Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
2018-19 Athletes of the Year: Ciara Franke, Robyn Wampler, Jack Turner, Ziad Khayat, Chris Hansen, Matt Bowen, Natalie Caraway, Natalie Saddic, Nicholas Rack, Mary Reilly, Mikayla Williams (not pictured: Brandon Weed, Shay Whitcomb)

Another Epic Year Wraps with 35th Athletics Recognition Banquet

UCSD

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LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego celebrated another successful and memorable year in sports at the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' 35th Annual Athletics Recognition Banquet held at the Price Center's West Ballroom Thursday evening.

Triton scholar-athletes were recognized for their achievements during the 2018-19 academic year in athletic competitions, in the classroom, and in serving their community. Additionally, coaches, staff, donors, and alumni were honored for their crucial contributions to the athletics programs. 

"I am extremely proud of all of the accomplishments of our scholar-athletes," said UC San Diego Director of Athletics Earl Edwards at the banquet. "This has been a successful year thanks to the dedication of our student-athletes as well as all those who support them in what they do."

For the second-straight year, eight of UC San Diego's 23 teams captured conference regular season titles and/or tournament championships. Men's basketball, women's basketball, and women's soccer were both California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season and tournament champions, while baseball and softball won CCAA regular season titles. Baseball, softball, and women's soccer all went on to earn NCAA West Region titles as well. Men's water polo and women's water polo each won Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) crowns and men's rowing swept the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships.

The success continued as 18 UC San Diego teams participated in NCAA postseason play - baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's fencing, women's fencing, men's golf, women's rowing, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's water polo, and women's water polo. 

Thirteen teams competed at the NCAA National Championships - baseball, men's fencing, women's fencing, men's golf, women's rowing, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's water polo, and women's water polo. Also, men's rowing participated in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship.

Just this week, UC San Diego won the CCAA Robert J. Hiegert Commissioner's Cup, awarded annually to the institution with the most successful athletics program among the 13 conference schools. It marked the eighth time that the Tritons have won the cup since its inception for the 2005-06 academic year. 

UC San Diego is currently fifth in the NCAA Division II Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup standings, an award that symbolizes the best overall athletics program in the country. The final standings will be published on Wednesday, June 12.

The upcoming 2019-20 academic year will be UC San Diego's final as a member of NCAA Division II. In 2020-21, the entire Department of Intercollegiate Athletics begins a four-year reclassification period to NCAA Division I status as a full member of the Big West Conference in a majority of its sports.

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Outstanding Senior Student-Athletes
Summer Bales, Women's Soccer
Preston Mott, Baseball

Athletes of the Year
Matt Bowen, Men's Track & Field
Natalie Caraway, Women's Track & Field
Ciara Franke, Women's Swimming & Diving/Women's Water Polo
Chris Hansen, Men's Basketball
Ziad Khayat, Men's Fencing
Nicholas Rack, Men's Track & Field
Mary Reilly, Women's Soccer
Natalie Saddic, Women's Soccer
Jack Turner, Men's Water Polo
Robyn Wampler, Softball
Brandon Weed, Baseball
Shay Whitcomb, Baseball
Mikayla Williams, Women's Basketball

Excellence in Coaching Award
Heidi VanDerveer, Women's Basketball

Karen E. Reis Award
(leadership/campus and community service)

Victor de Cos, Men's Rowing

Léon T. Roach Team Spirit Award
Men's Tennis

Team GPA Award
(highest team GPA)

Women's Basketball

Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award
(top six GPAs among seniors)

Christine Drake-Thomas, Fencing
Maddy Lewis, Softball
Preston Mott, Baseball
Allison Tiegs, Women's Volleyball
Madeleine Wagner, Women's Rowing
Mikayla Williams, Women's Basketball

Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Amy Leu '00, team physician and former Triton basketball player

Meritorious Service Award
Dr. Rhonda Hackshaw, psychologist

CCAA Charnofsky Award
(academic and athletic distinction)

Christian Bayne, Men's Basketball
Joleen Yang, Women's Basketball

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego scholar-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have received prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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