PORTLAND, Ore. – University of Oregon sophomore Liz Brenner added another of the state’s top honors Sunday after an impressive multi-sport season for the Ducks.
At the annual Oregon Sports Awards banquet Sunday, the Portland native received the Bill Hayward Award as the top female amateur athlete from the high school, college and resident ranks, and based on 2012 calendar year honors.
Similarly, Duck senior running back Kenjon Barner picked up the men’s award named after the legendary former Duck men’s track and field coach.
In his 44 years at the helm, Hayward served on the coaching staff of six U.S. Olympic teams and coached four world-record holders, six American record holders, four NCAA champions and nine U.S. Olympians.
Joining Brenner among the Hayward women's award nominees was senior Alaina Bergsma - a first-team All-American and the Ducks' first Pac-12 and AVCA National Player of the Year.
Oregon volleyball head coach Jim Moore was also nominated as the Slats Gill Sportsman of the Year after he was tabbed the 2012 Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year last month.
Other current or recent Duck winners honored Sunday included Eugene product and freshman Sulman Raza (Prep Men’s Golfer of the Year), Ashton Eaton of the Oregon Track Club (Harry Glickman Award for top Professional Athlete) and the Oregon acrobatics and tumbling, women's cross country and women's indoor track and field teams who shared the George Pasero Award (for national titles in their sports).
On the volleyball hardwood last fall, Brenner helped Oregon (30-5, 16-4) to its greatest season ever, thanks to its best-ever runner-up NCAA and Pac-12 placings.
The All-Pac-12 and All-Region outside hitter became the first Duck underclassmen to earn All-America volleyball laurels with her second-team national honor.
Among the team’s 35 matches, she led the team in hitting 11 times, and points and kills 10 times, and was one of the team’s key passers in serve receive. At season’s end, she stood top 70 nationally in both kills (69th, 3.92 per set) and points (70th, 4.39 p/s), and ninth and eighth in the Pac-12 in points and kills.
Among top individual efforts, she won her first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor in early November for her play in three- and five-set wins vs. Arizona (18 kills, .516, career high 4 aces) and ASU (17K, .297, 11 digs) – and the latter was one of eight double-doubles on the season (and all of which came in league or postseason action).
Her season highs in kills (26) and points (27.5) came in four- and five-set matches vs. No. 16 BYU and California.
The three-sport Duck star – UO’s first female since Peg Rees (a basketball, softball, volleyball letterwinner from 1973-76) - also started at forward for the basketball team in the winter of 2011-12 (21 GP, 8 GS, 5.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Last spring, she served as a back-up catcher for the Duck softball team that advanced to the Women’s College World Series and placed third in the nation’s top softball conference.
The past two months, she has started 11 of the 13 games she’s played for the women’s basketball squad, and is averaging 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds.
As a prep senior for Jesuit High School, she was an Oregon state player of the year in volleyball and basketball, a state champion in the shot put and runner-up in the javelin, and an all-state catcher in softball as a sophomore.
More information on the Oregon Sports Awards is available at the http://oregonsportsawards.com/awards.html URL address, and a complete of all winners follow:
Ad Rutschman Award Small College Athletes of the Year
Staci Doucette, Linfield Softball
Mitch Lofstedt, Southern Oregon Wrestling
Johnny Carpenter Award Prep Athletes of the Year
Baily Bennett, Heppner Softball (4A-1A)
Oshay Dunmore, Newport Track and Field (4A-1A)
Haley Crouser, Gresham Track and Field (6A-5A)
Thomas Tyner, Aloha Football (6A-5A)
Prep Basketball Players of the Year
Mercedes Russell, Springfield High School
Calvin Hermanson, Lake Oswego High School
Prep Swimmers of the Year
Sarah Kaunitz, Lake Oswego High School
Cameron Stit, Sunset High School
Prep Wrestler of the Year
Zac Brunson, Churchill High School
Prep Baseball Player of the Year
Carson Kelly, Westview High School
Prep Softball Player of the Year
Maryssa Becker, South Salem High School
Prep Track and Field Athletes of the Year
Haley Crouser, Gresham High School
Oshay Dunmore, Newport High School
Prep Tennis Players of the Year
Erin Larner, Jesuit High School
Goutham Sundaram, Lincoln High School
Prep Golfers of the Year
Gigi Stoll, Beaverton High School
Sulman Raza, South Eugene High School
Prep Soccer Players of the Year
Ariel Viera, Scappoose High School
Christo Michaelson, Jesuit High School
Prep Football Player of the Year
Thomas Tyner, Aloha High School
Prep Volleyball Player of the Year
Tani Stephens, West Albany High School
Prep Cross Country Runners of the Year
Sara Tsai, South Eugene High School
Travis Neuman, Summit High School
Harry Glickman Award (Profesional Athletes of the Year)
Megan Rapinoe, Team USA Soccer
Ashton Eaton, Oregon Track Club Elite, Decathalon
George Pasero Award - Teams of the Year (National champion teams)
Oregon Institute of Technology Men's Basketball
Blue Mountain Community College Volleyball
University of Oregon Acrobatics and Tumbling
University of Oregon Women's Indoor Track and Field
University of Oregon Women's Cross Country
Lou Burge Award Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
OSAA Game Changer Award
DNA Award (extraordinary passion and dedication to sports in Oregon)
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