The University of Tulsa recognized its athletic teams and student-athletes at the school’s 13th Annual All-Sports Awards Dinner at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The top awards were given to TU’s “Ultimate Team” members, an award that was instituted in 1992 to recognize the all-around achievements of Tulsa’s top student-athletes. In addition, the “Ultimate Service” Award, Dan Bitson Courage Award and individual team awards were presented.
The “Ultimate Team” honors athletes who, during the current academic year, have exemplified those qualities and characteristics that are consistent with the missions and values of The University of Tulsa.
The “Ultimate Team” members for the 2007-08 academic year are Vanessa Andrews (Rowing/Davis, Calif.), Eric Burkholder (Men’s Soccer/Broken Arrow), Michaela Cavener (Women’s Golf/Ponca City), Sara Dyer (Softball/Sand Springs), Michelle Sechser (Rowing/Folsom, Calif.), Paul Smith (Football/Owasso), Lindsey Tower (Softball/Edmond,) and Calvin Walls (Men’s Basketball/Minneapolis, Minn.).
The “Ultimate Service” Award was established in order to recognize the efforts of student support staff for service to the teams and student-athletes.
Booker was a three-year basketball manager who demonstrated tremendous leadership, responsibility and organization. He will receive his bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science this May.
The Dan Bitson Courage Award winner is senior women’s tennis player Carla Zabaleta. The award was established in 1992 in the name of former TU football standout Dan Bitson (1986-91), who fought back from severe injuries suffered in an automobile accident to play football again. The award is presented annually to the TU student-athlete who exemplifies courage, perseverance and tenacity for overcoming adversity.
In the midst of her sophomore season, Zabaleta sustained a left kidney laceration, spleen laceration and fractured mandible during an automobile accident on Dec. 24, 2005 while at home in Argentina. In late April, she helped lead TU to its second Conference USA title in as many years.
The Tulsa student-athletes, through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, select a Professor of the Year. This year’s award goes to Associate Professor of Athletic Training, Jan Drummond.
The sixth-annual Outstanding Team Community Service Award is given to the team most involved in community service activities throughout the year, and is selected by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This year’s winner was the Women’s Rowing team.
The final award of the night, the Warren Garrison Academic Excellence Award, went to senior women’s rowing athlete Vanessa Andrews.
Other University of Tulsa 2007-08 Team Awards include:
Ben Uzoh, Offensive Player of the Year
Jerome Jordan, Defensive Player of the Year
Larrissa Williams, Offensive Player of the Year
Chanel Johnson, Defensive Player of the Year
Men’s Cross Country
Edwin Henshaw, Athlete of the Year
Women’s Cross Country
Alex Becker, Athlete of the Year
Paul Smith, Offensive Player of the Year
Chris Chamberlain, Defensive Player of the Year
Roy Roberts, Special Teams Player of the Year
Nicolas Geyger, Golfer of the Year
Michaela Cavener, Golfer of the Year
Nicole Falvo, Co-Rower of the Year
Michelle Sechser, Co-Rower of the Year
Todd Goddard, Offensive Player of the Year
Chris Clements, Defensive Player of the Year
Jennifer Kacergis, Offensive Player of the Year
Allison Dodd, Defensive Player of the Year