Sport MVPs and Top Award Winners Announced
May 28, 2002
MOST VALUABLE ATHLETES 2001-2002
TOP SIX - MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
Athletic Achievement Award: C1C Brandon G. Jones, soccer, earned second-team All-Midwest Region honors as a senior. He scored five goals and had five assists, which was good enough for 15 points, in his four-year career at Air Force. He carries a 2.76 cumulative GPA while majoring in economics. Brandon was the Flight Commander in his squadron during the spring semester, and was the Element Leader last fall for squadron 28.
Athletic Excellence Award: C1C Tiffany B. Parsons, tennis, carries a 3.4 grade-point average, majoring in behavioral science. She is this year's Central Region's recipient of the Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, presented by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. She also earned first-class Cadet of the Month honors during the 2001 academic year. Brooke finished the 2001-02 tennis season ranked #11 in singles and #13 in doubles in the Central Region.
Scholar-Athlete Award: C1C Dustin W. Brown, boxing, academically, Brown's grade point average is 3.7 overall and a 3.9 in mechanical engineering. He is ranked in the top 15 in the Class of 2002. He was awarded the Dennis Rando Award for Outstanding Performance in Mechanical Behavior of Materials. He served as squadron commander of Cadet Squadron 11 in the fall of 2001.
Athletic Leadership Award: C1C Scott S. Frohardt, wrestling, finished the season ranked 13th in the nation. He placed eighth at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors. He led the team in takedowns, major decisions and pins and compiled a 47-7 (87 percent) won-loss record his senior season, setting an Air Force record for most wins in a season. In his four-year Air Force career, Frohardt notched an impressive 153-36 overall record, also an Academy record for most career wins. He was named college wrestler of the year for Colorado.
Most Valuable Athlete Award (Male): C1C Brian C. Gornick, hockey/baseball, has a 3.92 grade-point average as an operations research major. He was named the College Hockey America Student-Athlete of the Year and was the preseason selection for CHA Player of the Year. Gornick earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was also named to the Verizon Academic All-District VII team. He is on the national ballot for Verizon Academic All-American honors. Gornick scored 11 points in an injury-shortened hockey season of 19 games as a senior. He finished his career ranked 33rd on the Air Force career scoring list with 103 points. Gornick earned seven letters at the Academy, four in hockey and three in baseball. He led the baseball team in home runs in conference games as a sophomore. He missed the 2001 (junior) baseball season after having double shoulder surgery due to various hockey injuries. This season, Gornick has played in 14 baseball games, starting in five. He hit .241 with one home run and four RBI in 29 at-bats. Gornick was equally impressive in his squadron. He was the group commander, responsible for more than 1,000 cadets during his senior season. He also served as the Academic NCO in his squadron.
Most Valuable Athlete Award (Female): C1C Sarah M. Law, swimming, capped her brilliant career by winning the one- and three-meter diving titles at the 2002 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. Law, who was also named the Diver of the Year, is a repeat winner in the one-meter. The four-time conference diving champion was also awarded with the conference's senior recognition award for excellence in and out of the pool.
Special Awards: General Physical Fitness Award: Jesse Davis Houston Snyder CS -02 Physical Education Award: Matthew Ian Horner CS - 23 Physical Education Average Award (PEA): Bradley Scott Foster, CS - 18
FOOTBALL: MVP/Back: C1C Keith Boyea became just the 13th player in NCAA history to rush and pass for 1,000 yards each in a single season while earning honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference honors. Boyea rushed for 1,216 yards while throwing for 1,253 more. Boyea's best game came against Wyoming when he rushed for a career-high 196 yards and threw for a career-best 168 yards while leading Air Force to victory. He was named MWC offensive player of the week for his efforts. Boyea capped his season by being selected for the Paradise Bowl all-star game.
Special Teams: C1C Justin Pendry blocked two kicks this season to end his career with 2.5 blocks. Pendry blocked both kicks against Tennessee Tech to earn Mountain West Conference special teams player of the week honors. Pendry closed his career as an honorable mention all-MWC selection.
Lineman: C1C Ben Miller closed his career as one of the top offensive linemen in Air Force history. Miller recorded 172 knockdown blocks, which is an average of 14.4 per game. He was a second-team all-conference selection this season and was selected to play in the Hula Bowl all-star game. Miller also represented the Academy at the 2001 College Football Awards Show to receive the Spirit Award on behalf of the Academy.
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY: C1C David Romero concluded a successful career at the Academy earning all-region honors and first-team all-Mountain West Conference after leading the team to a fifth-place finish in the Mountain Region and a second-place finish at the conference championships. Romero also led the Academy in its second round-trip appearance at the NCAA championships. He finished 75th, the Falcons placed 26th.
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY: C3C Brandess Pardue led the Falcons in five races this season. She finished 17th in the Mountain West Conference and led the team to its third consecutive MWC third-place team finish. She earned all-region honors after finishing 23rd out of 111 competitors in the Mountain Region and led the Falcons to its seventh-place finish. She was the only Academy woman to earn a spot at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, finishing 223rd.
MEN'S SOCCER: C1C Brandon Jones had a terrific senior season with the Air Force men's soccer team. He led the Falcons to an 11-5-1 record and a second-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation final regular-season standings. Jones led the team with 49 total shots and 23 shots on goal. He netted three goals and added three assists for nine points, and tallied five goals and five assists in his career, good for 15 points. The senior from Littleton, Colo., was honored by league coaches with a selection to the All-MPSF second-team, and was the only Falcon to receive All-Midwest Region honors, making the second-team.
WOMEN'S SOCCER: C1C Beth Boyer, a midfielder from Waukee, Iowa, was the most decorated Falcon in 2001. She was named to the Soccer Buzz all-Central Region Second Team and was also a first-team all-Mountain West Conference and MWC all-tournament team selection. She led the team and tied for third in the conference with 22 points this season. She also led the team in goals (8) and assists (6). Early in the season, Boyer broke Air Force and MWC records as she scored four goals and had eight points in a win over Weber State. The team co-captain is tied for the Air Force career record with 78 matches played. She ranks in the top five at Air Force in all three scoring categories. Boyer holds the career record for assists with 24 and ranks fifth in goals scored (23) and third in points (70).
VOLLEYBALL: C3C Delavane Diaz was named volleyball's most valuable player for the 2001 season. For the second consecutive season, Diaz led the team in kills. She notched 270 kills, over 30 percent of the team's total and 155 more than the second-best total on the team. She averaged 3.46 kills per game, ninth best in the Mountain West. She led the team in kills in 16 matches, including a match against Central Florida, where she hit a season high 23 kills, just two shy of her career high and four shy of the Air Force all-time Division I record for kills in a match. She was selected to the all-tournament team at the Air Force Invitational. She was also named to the MWC's all-academic team for the second straight year.
WATER POLO: C2C Chris Smith led the Falcons offense this season to help Air Force earn a fourth-place finish at this year's Western Water Polo Association Championships in Los Angeles. Smith finished the season netting 43 goals along with 37 assists. He also contributed defensively, collecting 36 steals. Smith was named honorable mention to the 2001 NCAA all-American team and to this season's WWPA all-conference first team.
MEN'S BASKETBALL: C1C Lamoni Yazzie led the Air Force men's basketball team in scoring this season, averaging 12.4 points per game. Yazzie, this season's team captain, leaves the program as the career leader in free throw percentage, making 87% of his free throws (161 of 185 attempts). He scored a career-high 29 points in Air Force's 66-54 victory at Liberty this season, and made 15 of 17 free throws, both Mountain West Conference highs for the 2001-02 season. The Tuba City, Ariz., product received honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference honors this season.
WOMEN'S BASKTBALL: C4C LaToya Howell was second on the team in scoring, and broke several school records, including the Air Force Division I single season record for steals (90) and a single game record for steals (8). Howell had 49 steals in conference games, setting a new Mountain West record. Her eight steals against UNLV tied the MWC single game record (conference games only) and set the freshman single game record (conference games only). She had 109 assists, just one away from tying the Air Force Division I single season record for assists. Her 30 points against San Diego State was the most ever scored by an Air Force player in a Mountain West game. Howell was an honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference selection.
MEN'S FENCING: C2C Weston Kelsey is one of the fencing team's top competitors. In April, Kelsey became the first fencer in Academy history to become the Division I Nationals epee champion. He earned first-team NCAA All-America honors in men's epee at the NCAA Fencing Championships after placing third and earning a bronze medal. Kelsey qualified for the national competition after placing first in his weapon at the Western Regional championships. He also earned All-America honors in 2000 and 2001. Last fall semester, he earned a spot on the dean's list. This is his second consecutive most valuable fencer award.
WOMEN'S FENCING: C2C Elia Burrill, ranked No. 22 in the nation, led the women's team at the Western Regional championships where she finished first in epee, leading her team to a first-place team finish. Her place at regionals qualified her for the NCAA championships. She went on to help her team to a 15th place finish at the NCAA competition. She earned a spot on the athletic director's, dean's, commandant's and superintendent's lists for the fall semester. Burrill was the team captain and was voted team most valuable fencer two consecutive seasons.
MEN'S GYMNASTICS: C2C Aaron Jackson was the team's Most Improved Gymnast in 2000. Jackson was also named Most Valuable Gymnast for the 2001 season and was an NCAA qualifier during the 2000, 2001 and 2002 seasons and a 2001 USAG All-American on floor. Jackson finished 11th all-around at the 2002 NCAAs, and he tied for 15th on rings. He also finished third all-around at this year's USAG championships and took fourth on vault and third on parallel bars. He has been on the superintendent, dean, commandant and athletic director's list four times.
WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS: C2C Jennifer Dougherty is a three-year letterwinner at the Academy and a 2000 USAG All-American on vault, balance beam and floor exercise, and 2002 USAG All-American for all-around (co-champion), vault (champion) and floor. Dougherty was on the NCAA Regional qualifying teams for 2000, 2001 and 2002 and was the team's 2000 newcomer of the year.
ICE HOCKEY: C1C Derek Olson, a forward from Baudette, Minn., became one of the most dominant offensive players in College Hockey America as a senior. He was a first-team all-CHA selection as he led the league with 20 goals in the regular season. He finished the season with 21 goals and 39 points to lead the league in both categories. Olson was named the CHA Offensive Player of the Week twice as a senior. He tied for first in the conference and seventh in the nation with 11 power-play goals. He also led the league with 24 points and was second with 12 goals in conference games. He finished his career with 121 points to tie for 24th on AFA's all-time scoring list.
RIFLE: C1C Mike Granberry was the team captain this season and provided excellent leadership through example and athletic ability. He was a source of strength for the team as he continued to perform as an athlete and a leader after the passing of his father in January. Granberry is very deserving of Most Valuable Player due to his consistently high performance in all areas with the rifle team.
MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING: C2C Paul Brehm led the Air Force men's team to a third place finish at the MWC championships. Brehm took home a pair of conference individual championships. He won the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with NCAA provisional qualifying times of 48.93 and 1:47.01, respectively. He also placed eighth in the 200-yard butterfly with at time of 1:53.26. He was also on the second-place finishing 200-yard medley relay team, which finished with a time of 1:30.18.
WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING: C1C Sarah Law capped a brilliant career this season. She was named the Mountain West Conference's women's diver of the year after leading Air Force to a fifth place conference finish. Law also received the conference's senior recognition award for her accomplishments in and out of the pool. She won her second consecutive MWC championship in the three-meter diving with a score of 270.25. She also won the title in the one-meter with 489.95. She just missed a trio of championships, placing second in the platform with 361.90 to teammate Jessica Williams. Law rounded out her season by being named the Colorado Sportswoman of the Year for swimming and diving.
WRESTLING: C1C Terry Parham (174 pounds) was selected as the most valuable player of the Academy's wrestling team. Parham, ranked 18th in the nation, earned his first bid to the NCAAs by defeating Northern Iowa's Eric Hauan (5-4) in the championship round of the West Regionals. He won his first match at the NCAAs, but lost his second match to the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class -- Otto Olson of Michigan. Parham proceeded to win four of his next five matches in the consolation bracket, becoming an All-American by finishing the event in seventh place. Parham lost just one dual meet all season and had just five losses on the year. He finished his four-year career with an overall record of 111-43 (30-5, 36-7, 20-15, 25-16).
BASEBALL: Third-baseman C2C Bowie Frost has been outstanding both offensively and defensively this season. His fielding percentage of .952 is among the best ever for a Falcon third-baseman. He was among the conference leaders all season with a batting average that hovered around .400. He also led the team and was among the conference leaders in doubles. He finished second on the team in home runs and RBI and had a career-best 14-game hitting streak early in the season. Against UNLV in early April, he hit .517 (8-for-14) with two doubles, two home runs and four RBI and was named the MWC Player of the Week.
LACROSSE: C1C Michael Garrott is a two-year team co-captain and four year starter. He started in all 12 games this year as a defender. He was nominated for all-league and was a nominee for the North/South Senior All-Star game. Following graduation, Garrott will be headed to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD: Most Valuable Track Athlete (Male): C1C Brian Carpenter holds the school outdoor record in the 1,500-meters and finished third in the 1,500 during the conference championship. He posted the second fastest time of the season in the 800-meters and the third fastest time of the season in the 3,000-meters. During the indoor season he won the mile at the MWC indoor championships, and went undefeated in the event throughout the season. His mile time is the third best in school history. He also anchored the winning distance medley relay team to a come-from-behind victory during the conference championships.
Outstanding Track Competitor: C3C Ben Payne had an exceptional season both indoors and outdoors. In the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championship he won the 5,000-meters with a conference record-breaking time of 14:59.29. The time was off his season best (14:22.93), which ranks as the seventh fastest in school history. He set a new school record in the 10,000-meters by more than six seconds. During the indoor season, Payne won the 5,000-meters at the conference championship and finished second in the 3,000-meters. He currently has the fourth fastest time in school history in the 5,000-meters indoors and the ninth fastest in the 3,000-meters
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD: Most Valuable Track Athlete (Female): C1C Lara Coppinger set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She finished fifth in the event during the Mt. West Conference Championships. She also posted the team's fourth fastest time in the 1,500-meter run during the outdoor season. During the indoor season, she posted the seventh best time in school history in the 5,000-meters.
Outstanding Track Competitor: C2C Jocelyn Dooley set a school record in the javelin throw during the outdoor season and finished fourth in the event during the Mountain West Conference Championship. Her throw of 146-feet, 3-inches shattered the record she set last season by more than 13-feet.
MEN'S TENNIS: C2C Eric Pittman completed his second season as the No. 1 singles player at Air Force with a 15-17 overall singles record and a 12-11 mark in dual matches. He produced an outstanding doubles season with teammate Tyler McClung, as the duo went 17-8 overall and 14-7 in duals. Pittman, from Cincinnati, Ohio, all-conference honors for singles for the second consecutive season, and will enter his senior campaign with 58 career singles victories and 46 doubles wins.
WOMEN'S TENNIS: C1C Brooke Parsons earns her third consecutive MVP award after posting a 26-7 overall singles record, her third 20-win season at Air Force. Parsons was 20-4 in dual matches during the 2001-02 season, and 8-1 against Mountain West Conference opponents, all of them at the No. 1 position. The Erwin, Tenn., product is ranked No. 11 in the Central Region following the 2002 season, and ranked 13th in doubles with sophomore Laura Nigro. Parsons leaves the women's tennis program with 84 career singles victories.
GOLF: C1C Ben Leestma earns his second consecutive most valuable player award for the Air Force men's golf team. With three wins this year, Ben became the Falcons' all-time winningest golfer. He is a two-time winner of the Falcon Invitational and a four-time champion of the Service Academy Classic. Leestma carded a 207 (70-66-71) at the 2001 Falcon Antigua Invitational, setting a new Air Force all-time 54-hole tournament scoring record. After winning his third consecutive tournament, the Louisiana Tech Invitational, Ben was named Mountain West golfer of the month for October. Leestma is currently ranked third in the conference with a 72.6 stroke average, the lowest in the history of the Academy. He received an at-large invitation to compete in the NCAA West Regionals as an individual competitor, which he finished 82nd.
BOXING: C1C Dustin Brown is a three-time Wing Open champion, a three-time regional champion and a three-time national champion at 195 lbs. In 2000, 2001 and 2002, he earned All-American gold medal honors. Brown was a member of four national championship teams. He was the team captain for the 2002 team and the outstanding boxer for the 2002 Wing Open championships. Leadership, sacrifice and a tremendous work ethic are his best attributes. He was instrumental in leading the 2002 team to its fourth consecutive national team title.
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