Ten student-athlete achievements were awarded at the Falcon Awards. The Falcon Awards began three years ago as a way to bring the entire athletic department together to celebrate student-athletes.
“We have so many outstanding student-athletes, and we needed a way to celebrate their achievements,” said Crystal Lanning, assistant athletic director.
Lanning said that the awards were made to mirror ESPN’s award ceremony: the ESPYs. The program is produced by UW-River Falls student-athletes and is meant to be fun and filled with high energy.
This year the program was produced by Andrea Scanlan (soccer), DJ’d by Tyler Briola (men’s hockey), and MC’d by Hayley Buchanan (softball) and Grant Solem (football).
In addition to these awards, coaching achievements, All-Americans, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and graduating seniors were all recognized. Soccer coach Sean McKuras won his 100th game this past season, men’s hockey coach Steven Freeman won his 300th game this past season and softball coach Faye Perkins won her 400th game in the 2012 softball season.
UWRF had nine All-American athletes that were recognized.
Anyone may nominate individuals or events for the awards. A committee of Falcon Athletic Department administrators, coaches and student-athletes voted for the winners.
The sports of track & field and softball used highlights from the 2012 season for nominating purposes.
The 10 categories that were recognized were:
Newcomer of the year: Gillian McDonald
Comeback athlete of the year: Brittany Nordland
Play of the year: Jamie Klein
Performance of the year:
Makayla Newberry and Hannah Klimek
Dr. Connie Foster female scholar-athlete of the year: Carlin Bunting
Dr. George Field male scholar-athlete of the year:
The Gary Eloranta Falcon Award: Ashley Goettl
Dr. Emogene Nelson female athlete of the year:
Don Page male athlete of the year: Mike Sandle
Team of the year: 2012 Falcon softball team