May 21, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Distance standouts Sarah Sumpter and Jonathan Peterson and outstanding gymnast Katie Yamamura are the recipients of UC Davis Athletics' top annual student-athlete awards for the 2011-12 athletics year, it was announced on Monday by Nona Richardson, interim director of athletics.
Sumpter, named last week as the Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year, is recipient of the Hubert Heitman Award as the outstanding female athlete while Peterson, a double-champion at last week's Big West Championships, was named the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award winner as the top male athlete for the second straight year.
Yamamura, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year, will receive the W.P. Lindley Award as the school's outstanding scholar-athlete.
The trio will receive their honors during the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame and Student-Athlete Awards Ceremonies at Freeborn Hall on June 2.
Sumpter, a junior from Cloverdale, enjoyed an impressive cross country season for the Aggies in the fall before helping lead the women's track and field team in the spring as both squads claimed first-ever Big West Conference Championships.
She was the Aggies' top finisher at five cross country meets including the conference championship where she was second and had two other top-three finishes. Sumpter, who was 28th at the NCAA West Regionals, was also named the league's Athlete of the Week during the fall season
She's continued her standout running this spring, earning the Big West's top track honor after pulling off grueling double wins in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs - both by a combined nearly 90 seconds - at the Big West Championships in a span of less than 24 hours. She set meet records in both races after earlier this spring setting the school record in the 10,000 (33:19.77) and moving to No. 3 all-time in the 5,000 (16:26.74). Sumpter earned three Track Athlete of the Week awards from the Big West.
She was also UC Davis' winner for the 2012 Big West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Peterson, a senior from Clovis, is the school's first repeat solo winner of the Slater Award after earning All-America accolades in cross country to help win last year's honor. He followed up a tremendous 2010 season by again returning to the NCAA Championships after placing fifth at the Big West Championships and 10th at the regional. Peterson also had a third-place finish at the prestigious Stanford Invitational.
The spring track season has brought more accolades to Peterson who lowered his school record in the 5,000 (13:48.43) and set another in the 10,000 (28:50.45) before moving to the conference championships where he won the 1,500 and 5,000 races for the Aggies. His time of 3:42.78 in the 1,500 was just .11 of a second off the 28-year-old school record. He was twice named the Big West Track Athlete of the Week including in early April after he set the Aggies' 10K record by more than a half-minute at the Stanford Invitational.
Peterson is ranked among the top 15 NCAA West runners in all three events. Both Sumpter and Peterson will continue their seasons this weekend at the NCAA West Prelim Meet in Austin, Texas, looking to punch tickets to the NCAA Finals next month.
Yamamura, a junior from Palo Alto, excelled both on and off the competition floor for the women's gymnastics team. She made All-MPSF in all four events plus the all-around en route to claiming the conference's Gymnast of the Year award. Yamamura also highlighted her season by claiming six MPSF Gymnast of the Week honors and conference championships on both vault and uneven bars.
Yamamura set a school-record in the all-around with her score of 39.225 at Sacramento State in March, owned the MPSF's highest regional-qualifying score on vault, bars and all-around and advanced to the NCAA Regional for the second time.
In the classroom, Yamamura carries a near perfect 3.96 GPA in her major of neurobiology, physiology and behavior and. Already named to the MPSF All-Academic team, she added Capitol One Academic All-District women's at-large first-team honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America on Friday and is now under consideration for Academic All-America honors.
Yamamura has participated in community service projects with her teammates at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento and with other student-athletes helping to feed the homeless. She has also volunteered with local veterinary hospitals.
Other nominees for the Heitman Award included Elizabeth Dattino (lacrosse), Jessica Dunn (water polo), Carmen Eggert (water polo), Kayleigh Foley (swimming and diving), Betsy Sedlak (volleyball), Demi Runas (golf) and Allison Whitson (volleyball). Dayne Quist (baseball) was nominated for the Slater Award.
Runas, Sedlak and Elise Winbrock (soccer) were other nominees for the Lindley Award.
In addition to the individual student-athlete awards, team honors will be bestowed on the men's tennis team as winner of the Lysle Leach Team Academic Award and women's gymnastics for the Mary Welch Team Academic Award. The tennis squad is being recognized for the seventh time in the last 16 years while gymnastics earns its fourth straight honor and fifth overall.
The Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremonies will showcase inductions for Tiffany Chan (gymnastics), Jeff Kaiser (cross country, track), Tony Kays (football), Yuka Kobayashi (swimming), Koren Pollock Motekaitis (swimming) and Ryan Shaw (soccer). Former coach and administrator Pam Gill-Fisher, who is already in the CAAHOF as an athlete, adds re-entry in the non-participant category.
Six-time Ironman triathlete world champion Dave Scott will receive the Aggie Legacy Award for former student-athletes who have attained outstanding post-UC Davis achievements.
Tickets for the evening, cost $45, and are available until Wednesday by contacting the Athletics Development office at (530) 754-2583.
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