Air Force athletics announces major award winners; recap of 2010-11 athletic season
May 24, 2011
Air Force athletics recognized several cadet-athletes as the end of the 2010-11 sports season at the Academy's annual awards ceremony today. Senior hockey player Jacques Lamoureux and senior tennis player Christen Monreal were named male and female athlete of the year, respectively. Senior swimming Eric Robinson was named the scholar-athlete of the year, while senior football player Reggie Rembert was awarded the athletic excellence award. Senior fencer Daniel Trapani took home the athletic leadership award and senior track and field star Justin Tyner won the outstanding athletic achievement award.
A complete round up of the top six award winners, as well as highlights from each sport and the most valuable athlete from each sport follows below.
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD: Senior swimmer Eric Robinson is majoring in mathematics and has a 3.99 grade point average. Robinson has a perfect 4.0 GPA in his major. Robinson has helped the men's swimming team to back-to-back second place finishes in the Mountain West Conference while earning individual all-conference honors twice. He was also the team's co-captain this season and has top 10 Air Force times in the 200 freestyle and the 200 butterfly.
ATHLETIC LEADERSHIP AWARD: Senior Daniel Trapani earned All-American honors for the second time in three years in 2011 while helping the fencing team to a second place national finish in the epee at the NCAA Championships. Trapani competed all four years at the NCAA Championships and finished his career with a 177-58 record. A four-year letterman, Trapani was the team's MVP in 2009 and earned the award this season but asked the coaching staff to give it to a fellow teammate, who he felt deserved it more for his sacrifices for the betterment of the team.
ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE: Senior defensive back Reggie Rembert was a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and a third-team selection by Associated Press. He is the program's first first-team All-American and most decorated player since Carlton McDonald in 1992. Rembert was also on the Hornung Award watch list as the most versatile player in college football and was a LOWES Senior Class award nominee. He finished the season with 51 total tackles, including two tackles for loss. He also had a team-best three interceptions which ranked fifth in the conference and 10 pass breakups which tied for second. Rembert was awarded the inaugural NFLPA Military Academy Player of the Year award in 2010.
OUTSTANDING ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT: Senior co-captain Justin Tyner claimed first-team All-America honors for the second straight year, after placing fifth in the 3000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He also ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay team that garnered second-team All-America honors. During the indoor season, Tyner won Mountain West Conference titles in the 3000- and 5000-meter races, en route to earning the league's High Point Award. He also ran the final leg of the DMR team that shattered the Academy record at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Tyner's success continued outdoors, where he won a MWC title in the 5000-meter run with a stadium-record time, posted an Academy record in the 1500-meter run and clocked the nation's second-fastest 3000-meter steeplechase time. He was named the MWC Athlete of the Week on two occasions this spring and is ranked among the nation's top 30 in the steeplechase, 1500-meter run and 5000-meter run.
FEMALE MOST VALUABLE ATHLETE: Christen Monreal, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, played all 23 of her singles matches at the No. 1 singles spot. She won 14 overall singles matches and 16 doubles matches, including 10 at the No. 2 spot with freshman Anastasia Hueffner. Monreal finished third on the school's career singles wins list with 75and sixth with 62 victories. Monreal is also the recipient of the 2011 Cissey Leary Award for Sportsmanship for the Mountain Region, which consists of 21 schools.
MALE MOST VALUABLE ATHLETE: Senior forward Jacques Lamoureux led the team with 24 goals and 44 points this season. A second-team all-conference selection, Lamoureux was named the MVP at the AHA Tournament as he helped lead Air Force to its fourth AHA title in five years. He scored the game-winner in both games at the AHA Final Four. His 13 power-play goals led the nation and his five game-winners were the 10th most in the country. He closed out his career ranked sixth in AFA history with 79 goals scored, the most by any Falcon in the last 25 years. His 136 career points rank 15th in school history. This season, he broke the league record with 59 career goals in conference games. The Grand Forks, N.D., native became the first Academy athlete to win the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes excellence in competition, classroom, character and community.
INDIVIDUAL SPORTS RECAPS
Football: Air Force concluded the season with a 9-4 overall record and finished tied for third with a 5-3 mark in the Mountain West Conference to record its fourth straight top four conference finish. The Falcons played in the Independence Bowl to mark the fourth consecutive season in a post-season bowl for just the second time in school history and first time since 1989-92. The Falcons defeated Georgia Tech from the ACC, 14-7, to notch their first back-to-back bowl wins since 1998-2000. Air Force also defeated Army and Navy to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 2002. The Falcons have posted four straight eight-win seasons for just the second time in school history and first time since 1982-85.
Volleyball: Under first-year head coach Matt McShane, the Air Force volleyball team earned its first Mountain West Conference win since 2005 and captured the most "set" victories in conference action since that year. The Falcons collected four wins on the year, including a season-opening victory over NCAA participant Long Island and a thrilling MWC win over San Diego State in a nationally-televised match. The seniors made their marks on the all-time record book, as Jessica Hellmann, Caroline Kurtz, Kelly Spencer and Nichole Stilwell all moved within the top five of their respective Division I all-time lists. Moving back into Cadet East Gym, the Falcons set a new program record for Division I attendance, shattering the previous mark by over 2,000 fans.
Water Polo: The team had a new, but familiar, face at the helm of the program in 2010, as Jeff Heidmous, the winningest coach in program history, returned to coach the team. Heidmous, who previously spent 17 years as the head coach, took back the reins of the Falcons' water polo program after spending 11 years working as a senior administrator in the Air Force athletic department. Under his guidance, the Falcons completed the 2010 season with a 13-18 overall record and 5-10 mark in the Western Water Polo Association. Air Force, which ended the year ranked 20th in the nation, also captured fifth place at the WWPA Championship. Women's Soccer: The team had one of its best seasons ever as a Div. I program, posting an overall mark of 8-9-2 and finishing seventh in the Mountain West Conference with a 1-5-1 record. The Falcons had the most wins in a season since 2001 and had the fewest losses in the Div. I era. Air Force scored 21 goals on the season, doubling the 10 goals scored in 2009. The Falcon defense had a fantastic season, allowing 0.91 goals per game and producing seven shutouts. The 0.91 GAA average is the second-lowest in school history and the lowest since joining the MWC. Men's Soccer: The team posted a 7-12 overall record and a 5-5 mark in the MPSF, good for a third-place finish in the Mountain Division. Sophomore Zane Dydasco led the team with 11 points, scoring three goals and adding a team-high five assists. Team MVP Kevin Durr, a first-team all-MPSF selection, was second with 10 points (four goals and two assists). All four of Durr's goals were game-winners. The highlight of the season was a stunning 3-2 come-from-behind victory over New Mexico in Albuquerque, AFA's first win there since 2001. The future looks bright for Air Force, as eight players that recorded at least one point during the season will return in 2011, as will starting goalie Matt Underwood, an all-MPSF honorable mention pick in 2010.
Cross Country: The Air Force cross country team concluded another successful season in 2010. Senior Justin Tyner and sophomore Jeremy Drenckhahn competed at the NCAA Championships - marking the most representatives at the national meet for the Falcons since 2004. In addition to pacing the Falcons to a fifth-place team finish, Tyner and Drenckhahn earned all-region accolades, after finishing 10th and 13th, respectively, in the 10k distance. With a 25th-place finish in the women's regional 6k race, senior Katherine Ward became the women's first all-region honoree since 2005. Tyner was the runner-up at the Mountain West Conference Championships, claiming his second straight all-conference honor. He was joined on the all-MWC team by junior Jon Rock, who placed sixth, and Ward, who finished 13th to become the program's first female all-league selection since 2005. Second-year head coach Juli Benson was named the MWC Men's Head Coach of the Year.
Hockey: After an 0-4 start to the season, Air Force finished strong with eight straight wins to include its fourth Atlantic Hockey Association championship in the last five years. The Falcons finished the season with a 20-12-6 overall record and won the AHA tournament as the No. 2 seed. Air Force advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and, for the fourth time, lost a one-goal game on the national stage. Yale, the No.1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, needed overtime to beat the Falcons, 2-1, in the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn., to end the Falcons' season. Air Force became one of just eight schools in the nation to compete in the NCAA Tournament in at least four of the last five years. The seniors became the winningest class in school history with 85 wins in four years. The Falcons ended the season ranked 18th in the nation, tying the highest final national ranking in school history. Five Falcons earned all-league honors as defenseman Scott Mathis earned first-team honors, forward Jacques Lamoureux was second team and defenseman Tim Kirby was third team. Goaltender Jason Torf and defenseman Adam McKenzie were named to the all-rookie team. Lamoureux won the 2010-11 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award which recognizes excellence in the classroom, competition, character and community.
Men's Basketball: Following two seasons in which the Air Force men's basketball team won one Mountain West Conference regular-season game, head coach Jeff Reynolds felt confident that the 2010-11 Falcons would show that those two years were completely in the rear-view mirror. With three solid seniors and a strong sophomore class, the Falcons proved Reynolds right. Air Force posted a 16-16 overall record and finished 6-10 in the MWC, good for a sixth-place tie with Utah. The Falcons, who were picked ninth in the preseason poll, had the biggest jump of any MWC team from predicted to actual finish. In addition, the Falcons earned their sixth trip to a postseason tournament and the first since advancing to the NIT semifinals in 2007. Air Force played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, defeating North Dakota at home in the first round before losing at Santa Clara in the second round. Sophomore Michael Lyons, a third-team all-MWC selection, led the squad in scoring at 13.7 points per game.
Women's Basketball: Air Force welcomed a new coaching staff for the 2010-11 season, as the program began a remarkable turnaround. Air Force relied on the leadership of lone senior Raimee Beck, who closed out her career with numerous Academy records, along with a deep and talented sophomore class, including leading scorer and rebounder Dymond James. The Falcons finished the season with a 9-22 overall record, surpassing their season win total from the previous two seasons combined, while also posting a 3-13 record in Mountain West Conference action, snapping a 40-game conference losing streak. Air Force also became the first nine seed in MWC Championship history to defeat a four-seed, as the Falcons knocked off Colorado State in the opening round of the conference tournament.
Men's Gymnastics: The Air Force men's gymnastics team had an impressive season, as the Falcons successfully defended their USAG national championship title, sent a full squad to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1998 and set nine program records. The Falcons accounted for four of the six event titles at the USAG Championships, en route to their second consecutive title. Senior Nash Mills won the still rings and parallel bars, while sophomore James Okamoto and Tory Brown won the pommel horse and vault, respectively. In all, six Falcons accounted for 11 USAG All-America citations. Assistant coaches Jeff Robinson and Chuck Schweiss shared the USAG Assistant Coach of the Year award, while Mills received the USAG Outstanding Senior Gymnast award. The Falcons, who finished sixth at the NCAA National Qualifier, advanced five gymnasts to the national semifinals, highlighted by a 15th-place finish on the vault from Brown.
Women's Gymnastics: Despite boasting a roster that featured the largest freshman class in all of Division I gymnastics, the Air Force women's gymnastics team concluded an impressive competitive season by advancing to the USAG team finals for the first time since 2003 and earning its best finish (third) since that year. The Falcons, who finished second in the team standings at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, accounted for four of ten best team scores since Doug Day became head coach in 2007. Senior Brittany Dutton won the USAG title on the uneven bars and shared the MPSF balance beam title with classmate Lisa Wong. Air Force accumulated multiple post-season awards, including a pair of major honors for Dutton (MPSF Gymnast of the Year, USAG Outstanding Senior Gymnast) and Day was selected as the Coach of the Year from both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and USA Gymnastics, while Kyle Georges earned the MPSF Assistant Coach of the Year award and Lumi Garcy was selected as the USAG Assistant Coach of the Year.
Men's and Women's Fencing: The 2010-11 season was one of the winningest seasons for Air Force Academy fencing team. With a combined season record of 18-8, the men finished 11-2 and the women finished 7-6. The team had 13 fencers qualify for the NCAA West Region Championships in March. Three fencers won their respective weapons, with one runner up. All four fencers went on to compete in the NCAA Fencing National Championships. Daniel Cohen and Daniel Trapani each earned All-American honors. Cohen tied for third place in men's foil at the NCAA Championships while Trapani finished in eighth to earn his second All-American honor.
Rifle: Air Force finished the season 9-6 overall. The Falcons defeated Nebraska in the season opener with senior Tom Chandler leading the way taking top individual honors. The Falcons finished second at the All-Service Academies President's Day Cup with an overall team score of 5,766. Chandler went on to compete in the 2011 NCAA Rifle Championships where he finished 15th overall with an aggregate score of 580 in smallbore
Boxing: Sophomore Drew Pineda claimed a National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) championship title to pace the Air Force boxing team to a third-place finish in the national team standings. The Falcons, who accounted for one champion, four second-place finishers and three third-place finishers, claimed eight total NCBA All-America certificates. Air Force claimed its 31st NCBA West Regional title, behind five regional champions. Junior Mike McLain was the recipient of the Clune Award, honoring the Outstanding Boxer of the Wing Open Championships, after claiming his third consecutive 175-pound title.
Wrestling: The wrestling team had a successful year, finishing the season with a 12-5 overall dual record, including a 3-3 mark in the Western Wrestling Conference. The Falcons notched their first winning season since 2003, while their 12 dual wins are the most for the program since 1984. Seven different wrestlers posted at least 20 wins on the year, including a nation-best 44 victories by sophomore Cole VonOhlen. Air Force wrapped up the season with a third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional, with VonOhlen winning his weight class to earn Outstanding Wrestler honors and qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Men's Swimming and Diving: Air Force capped off a successful 2010-11 season at the 2011 Mountain West Conference Swimming & Diving Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Falcons broke three school records, had 19 swims that cracked the schools' all-time top-10 list and nine NCAA B-cut swims. Leading the way were senior Benjamin Gunn and junior Corydon Butler. Gunn, a senior, earned Air Force's first-ever conference title in the 200 yard butterfly event with a time of 1:46.21. It was Gunn's third overall MWC title. The Gainesville, Ga., native earned All-MWC honors in the 200 individual medley, where he was runner up, the 200 backstroke and was the leadoff leg of the all-conference 800 free relay team. Gunn set a new school records in the 100 butterfly (47.64), 100 (48.13) and 200 backstrokes (1:45.60) and also earned the MWC Senior Recognition award. Butler, a junior, earned all-conference honors in the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyle events. The Williamsburg, Va. native was a top-five finisher in all three events, earning NCAA B-cut swims in the 500 and 1650 free events. In addition to the middle and distance free events, Butler anchored the 800 free relay group.
Women's Swimming and Diving: Air Force capped off a successful 2010-11 season at the 2011 Mountain West Conference Swimming & Diving Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Falcons broke seven school records and had 21 swims that cracked the schools' all-time top-10 list. Leading the way were sophomore Haley Holcombe and freshman Erin Bleyl. Holcombe earned All-MWC honors in the 100 and 200 butterfly events and set school records in the 200 fly and 200 and 400 medley relay groups. Bleyl capped off one of the most successful freshman campaigns in Air Force history by setting five school records (100, 200 back, 400 free relay, 200, 400 medley relay). Air Force finished ninth at the MWC Championships.
Baseball: Air Force finished 19-36 overall and 4-20 in Mountain West Conference play. Under first-year head coach Maj. Mike Kazlausky, the Falcons have their best winning percentage since 2002. The 19 wins are the second-most vs. Div. I opponents in school history. The 19 Div. I wins are also the most in school history by a first-year head coach. Air Force's 6.09 team earned run average is the lowest at the Academy in 29 years (lowest since 5.79 ERA in 1982). Sophomore pitcher Sean Carley's 3.94 ERA is the lowest by an Academy starting pitcher in 28 years (since 1983). The Falcons will return five starters in the field and all three weekend starting pitchers for 2012.
Lacrosse: Air Force made an impressive turnaround in 2011, posting a 6-7 overall record on the year after winning just one game a year before. In addition, the Falcons tied for third in the seven-team ECAC Lacrosse League, notching a 3-3 conference ledger, including a win over 17th-ranked Loyola. The Falcons won five of their last seven games to reach six victories for just the third in the last 14 years, and the second time in the last three years. Senior Vinny Sandtorv and junior Dayton Gilbreath were named second-team All-ECAC selections, while midfielder Erik Smith led a talented and deep freshman class, recognized as one of the top freshmen in the nation by Inside Lacrosse.
Golf: Following the graduation of one of its most accomplished players in school history, the Air Force golf team would look to 2010-11 as a rebuilding season. Several experienced golfers returned, while a talented crop of newcomers joined the group. Air Force continued its dominance at the annual Service Academy Golf Classic in the fall, winning its 14th-straight title at the event. Meanwhile, junior Robert Belz led the Falcons to an eighth-place at the Mountain West Conference Championship, after turning in a career-best finish to tie for seventh place individually.
Men's Tennis: Head coach Dan Oosterhous entered his first full season with the Air Force men's tennis program with a bunch of youngsters. Those youngsters player pretty well throughout the 2010-11 season, helping the Falcons to a 10-14 overall record. Sophomore team MVP Lance Wilhelm once again played the No. 1 position for the Falcons and won 10 matches at the top spot. Freshmen Lucas Marin-Salcedo and Andy Jackson shared the No. 2 spot, while fellow frosh Alex Grubbs and Steven Young led the team with 17 and 15 overall singles wins, respectively. In doubles, Wilhelm and Jackson opened the spring season ranked No. 7 in the Mountain Region after a solid fall campaign. The duo won 12 overall matches this season, including an 8-6 mark at the No. 1 position. For the second straight season, the Falcons posted an impressive 6-1 victory over service-academy rival Army, marking Air Force's first-ever win at West Point.
Women's Tennis: Air Force finished the 2010-11 season with an impressive 16-11 record. The Falcons equaled last season's win total, the best since head coach Kim Gidley's initial season in 1998-99 when they went 20-10. Gidley also led Air Force to two MWC victories for the second consecutive year, defeating Colorado State and New Mexico. AFA also posted a 12-match winning streak this season, the longest since moving to Division I in 1996. Individually, senior Sarah Cassman led the team with 21 singles victories and tied for the team lead with 25 doubles wins. She became the first falcon to win at least 20singles matches in each of her four seasons in the Division I era. Freshman Anastasia Hueffner won 20 singles matches and sophomore Melissa Cecil tied Cassman with 25 doubles wins.
Track and Field: (as of 18 May) Although the season won't be complete for nearly a month, 2011 has already been a remarkable year for the Air Force track and field team. A total of seven Academy records were written this season, while the men finished second at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships for its best finish ever at the indoor meet. Senior Justin Tyner claimed first-team All-America honors in the 5000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships, while running the anchor leg of the distance medley relay team (Tyler Stanley, Anthony Delgado and Nick White) that earned second-team All-America honors. Backed by Tyner's titles in the 3000-meter and 5000-meter races, the Falcons claimed three conference titles at the MWC indoor championships, including the program's first ever championship in the 4x400-meter relay (Manny Smith, Cory Engel, Anthony Delgado and Chris Severino). Tyner shared the High Point Award at the MWC Indoor Championships, while Ralph Lindeman was named the MWC Men's Head Coach of the Year. The men finished third at the conference meet, behind conference titles from Tyner (5000-meter run), Bryce Bergman (400-meter hurdles) and Robert Drye (hammer throw). The women placed ninth at the both the indoor and outdoor conference championships, highlighted by junior Paige Blackurn's runner-up finish in the javelin throw at the outdoor meet.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARDS
Men's Cross Country: Justin Tyner repeated as MVP of the men's cross country team, after another impressive season. Tyner capped off his stellar cross country career with all-conference and all-region honors, while becoming the first Falcon since 2004 to make a repeat appearance at the NCAA Championships. Tyner was the runner-up at the Mountain West Conference Championships - matching the program's best-ever placement at the conference meet. He finished 10th out of 110 runners at the regional championship, en route to all-region honors and a spot at the NCAA Championships. Tyner also paced the Falcons at Wisconsin's adidas Classic (16th out of 202 runners) and at the Pre-Nationals Meet (43rd out of 241 runners).
Women's Cross Country: Katherine Ward capped off a stellar season, becoming the program's first all-conference and all-region honoree since 2005. Ward finished 13th at the conference championship meet, guiding the Falcons to a fourth-place finish in the team standings. She also placed 25th at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships to claim all-region honors, marking the first time since 2005 that a member of the women's team had earned a top-25 finish. Ward paced the Falcons in every meet she competed in, including a second-place finish at the Rust Buster Invitational and an 11th-place finish in the 211-runner adidas Invitational.
Football Overall MVP: Senior defensive back Reggie Rembert was a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and a third-team selection by Associated Press. He is the program's first first-team All-American and most decorated player since Carlton McDonald in 1992. Rembert was also on the Hornung Award watch list as the most versatile player in college football and was a LOWES Senior Class award nominee. He finished the season with 51 total tackles, including two tackles for loss. He also had a team-best three interceptions which ranked fifth in the conference and 10 pass breakups which tied for second. Rembert was awarded the inaugural NFLPA Military Academy Player of the Year award in 2010.
Football Most Valuable Offensive Player: Junior quarterback Tim Jefferson was named second-team all-Colorado by the National Football Foundation and was an honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference selection. He finished sixth in the MWC in rushing with a 61.1 per-game average and his 794 rushing yards are the most by an Air Force quarterback since 2003. Jefferson was second in the conference in rushing touchdowns with 15 and became the 37th player in school history to top the 1,000-yard mark in career rushing yards. He gained 2,253 total yards this season which is the ninth most in school history and recorded a 9-4 record as a starter to bring his career mark to 21-10. He ranks second in school history in career wins by a quarterback and is the only quarterback in the 100-plus year history of service academy football to start in three post-season bowl games. Jefferson has led the Falcons to two straight post-season bowl victories.
Football Most Valuable Defensive Player: Senior defensive end Rick Ricketts capped a great 2010 season by being winning the defensive most valuable player award in Air Force's 14-7 victory over Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl. Ricketts recorded 10 total tackles and a tackle for loss to lead the Falcons to their second straight bowl win. A second-team all-conference selection, Ricketts was fourth on the team in total tackles with 71 and led the team with 10.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Football Most Valuable Lineman/Special Teams Player: Junior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein led the team in knockdown blocks, totaling double figures in every game he played. Wallerstein was the leader of the group that had five new starters and helped Air Force to its 12th straight conference rushing title. The Falcons finished second nationally in rushing with a 306.5 per-game average. The offensive line led the conference and ranked second nationally in fewest sacks allowed with just five in 2010. Men's Soccer: Kevin Durr, a sophomore from Garmisch, Germany, started all 18 games he played in during the 2010 season. He finished second on the team in scoring with 10 points on four goals and two assists. All four of his goals were game-winners, including three in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. He tied for third in the conference in shots with 56 and was second in shots per game at 3.11. Durr earned first-team all-MPSF honors in 2010.
Kevin Durr, Men's Soccer Team MVP, Cadet Squadron 5 - Kevin Durr, a sophomore from Garmisch, Germany, started all 18 games he played in during the 2010 season. He finished second on the team in scoring with 10 points on four goals and two assists. All four of his goals were game-winners, including three in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. He tied for third in the conference in shots with 56 and was second in shots per game at 3.11. Durr earned first-team all-MPSF honors in 2010.
Women's Soccer: Junior forward Bridgett Murphy was named Air Force women's soccer team MVP. Murphy led the team with five assists and was second with 11 points and third with three goals. The Melbourne Beach, Fla., native also earned her third MWC All-Conference and MWC Academic All-Conference honors. She was also named to the CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-District for the second straight year.
Water Polo: The Air Force water polo team had a new, but familiar, face at the helm of the program in 2010, as Jeff Heidmous, the winningest coach in program history, returned to coach the team. Heidmous, who previously spent 17 years as the head coach, took back the reins of the Falcons' water polo program after spending 11 years working as a senior administrator in the Air Force athletic department. Under his guidance, the Falcons completed the 2010 season with a 13-18 overall record and 5-10 mark in the Western Water Polo Association. Air Force, which ended the year ranked 20th in the nation, also captured fifth place at the WWPA Championship. Volleyball: Caroline Kurtz, one of three captains for the 2011 volleyball team, made an impact on the program record book during her final season. The senior, who became just the third Division I place to total more than 800 digs in a career, also moved into third on the Division I all-time list for single season kills, fourth on the DI all-time list in career kills and seventh on the DI all-time list for career service aces. Kurtz ranked second in the Mountain West Conference in kills per set and became just the third Air Force player to garner at least 20 double-doubles in a career. An Academic All-District selection, Kurtz was named to the all-tournament teams of the Falcon Invitational, Memphis Invitational and West Point Challenge.
Men's Basketball: Evan Washington led the team in rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots this season. He became the first Falcon to score 200 points in each of his four seasons since Otis Jones from 1991-95. Washington tied for second on Air Force's career games played list with 124 and set a new school record with 112 starts. He did not miss a game in his four-year career at Air Force. He is ranked fifth on Air Force's career assist list with 327 and tied for No. 5 on the school's all-time single season assist list with 127 this year. He dished out a career-best 11 assists this season against Utah, the most by an Air Force player in one game since 2004. Washington finished his career 25th on the school's all-time scoring list with 973 points and tied for 10th with 545 rebounds.
Women's Basketball: Senior Raimee Beck was named the Air Force women's basketball MVP for the third-straight season. The Falcons' lone senior, Beck was an outstanding all-around performer this year, finishing the season with 11.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, ranking second on the team in both categories. She led the Falcons in both three-point field goals made and free throw percentage, while ranking second on the team in assists, blocks and steals. Meanwhile, Beck closed out her career as one of the most decorated players in program history, setting all-time records for games played and started (118), three-point field goals made and attempted and free-throw percentage, as well as Division I era records in points (1,386), scoring average (11.7), assists (278) and steals (157). Beck is also the only player in Academy history to rank in the top 10 all-time in career points (fifth), assists (sixth) and rebounds (seventh).
Men's Fencing: Senior Nicholas Stockdale took sixth place in the 2011 NCAA West Region Championships in men's foil with a 5-5 bout record. His season stats include a 33-13 collegiate bout mark and winning the men's foil championship bout at the Nick Toth Open. Stockdale is one of the program's top fencers and concludes his Academy fencing career with a 133-55 record. While Stockdale did not qualify for the 2011 NCAA Men's Fencing Championships, he demonstrated character and dedication to the team by giving up his spring vacation to remain at the Academy and help train those that did qualify.
Women's Fencing: Sophomore Heather Nelson became the 2011 West Region women's saber champion with an 8-0 regional bout record at the NCAA West Region Fencing Championships. Nelson was one of only two fencers to go undefeated in the competition. Nelson earned an automatic bye to the NCAA Women's Fencing Championships. It was Nelson's second trip to the NCAAs. Nelson holds a 40-2 collegiate record. This season, she won the women's saber championships in both the Nick Toth Open and the Amarillo Open.
Men's Gymnastics: Nash Mills wrapped up a stellar career with two Academy records, a pair of USAG national titles and the USAG Outstanding Senior Gymnast of the Year award. Mills, who became the first Falcon to surpass the 15-point mark on the parallel bars, set a program standard of 15.200 on that event, as well as a 14.900 on the high bar. He led the team on the still rings, parallel bars and high bar, while posting the squad's second-best score on the vault. He was a two-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week, while claiming three weekly awards from the College Gymnastics Association. Mills won his first-ever USAG title on the still rings, while successfully defending his title on the parallel bars, to help the Falcons to their second straight USAG national title. He also claimed the still rings, parallel bars and all-around titles at the All-Academy Championships to help Air Force to its first team title since 2000. This is the second year Mills has earned the program's MVP award.
Women's Gymnastics: Brittany Dutton capped off a remarkable four-year career by earning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year award and the USA Gymnastics Outstanding Senior Gymnast award. The senior claimed the USAG national title on the uneven bars, as well as a share of the MPSF crown on the balance beam. The Falcons' team captain set career-best marks in three of the four individual events, as well as the all-around. Dutton received the MPSF Gymnast of the Week award once in 2011, while earning all-conference honors on the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around. She paced the team on the uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around, while capturing nine first-place finishes, including titles at the conference and national championship meets.
Hockey: Senior forward Jacques Lamoureux led the team with 24 goals and 44 points this season. A second-team all-conference selection, Lamoureux was named the MVP at the AHA Tournament as he helped lead Air Force to its fourth AHA title in five years. He scored the game-winner in both games at the AHA Final Four. His 13 power-play goals led the nation and his five game-winners were the 10th most in the country. He closed out his career ranked sixth in AFA history with 79 goals scored, the most by any Falcon in the last 25 years. His 136 career points rank 15th in school history. This season, he broke the league record with 59 career goals in conference games. The Grand Forks, N.D., native became the first Academy athlete to win the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes excellence in competition, classroom, character and community.
Rifle: Senior Tom Chandler was named first-team smallbore and second team air rifle All-American by the National Rifle Association (NRA) following the 2011 NCAA Rifle Championships. Chandler finished 15th with an aggregate score of 580 in smallbore at the NCAA Championships. Chandler has been honored by the NRA as an All-American five times during his career (three in smallbore, two in air rifle). He was the team captain during the 2010-2011 season.
Boxing: Matt DeMars claimed his third career NCBA All-American certificate in 2011, after placing second in the 119-pound weight class at the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) Championships. DeMars, who competed the first three seasons at 112 pounds, moved up to 119 pounds for his senior year. A three-time Wing Open champion (two at 112 pounds, one at 119 pounds), DeMars won three NCBA regional titles and two NCBA national titles.
Men's Swimming: Senior Benjamin Gunn capped off a stellar four-year career at Air Force, winning the 200 yard butterfly title at the 2011 MWC Swimming & Diving Championships. Gunn set three school records as a senior in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200 back and earned All-MWC in those events. Gunn graduates with two MWC titles and six school records.
Women's Swimming: Sophomore Haley Holcombe was named MVP after record-setting performances at the Mountain West Conference Swimming & Diving Championships. The Snellville, Ga., native set school records in the 100 yard butterfly (55.31) and 200 fly (2:02.36) events. In addition, Holcombe was a part of the school-record setting 200 and 400 medley relays.
Wrestling: Sophomore Cole VonOhlen was chosen as the 2010-11 Air Force wrestling team MVP. The lone Air Force representative at the NCAA Championships for the second-straight season, VonOhlen compiled a 44-9 overall record on the year. His 44 wins led the nation, while ranking tied for third-most in school history. VonOhlen, who was ranked among the top 10 wrestlers in the nation at 141 pounds, posted a 16-1 dual record and was perfect against WWC competition. He won 20 of 21 matches heading into the NCAA Championships, with 10 falls, five technical falls, three major decisions and two forfeits in that stretch. VonOhlen was also named the Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA West Regional after posting three dominant wins en route to the regional title, not allowing a single point by his opponents. Baseball: Sophomore outfielder Alex Bast is Air Force baseball MVP. Bast tied for the team lead with 21 doubles, which is tied for the third-most in a season at AFA. He ranks second on the team with 67 hits, 37 runs and three triples, to go with a .488 slugging percentage. He was third on the team with a .318 batting average. Bast also led the team with 54 starts. Lacrosse: Senior Vinny Sandtorv was named the Air Force lacrosse MVP for the 2011 season. The team captain, who was also named the Falcons' offensive MVP, earned second-team All-ECAC honors as a midfielder for the second-straight season. Sandtorv finished the season with a team- and career-best 33 points, including a team- and career-high 27 goals. Starting all 13 games for the Falcons at both attack and midfield, Sandtorv also posted career-high numbers in assists (six), ground balls (24) and man-up goals (seven), leading the Falcons in the latter category.
Golf: Senior Kyle Bailey was named the Air Force golf MVP for the 2010-11 season. The Falcons' team captain and lone senior, Bailey competed in 11 of 12 events for Air Force this season. In addition to leading the Falcons in four events this year, Bailey registered the best MWC Championship finish of his career, tying for 31st place.
Men's Tennis: Lance Wilhelm, a sophomore from Gig Harbor, Wash., won the team's MVP award for the second consecutive season. He won 10 matches at the top spot in singles and nine at the No. 1 doubles position in 2010-11. Wilhelm and freshman Andy Jackson were ranked No. 7 in the Mountain Region for doubles after going 4-2 during the fall tournament season.
Women's Tennis: Christen Monreal, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, played all 23 of her singles matches at the No. 1 singles spot. She won 14 overall singles matches and 16 doubles matches, including 10 at the No. 2 spot with freshman Anastasia Hueffner. Monreal finished third on the school's career singles wins list with 75and sixth with 62 victories. Monreal is also the recipient of the 2011 Cissey Leary Award for Sportsmanship for the Mountain Region, which consists of 21 schools.
Men's Track and Field:(as of 18 May) Justin Tyner is in the midst of another impressive year. The senior co-captain claimed first-team All-America honors for the second straight year, after placing fifth in the 3000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He also ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay team that garnered second-team All-America honors. During the indoor season, Tyner won Mountain West Conference titles in the 3000- and 5000-meter races, en route to earning the league's High Point Award. He also ran the final leg of the DMR team that shattered the Academy record at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Tyner's success continued outdoors, where he won a MWC title in the 5000-meter run with a stadium-record time, posted an Academy record in the 1500-meter run and clocked the nation's second-fastest 3000-meter steeplechase time. He was named the MWC Athlete of the Week on two occasions this spring and is ranked among the nation's top 30 in the steeplechase, 1500-meter run and 5000-meter run.
Women's Indoor Track and Field: (as of 18 May) Paige Blackburn used a season-best throw on her final attempt to finish second in the javelin throw at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships, while setting a career-best distance in the hammer throw. Blackburn earned points for the Falcons in three of her four throwing events at the outdoor meet, while scoring in both throwing events during the indoor season. In addition to her second-place finish in the javelin, she finished fourth in the discus throw and sixth in the shot put at the outdoor championships and sixth in the shot put and eighth in the weight throw at the indoor meet. During the outdoor season, Blackburn moved into third on the Academy's all-time list in the shot put and discus throw, while moving into fifth in the hammer throw. She also posted career-best marks in both throwing events during the indoor season, recording the second-best shot put mark in program history, as well as the third-best weight throw distance.
Men's Track and Field Outstanding Competitor: (as of 18 May) Robert Drye became the program's first-ever conference champion in the hammer throw, while shattering the Academy record at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships. The junior co-captain, who is ranked 19th nationally in that event, is the first Air Force thrower to win the hammer title at either the MWC or WAC Championship meets. Improving his career-best distance by seven feet, Drye broke the Academy's 19-year-old standard, while distancing himself from the field, which included the nation's 15th-ranked thrower, by seven feet. A MWC Athlete of the Week, Drye had a stellar weekend at the outdoor conference championships. In addition to winning the hammer throw, Drye scored for Air Force in his other two events (shot put, discus throw) with personal-best performances. Drye also broke his own record in the weight throw during the indoor season, while moving into seventh on the all-time list for the indoor shot put. He earned all-conference honors at the indoor championship meet, following a third-place performance in the shot put
Women's Track and Field Outstanding Competitor: Katherine Ward concluded her senior season with the Academy's second-fastest times in the indoor 3000-meter run, indoor 5000-meter run, outdoor 5000-meter run and outdoor 10,000-meter run. Ward, who trails only five-time national champion Callie Calhoun in all four distances, also moved into 10th on the program's all-time list for the indoor mile run. The squad's co-captain and MVP of the cross country team became only the second Air Force runner to break the 17-minute mark in the outdoor 5000-meter distance. She scored for the Falcons in both the indoor 3000- and 5000-meter distances, as well as in the 10,000-meter run at the outdoor championships.
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