Cross Country and Track & Field Announce 2012-13 Awards
Oct. 4, 2013
NORMAL, Ill.—Director of track and field and cross country Elvis Forde announced the 2012-13 season awards for track and field and cross country Friday.
The Most Valuable Athlete for cross country was awarded to Ryan Rutherford and Rachael Brewer. Criteria for this award was based on combined total points scored at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, as well as the NCAA Regional meet.
In the 2012 season, Rutherford finished first for the Redbirds in every meet he competed in. The Bloomington, Ill., native captured all-conference honors with an eighth-place finish at the MVC Championships. He concluded his cross country season with a 10K time of 32:37 at the Midwest Regional. Rutherford’s 2012 success has continued throughout the 2013 season, as he has already earned Athlete of the Week honors (Oct. 1), a career-best first-place finish at the Country Financial Illinois State Invite and a 16th-place finish at one of the nation’s toughest courses, the Roy Griak Invitational.
Brewer picked up all-conference, all-region and Valley Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2012 season, along with leading her team to a first-place finish at the MVC Championships. In the 2012 season alone, Brewer finished in the top-20 for all five meets she competed in. The Tuscola, Ill., native continues her successful cross country career in 2013, after capturing Athlete of the Week honors (Oct. 1) to go along with a third-place finish at the Country Financial Illinois State Invite and a 25th-place finish also at one of the nation’s top-annual meets, the Roy Griak Invitational.
The cross country Rookie of the Year award is given to athletes based on the combined total points scored at the MVC Championships, proving himself and herself a valuable member of the team. In addition, the Rookie of the Year must demonstrate great potential through talent, hard work, desire, passion, determination and a positive attitude. This year’s Rookie of the Year award was presented to Tyler Morse and Kelly McShea.
Morse notched a 41st-place finish at the 2012 conference meet with an 8K time of 25:51, advancing him to the regional meet. He competed in seven meets as a freshman, earning his best 8K time of 25: 36 at the Illinois Intercollegiate. Morse continues to be an asset for the Redbirds in the 2013 season, as he finished third at the Country Financial Illinois State Invite with a career-best 8K time of 24:43.
McShea earned all-conference honors as a freshman with an eighth-place finish and a 5K time of 17:53 at the conference championships. She finished 48th at the Midwest Regional with a 6K time of 21:58, and McShea continues her successful cross country slate as she captured a personal-best 5K time of 17:48 at the Country Financial Illinois State Invite and finished 62nd at the Roy Griak Invitational, helping her team to a 12th-place finish.
On the track and field side, the Most Valuable Player for track and field is based solely on the combined total points scored at the indoor and outdoor MVC meets. Winners of the MVP award are not eligible for the Outstanding Track Athlete or Outstanding Field Athlete awards. This year’s track and field MVP awards were presented to Rutherford and Kristen Zillmer.
Rutherford finished the 2012-13 track and field season with 10 top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish in the 5,000-meter run at the MVC outdoor championships, earning all-conference honors followed by a second-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the MVC outdoor championships, also earning all-conference honors.
Zillmer finished her 2012-13 track and field season with 24 top-three finishes, including eight first-place finishes. The Park Ridge, Ill., native finished second at the MVC Championships in the steeplechase to earn all-conference honors, advancing her to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, where she finished eighth with a career-best time of 10:04.51. Zillmer was one of four Redbird athletes to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Outstanding Track Athlete award is chosen based on the combined total points scored at the indoor and outdoor MVC meets, NCAA Regionals and NCAA Nationals, post-season accomplishments, as well as leadership skills on the track. The 2012-13 recipients of the Outstanding Track Athlete award are CJ Hamilton and Sade Sealy.
Hamilton only competed in the outdoor season due to injury, but proved his perseverance and leadership skills throughout the season, finishing in the top-10 in every event he competed in, including three first-place finishes in the 800-meter run. Hamilton earned a career-best finish accompanied by all-conference honors at the MVC Championships with a time of 1:51.30 in the 800-meter run.
Sealy has eight-straight Valley titles in the 400-meter dash, holding both the Illinois State and MVC records. Throughout her Redbird career, Sealy won 17 of the 28 meets, where she ran the 400-meter dash.
The next award was presented to the Most Outstanding Field Athlete, an award chosen based on the combined total points scored at the indoor and outdoor MVC Championships, NCAA Regional meet and NCAA Nationals, along with post-season accomplishments and demonstrated leadership abilities. Tim Glover and Brittany Smith were the recipients of the Most Outstanding Field Athlete award.
Glover earned his third All-American honor this past spring, with a runner-up finish in the javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He finished his Redbird career with two Division I national titles in the javelin, four-straight MVC Conference titles and four-straight Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Year. Glover was also a semifinalist for the Bowerman Award and the 2012 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Male Field Athlete of the Year.
Smith was a 10-time All-American in her career as a Redbird. She posted two runner-up finishes at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the hammer throw and shot put. In the 2012-13 season alone, Smith notched 35 top-five finishes, including 22 first-place finishes. She started her 2012-13 campaign, throwing a career-best 70-07.00 (21.51m) in the weight throw at the Redbird Open (Dec. 8) and finished the season with a second-place title at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships (Feb. 24), before winning her first Valley title in the shot put with a mark of 56-09.25 (17.30m). On the outdoor circuit, the Oak Park, Ill., native won her first MVC title in the hammer throw with a mark of 218-10 (66.71m), before taking second in the shot put with a throw of 57-00.25 (17.38m).
The next award was presented to the Rookie of the Year for track and field. This award is based on total points scored at the MVC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, proving to be a valuable member of the team. This year’s Rookie of the Year recipients were Antonio Farley and McShea.
Farley notched a career-best fourth-place finish in the 400-meter with a time of 48.04 at the MVC Outdoor Championships, while McShea finished third in the steeplechase at the MVC Outdoor Championships with a time of 10:26.92, advancing her to the NCAA West Preliminary meet, where she finished 14th with a time of 10:10.59.
The final award is the Excellence Award, and it will be given to an athlete that exemplifies what a Redbird Track and Field student-athlete should be and must consistently illustrate what every other student-athlete should aspire to be. This person demonstrates hard work, determination and a positive attitude. This year’s Excellence Award was presented to Chase Pavelonis and Brewer.
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