While there are still a few weeks remaining for the 2018-19 athletic seasons, Morehead State celebrated the achievements of its student-athletes at the annual awards banquet Monday night.
Fifteen honors were bestowed with a pair of athletes earning two wards each. Awards presented were Penny Wars, Team Community Service, Team Academic, Male and Female Scholars of the Year, Male and Female Breakthrough Performance, Freshman of the Year, Best Male and Female Individual Performance, Mr. and Miss Eagle, Coach of the Year, Best Victory and the Laughlin-Miller Award.
Penny Wars is an initiative by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to raise money to send veterans to the OVC Basketball Tournament. This year, MSU raised the highest amount in the league at more than $1,700. The winner for 2018-18 was men's and women's cross country/track and field.
The Team Community Service Award is given to the program which logged the highest number of hours per athlete. The softball team accumulated more than 1,400 hours, or 78 hours per team member, to claim the award.
The Team Academic Award is awarded to the program with the highest cumulative team grade point average for the previous year. The women's golf team totaled a 3.702 GPA to take home this prestigious accolade.
A senior men's athlete with the highest GPA is warded the Male Scholar of the Year. Maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA in biomedical sciences for his entire career, men's cross country and track runner Jordan Carrington is this year's honoree.
The Female Scholar of the Year went to a woman who has maintained a nearly perfect (3.98) GPA throughout her time at MSU. Volleyball's Jessie Wachtman has completed a dual degree in strategic communication and social work. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District II Team this past Fall.
Three new awards were awarded next. The Male and Female Breakthrough Performance Award is warded to an athlete who has improved the most or made a drastic impact on their team this past season. The Freshman of the Year is bestowed upon an impact athlete in their first collegiate year.
The Male Breakthrough Performance winner is Hunter Fain from baseball. A senior catcher, Fain has put together perhaps his best season yet, ranking among the top 10 in the nation in on-base percentage. He has upped his batting average more than 150 points this year and leads the team in home runs.
The Female Breakthrough Performance honoree is Rifle's Alexa Potts. She led the team in aggregate average (1165.9) and air rifle average (590.6) and set numerous records throughout the season while also qualifying for air rifle at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
Freshman of the Year is Volleyball's and Beach Volleyball's Allison Whitten. On the indoor court, Whitten helped the Eagles to a 21-10 season by recording 441 digs and also had 29 aces. In the sand, she teamed with Hannah Keating to form the Eagles' number one pair, where they fashioned a 17-5 overall record and 6-2 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference matches.
Mr. Eagle is the highest honor for a male athlete, exemplifying superior athleticism. Rifle senior Brandon Bryer earned the honor for the second consecutive season. The Student Government Association President in 2018-19, Bryer excelled in the range, earning First-Team All-OVC honors in Smallbore and Second-Team in Air Rifle. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in Smallbore and was a Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Scholastic All-American.
Miss Eagle was awarded to the 2018 OVC Volleyball Player of the Year, Olivia Lohmeier. Lohmeier piled up 413 kills and hit .264 while also tabbing 125 digs and 59 blocks in helping MSU to a 21-win season. In Beach action, she posted a 17-6 individual overall record and helped the Eagles to their best season ever at 16-7.
Coach of the Year went to Women's Basketball's bench boss, Greg Todd. Todd led the Eagles to a 24-11 mark in 2018-19 and a second-place finish in the OVC. It marked Morehead State's third consecutive 20-win season.
The Best Male Performance goes to an athlete who stood out with an individual stellar effort in a single event. Baseball junior pitcher Dalton Stambaugh won the award for his complete-game shutout at Jacksonville State just this past weekend. He struck out eight batters and didn't allow a hit past the first inning in a 5-0 victory.
Winning her second award of the night, Potts took home Best Female Performance for her record-setting effort at the OVC Championships in February. She set the school aggregate scoring record (1180), the Smallbore school mark (586 with 42 centers) and the smallbore prone record (200 with 19 centers) at the league's title event.
Best Victory was a tight one, but Women's Basketball's road win over Ohio State in the 2019 Women's National Invitation Tournament won. It was the Eagles' first-ever postseason win.
Bryer culminated the night by winning the Laughlin-Miller Award. Named for former head coaches Bob Laughlin and Len Miller, the honor represents the best in athletic, civic and academic excellence. Bryer helped the Eagles to their highest ever national ranking at ninth while balancing his athletic, classroom and SGA presidential duties.