May 30, 2012
Air Force's Dalton Boatright was announced today as the sixth recipient of the Mountain West Hal Rothman Sportsmanship Award. Established in 2005-06 and re-named in honor of the late UNLV faculty athletics representative, the award is presented to a student-athlete in a NCAA-sponsored sport who has distinguished him or herself through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The student-athlete also must demonstrate good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting and be in good academic standing.
Boatright, a junior during the 2011-12 campaign, has competed as a member of the Falcons' fencing team for three years. During a match against then-No. 2 Penn State this past season, Boatright and his opponent were tied at 4-4 when the Nittany Lions' fencer forced Boatright's blade very close to the floor in an attempt to limit his action. The indication light went off, signifying what would be the winning point for the Penn State fencer. From the referee's perspective, however, the opponent's blade had missed Boatright and hit the floor instead. The referee disregarded the touch, keeping the score tied at 4-4. Before the order to continue play could be given, Boatright approached the referee and stated that the blade did, in fact, touch him and a point should be awarded to his opponent. The referee reversed his call, giving the Penn State fencer a 5-4 win en route to the Nittany Lions' 16-11 team victory.
"This is another outstanding accomplishment for our program here at the Academy," Director of Athletics Dr. Hans Mueh said. "Dalton is a great example of the kind of leadership and character we have in our programs. Abdel Salem coaches his team with class and honor and is helping develop more than just great fencing skills at the Academy."
A systems engineering management major from Amarillo, Texas, Boatright is the third Air Force student-athlete to earn the MW Hal Rothman Sportsmanship Award, joining former fencers Daniel Trapani and Peter French. Other previous honorees include TCU's Erin Lorenzen (rifle), Wyoming's Kevin Bretting (men's diving) and Utah's Katie Battazzo (women's soccer).
In April, 2007, the MW Joint Council voted to re-name the award in honor of Hal Rothman, a noted historian, author and longtime UNLV professor who served as the institution's faculty athletics representative on the MW Joint Council from 2001-06. Rothman lost a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, on February 24, 2007.