Athletic Association and participated in field hockey, swimming and horeseback riding. Her husband, Floyd, earned his doctor of veterinary medicine in 1935. He lettered four years in football and baseball and was named all-conference in both sports as a senior. In 1973, he was named an Honorary Alumni Award winner. The Mencimers' three children all were involved in athletics as CSU students and initiated the award. The winner must be an upperclassman that has represented Colorado State in conference competition. Prior winners include April Thomas, Liz Toman, Shelly Greathouse (Borrman), Katherine Whitney and Marsha Landowski, before Kennedy the last swimmer to earn the honor, in 1995.
Klint Kubiak, McGraw Award
A graduate of Denver's Regis High School, where he starred while his dad served as the Broncos offensive coordinator, Kubiak graduated this past spring with a degree in restaurant and resort management. After attending the East-West Shrine Game and earning an invitation to a Washington Redskins mini-camp on a tryout basis, he joined Mike Sherman's staff at Texas A&M, where he will begin his coaching career this season. Last month, he married former CSU volleyball player Tessa Nelson.
Named after perhaps the most prominent figure in CSU athletics history, Thurman "Fum McGraw, the honor goes to the CSU student-athlete that best exemplifies academic and athletic excellence, character, leadership, service, concern for others and unwavering Ram pride, those characteristics that define the spirit and essence of McGraw. Established after McGraw passed away, the award first went to Angela Knopf in 2002. Other winners have included Horinek, Jason Smith, Loree Smith and David Anderson.
Tim Walter, McGregor Award
Walter was the CSU student-athlete that best exemplified traits demonstrated by the honor's namesake, including integrity, honesty, leadership, class and competing the right way. The award recognizes the characteristics that best defined McGregor's legacy as an All-America tight end and outstanding student at CSU, an NFL player, and later President of the Rockies. Among the most prestigious honors given by CSU, the recognition is on par with the award named after McGraw, the athletic director whom McGregor credited with guaranteeing his scholarship on the heels of a 1982 coaching change.
Walter, an all-conference performer the Rams' starting center, graduated in December with a degree in health and exercise science. He signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago Bears and will join his former CSU teammate and Jay Cutler's current backup, Caleb Hanie, at training camp next week in Bourbonnais, Ill., Walter is one of four CSU offensive linemen from the 2009 lineup now on NFL rosters.