Oklahoma Student-Athletes Recognized

Tuesday, April 14th 2009, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6


NORMAN, OK -- Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was up late Monday night receiving the Oklahoma Sports Headliner of the Year Award in Oklahoma City, then was up early Tuesday to receive more honors at the Max Weitzenhoffer Scholar-Athlete Breakfast at OU's Memorial Union.

Bradford earned one of the Athletics Director's Leadership Awards, was an honoree among the Dan Gibbens Outstanding Scholar-Athletes of the Year and received a resolution previously read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rep. Mary Fallin in recognition of winning the Heisman Trophy.

He shared much of the spotlight with track and field athlete Amy Backel, who was honored three times and also presented one award.

OU President David L. Boren addressed the gathering, congratulating coaches and student-athletes for their teamwork and the example it sets.

"We are going through a difficult time in our country," Boren said, "and we will work through this period as we work together as Americans all."

The Conference Medal, the highest career honor for OU student-athletes, was presented to volleyball player Lacy Barnes and men's gymnast Jake Messina.

Other Athletics Director's Leadership Awards went to Backel (track and field), Haley DeProspero (gymnastics), Blake Griffin (basketball), Gerald McCoy (football), Carolyn Winchester (basketball) and Messina.

Bradford was joined on stage for the Gibbens honor by Backel, Elliott Blair (baseball), Russell Czeschin (gymnastics), Ashley Farrand (soccer), Mikaela Johansson (track and field), Danielle Robinson (basketball) and Andrea Spellmeyer (golf).

The women's basketball team won the Champs/Life Skills Team Competition Award for public service. The women's gymnastics team finished second with baseball third. Athletics Council individual service awards went to Backel, Jeannie Douglas (softball), Francie Ekwerekwu (volleyball), Monquie Gaines (rowing), Franklin Green (track and field), McCoy, Ellen Mueller (golf), Reed Pitts (gymnastics), Stephen Porlier (baseball), Samantha Ricketts (softball), Kristin Smith (gymnastics), Amanda Thompson (basketball), Kelly Waters (track and field), Claire West (soccer) and Jenny Vining (basketball).

The Athletics Council Achievement Awards, which recognize perseverance, went to Chris Brooks (gymnastics) and Porlier.

The Jay Myers academic award for freshmen was presented to Whitney Hand (basketball), Andrew Oatman (tennis) and Brooke Sheppard (rowing).

The Sooner Schooner Scholastic Award for a football letter winner went to Derek Gove.

Women's Gymnastics Coach K.J. Kindler won the Athletics Council's Academic and Student Life Award for Coaches while Larry Arthur (Management Information Systems), Dr. Danielle Brittain (Health and Exercise Science), Dr. Chris Howard (Honors College), Dr. Wesley Long (Human Relations) and Dr. Gary Wllborn (Zoology) received Most Inspiring Faculty Awards.