Seniors Conor Spink (Eagle River, Alaska) and Jamie Mellies (Henderson, Nev.) received the department's most prestigious award, the Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Spink finished the 2011 baseball season with a 4-2 record and a 2.72 earned run average. Currently carrying a 3.644 grade point average, he will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Meanwhile, Mellies finished her volleyball career with the most career assists in schools history as well as four of the top eight single-season assist totals. She will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and brings a 3.937 grade point average into her final quarter.
The Bill Fenton 101 Club Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards, named after the former athletic director and Seattle U Athletics Hall of Famer, were presented to junior swimmer Jordan Anderson (Newberg, Ore.) and freshman Emily Walters (Olympia, Wash.) of the track and field team. Anderson won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) title in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle at the conference championships, setting a school record during the 100 freestyle preliminaries. Walters set seven school records in indoor and outdoor track and field, won the long jump at the Great West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, and scored in both the long jump and the triple jump at the GWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Mission Awards are given each year to one or more individuals and one team in recognition of actions that fall in line with the University mission. The individual award was given to junior Renee Vandermause (Colbert, Wash.) of the women's soccer team for her work with Professionals Without Borders, including her passionate speech at the University's Mission Day in April. For the second consecutive year, the baseball team received the team award, adding a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to along with previous work with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
With many exciting competitions throughout the year, it was no surprise that the Competition of the Year Award was shared by two teams. The women's tennis team earned a part of the award for its thrilling 4-3 victory over San Jose State in Las Vegas, Nev., March 27. The baseball team received its third award of the night for its historic 5-4 victory over nationally-ranked Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., March 22.
Greg Sempadian, coordinator of events and administrative services within the athletics department, received the Mark Escandon University Sports Service Award for his dedication, passion, and generosity towards everyone within the department. The award is named after the long-time athletic trainer and honors those who have gone above and beyond their normal duties to help the department in some way.
Members of the freshman class were also recognized with the Freshman 15+ Award, given to a freshman member of each team who made an immediate impact on their sports. This year's talented group of freshmen included: Jeff Baklund (men's cross country), Jordan Beals (men's golf), Jason Bediones (men's tennis), Julia Besagno (women's soccer), Sterling Carter (men's basketball), Nicole Doi (women's swimming), Allison Farley (volleyball), Jake Feener (men's soccer), Nicole Gaddie (women's golf), Brandan Haggarty (men's track & field), Cory Mack (baseball), Tomas Mendez-Beck (men's swimming), Sarah Petosa (softball), Kacie Sowell (women's basketball), Cara Talty (women's cross country), Emily Walters (women's track & field), and Gabriella Weissmann (women's tennis).
Seniors Liz Homer (Richland, Wash.) of the women's soccer team and Andrew Martinez (Concord, Calif.) of the men's swimming team hosted the event, putting together a series of enjoyable skits that tried to prove who the better athlete was. The crowd also witnessed a short speech by University President Fr. Steve Sundborg and the highlight video from the 2010-11 season.
Seattle University is completing Year Three of the reclassification process towards full membership back in NCAA Division I.