BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech athletics department celebrated the athletics and academic accomplishments of its student-athletes and coaches Wednesday night at the inaugural Gobblers awards show held at the Moss Ar! ts Center on campus.
The show took the place of the All-Sports Banquet, and the athletics administration changed the format. Instead of just announcing the winners of each award, administrators decided to go with a format similar to the ESPY’s, which recognizes individual and team athletics achievement and other sports-related performances.
Andrew Allegretta served as the master of ceremonies for the event, and members of the Virginia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented the awards. Here is the complete list of top accomplishments and of those recognized:
• Best Game – This award goes to a team or individual with the best played game of the year.
WINNER: Football vs. Ohio State
• Best Sports Moment – This award goes to the team or individual whose performance was both inspirational and memorable through either a single act or a broader storyline. This moment can be on or off the playing surface.
• Male Rookie of the Year – This award goes to one male student-athlete in his first year of competition who has made a tremendous impact on his team through his performance. Only freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible.
WINNER: Isaiah Ford – Football
• Female Rookie of the Year – This award goes to one female student-athlete in her first year of competition who has made a tremendous impact on her team through her performance. Only freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible.
WINNER: Klaudia Nazieblo – Women’s Swimming
• SAAC Member of the Year – The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a leadership group consisting of student-athletes representing all sports at Virginia Tech. SAAC serves as a liaison between the administration and the student-athlete experience and offers input on ACC and NCAA rules, regulations and policies that affect all student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institutions. The committee meets twice a month and this year’s leadership team consists of Carol Kahoun, Jared Allison, Morgan Latimer and Kylie McGoldrick.
WINNER: Carol Kahoun – Women’s Tennis
• ACC Top Six for Service Awards – Each year, the ACC honors student-athletes on each campus for their outstanding dedication to service. Virginia Tech, with its motto of Ut Prosim, is proud to have student-athletes involved in service projects annually, including but not limited to: volunteering at local elementary schools and participating in programs like Micah’s Backpack and Herma’s Readers. This year, six student-athletes who have embraced the university motto and have dedicated countless hours to serving the community selflessly were honored. The six were: Ronny Vandyke (football), Katie Bean (women’s swimming and diving), Matt Dauby (base! ball), Christian Beyer (men’s basketball), Michelle Prong (softball) and Scot Vincent (golf).
• Best Breakthrough – This award goes to an athlete who has increased his or her athletics performance dramatically.
WINNER: Robert Owen – Men’s Swimming
(Also nominated: Christian Beyer, men’s basketball; Thomas Curtin, men’s track and field)
• Best Upset – This award goes to a team or individual who won a game or competition over an opponent that was either ranked significantly higher or posed seemingly insurmountable odds.
WINNER: Men’s Tennis vs. No. 2 Duke
(Also nominated: baseball vs. Virginia)
• Best Championship Performance – This award goes to the team or individual who rose to the occasion and had an outstanding performance in an ACC or NCAA championship competition (does not include regular-season performances).
WINNER: Men’s Track & Field winning ACC Indoor Championship
(Also nominated: wrestling at NCAA Championships; women’s basketball in ACC Tournament; men’s basketball vs. Wake Forest in ACC Tournament)
• Best Male Athlete – This award goes to one male student-athlete who consistently led his team to notable athletics success throughout the season. In short, he was the MVP of all male student-athletes.
WINNER: Devin Carter – Wrestling
(Also nominated: Thomas Curtin, men’s track and field; Kendall Fuller, football)
• Best Female Athlete – This award goes to one female student-athlete who consistently led her team to notable athletics success throughout the season. In short, she was the MVP of all female student-athletes.
WINNER: Kaylea Arnett – Women’s Diving
The following student-athletes received awards for their performances in the strength and conditioning program: Erik Payne (baseball); Will Johnston (men’s basketball); Samantha Hill (women’s basketball), Wyatt Teller (football); Ryan Mondy (golf); Meghan Macera (lacrosse); Diego Menendez de Miguel (men’s soccer); Morgan Conklin (women’s soccer); Lauren Gaskill (softball); Drake Becksted (men’s swimming and ! diving); Holly Harper (women’s swimming and diving); Aaron Gomez (men’s tennis); Laura Ramthun (women’s tennis); Jared Allison (men’s track and field); Johnna Dominick (women’s track and field); Ashley Battle (volleyball); Dan Garwood (wrestling); Abbey Stafford (HighTechs); Andrew Stone (men’s cheerleading); Katherine Stewart (women’s cheerleading).
The following awards for their performances in the nutrition program: Will Johnston (men’s basketball); Allison Woodward (women’s golf); lacrosse (team of the year).
The following student-athletes were named team MVPs: Alex Perez and Brendon Hayden (baseball); Justin Bibbs (men’s basketball); Vanessa Panousis (women’s basketball); Stuart Robertson (men’s cross country); Paige Kvartunas (women’s cross country); Willie Byrn (football); Trevor Cone (golf); Megan Will (lacrosse); Ricardo John (men’s soccer); Shannon Mayrose (women’s soccer); Kylie McGoldrick (softbal! l); Robert Owen (men’s swimming); Weronika Paluszek (women’s swimming); Logan Stevens (men’s diving); Kaylea Arnett (women’s diving); Hunter Koontz and Andreas Bjerrehus (men’s tennis); Francesca Fusinato (women’s tennis); Thomas Curtin (men’s indoor track and field); Hanna Green (women’s indoor track and field); Manuel Ziegler (men’s outdoor track and field); Irena Sediva (women’s outdoor track and field); Lindsey Owens (volleyball); Devin Carter (wrestling); Cecile Nguyen (HighTechs); Andrew Stone (men’s cheerleading); Kelsey Smith (women’s cheerleading).