Public is invited to attend the show at Showalter Auditorium that recognizes 2013-14 awards recipients in several categories
The “EeeWoos,” an event created to honor Eastern Washington University student-athletes, takes place for the sixth time tomorrow (May 28) at 7 p.m. at the Showalter Auditorium on the EWU campus in Cheney, Wash.
A limited amount of seating is available for the public to attend the formal awards gala, with the awards presentations beginning at 7 p.m.
Awards presented include:
Best Athlete (male and female)
Newcomer of the Year (male and female)
Freshman of the Year (male and female)
Best Record-Breaking Performance
Scholar-Athlete of the Year (male and female)
Career Achievement Award (male and female)
Eagle Award for Leadership and Excellence
Best Dressed (male and female) . . . voting conducted via twitter at the event
2013-14 EeeWoos Nominations
Football . . . For the third time in the last four seasons, the Eagles advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Eastern had its first-ever perfect 8-0 Big Sky Conference finish en route to setting 49 school records, 23 Big Sky marks and 12 FCS records.
M. Indoor Track & Field . . . Featuring six All-Big Sky Conference performances, the Eagles finished fifth at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships. Jordan Arakawa won the 35-point weight throw to lead a 1-2-3 sweep for Eastern in that event.
M. Cross Country . . . The men’s team finished fifth at the Big Sky Conference Championships, improving four places from ninth a year ago. Four Eagles finished in the top 29, including Chris Schroll in 14th and Vince Hamilton in 17th.
W. Basketball . . . The Eagles finished 16-14 and advanced to the Big Sky Conference Tournament by winning eight of their last 11 regular season games of the season. Featuring All-Big Sky performers Lexie Nelson and Hayley Hodgins, as well as nine members of the Big Sky All-Academic team, it marked the fifth-straight season the Eagles have advanced to the league tourney.
W. Outdoor Track & Field . . . Led by league champions Emma Murillo, Courtney Bray and Catie Arrigoni, the Eagles finished fifth at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. The Eagles finished with 84 points – just five points from fourth – as EWU finished with a total of six All-Big Sky performances (top three finishes).
Vernon Adams (Football) . . . The All-America quarterback and Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year set school and Big Sky Conference records for passing efficiency after completing 66 percent of his passes for 4,994 yards and 55 touchdowns. He is now 20-4 as a starter at Eastern, including a 12-3 record in the 2013 campaign in which he finished as the runner-up for the prestigious Walter Payton Award.
Jordan Arakawa (Track & Field) . . . Arakawa won the Big Sky title in the 35-point weight throw in the indoor season, then placed second in the hammer outdoors. He ranks second in school history in both the hammer with a toss of 219-3 and the weight throw with a 66-1 effort. He has won five Big Sky Athlete of the Week honors this season and a career total of eight, to go along with four All-Big Sky honors and five Big Sky All-Academic accolades.
Robert Dula (Tennis) . . . Closing his freshman season with a six-match winning streak, Dula earned first team All-Big Sky Conference honors. Eastern’s No. 1 singles player, he finished with a record of 13-9, including a 7-3 mark in Big Sky matches. He also went 8-10 at No. 1 doubles.
Tyler Harvey (Basketball) . . . Finishing ranked eighth in NCAA Division I in scoring, Harvey was selected to the NABC All-District 6 team and was a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection. He averaged 21.8 points per game to rank third in school history, and his 109 3-pointers broke the school record and were second all-time in the 50-year history of the Big Sky Conference.
Moira Hedberg (Tennis) . . . For the second-straight season, Hedberg won first team All-Big Sky honors after finishing 10-11 at No. 1 singles. She won three of her last four matches and finished 6-4 in league play, and also compiled a mark of 9-10 at No. 1 singles.
Keisa Monterola (Track & Field) . . . Competing in her last meet as an Eagle, Monterola won the pole vault title at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships. Her clearance of 13-5 3/4 helped her win her fourth league title in five championship appearances.
Emma Murillo (Track & Field) . . . Murillo had a season best by over 20 feet in capturing the title in the javelin at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. Not even ranked in the top 10 in the Big Sky entering the meet, she had a personal-best throw of 158-2 to rank seventh in school history. She also placed fourth in the hammer throw with a personal-best of 186-1 to rank third in school history and was seventh in the discus with a throw of 150-3. She had a throw of 159-11 in the discus earlier in the season, which ranks second in school history. Indoors, she was fourth in the weight throw with a personal-best of 59-1 1/4 to rank third all-time at EWU.
Lexie Nelson (Basketball) . . . Nelson earned first team All-Big Sky Conference and Big Sky All-Academic honors for the second-straight season after scoring 477 points to rank as the fifth-most in school history. She had averages of 15.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and ranked ninth in NCAA Division I in 3-point field goal percentage (.440). Her 74 3-pointers made were three from the school record.
Katie Mahoney (Cross Country/Track & Field) . . . Mahoney set two school records outdoors in the steeplechase & 1,500 meters, and ranks second all-time in the 800 and third in the 5,000. She was third in the steeplechase, fourth in the 1,500 and sixth in the 5,000 at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. She placed 40th at the Big Sky Cross Country Championships last fall to rank second on the team. She had places of second and third in regular season XC meets.
Zack Gehring (Football) – Exercise Science . . . Gehring earned his third-straight Big Sky All-Academic honor in 2013 and was a third team All-Big Sky tight end. He finished his career with 44 catches for 511 yards and five touchdowns after starting 34 of the 50 games he played.
Ashton Miller (Football) – Business Administration . . . An All-America center for the Eagles, Miller was selected to the FCS Athletic Directors Association All-Star team. He also earned his second Big Sky All-Academic honor in 2013, and started 30 of the 33 games he played in his career.
Zack Nielsen (Track & Field) – Exercise Science . . . Eastern’s May Scholar-Athlete of the Month, Nielsen will earn his third Big Sky all-academic honor this spring. He earned the honor indoors earlier this season after finishing second in the Big Sky in the weight throw indoors. Outdoors, he won the title in the hammer throw at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships to move into third in school history with a throw of 203-5, and also placed fifth in the discus.
Steven Warner (Track & Field) – Exercise Science . . . Warner will win his seventh Big Sky Conference all-academic honor in in track and field, including three indoors and four outdoors. He has twice earned All-Big Sky Conference honors in his career, and owns the school record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.07). He set another school record in the 110-meter hurdles (14.23) when he finished as the runner-up in that event at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships.
Aubrey Ashenfelter (W. Basketball) – Psychology . . . Ashenfelter earned Big Sky All-Academic honors in each of her four seasons. She played a school-record 122 games and is the only player in school history with 800 career points, 400 career rebounds, 200 career assists and 100 career steals. She finished her senior season averaging 9.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocked shots to rank in the top four on the team in all five categories.
Brianna Brannan (Soccer) – Management . . . Brannan earned Big Sky All-Academic honors for the third time in 2013. A defender, she was awarded College Sports Madness first team All-Big Sky honors after earning second team All-Big Sky accolades the previous year from league coaches.
Siara Byers (Soccer) – Children Studies . . . Byers earned Big Sky All-Academic honors as a senior and junior, as well as honorable mention all-league accolades in 2013. She scored 12 career points, good enough for a tie for 16th all time, after scoring one goal on 14 shots in her final season with the Eagles.
Lindsay Niemeier (Volleyball) – Education . . . Niemeyer, who lost her 2012 season after a season-ending knee injury in the first match of the season, earned Big Sky All-Academic honors in each of her three full seasons with the Eagles. The setter finished her career by playing in 82 matches and a total of 313 sets, and finished with 2,025 assists to rank 10th all-time in school history. Her 87 career service aces rank 13th.
Ashley Wright (Volleyball) - Business Administration . . . Wright was a four-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic team after playing in 116 matches and 391 sets in her career. She recorded 499 kills, 247 assists, 385 digs and 185 blocks in her career while playing nearly every position on the court for EWU.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/MALE
Drew Brandon (Basketball) . . . Brandon led the Big Sky Conference in assists with an average of 5.1 per game after transferring from Sierra College in California. He also averaged 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game to receive third team All-Big Sky honors from College Sports Madness.
Tevin McDonald (Football) . . . Despite suffering a season-ending leg injury in EWU’s ninth game of the season, the UCLA transfer earned third team All-Big Sky honors. He finished with 43 tackles, an interception, two passes broken up and a forced fumble.
Jake Rodgers (Football) . . . The Washington State transfer played in 10 games as an Eagle, missing five full games and parts of several others with a mid-season knee injury. He helped EWU set numerous records, including school records of 592 points, 83 touchdowns and 8,002 yards of total offense.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Catie Arrigoni (Track & Field/Country) . . . The Everett Community College transfer won the steeplechase at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships, and also was second in the 5,000. She began her Eastern career by placing 51st (fifth among EWU runners) at the Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships, then placed seventh in the 5,000 at the league’s indoor track and field meet. Outdoors, she already ranks in the top eight in three events all-time at EWU, including second in the steeplechase behind teammate Katie Mahoney.
Mayra Chavez (Cross Country) . . . After transferring from New Mexico State, Chavez competed in the Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships and placed 68th (sixth among EWU runners). She recorded EWU’s ninth-fastest 5,000-meter time (18:24.90) during the indoor track and field season.
Melissa Waelter (Volleyball) . . . Waelter played in 17 of Eastern's 31 matches in her first year with the program after transferring from South Alabama. Despite missing the second half of the season due to injury, she finished fourth on the team with 142 kills and averaged 2.33 per set. She also ranked fourth on the team with 129 digs and was one of just two players to average more than two digs per set.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/MALE
Robert Dula (Tennis) . . . Dula won seven of his first 11 collegiate matches en route to finishing 13-9 as a freshman. Eastern’s No. 1 singles player, he ended with a six-match winning streak and earned first team All-Big Sky Conference honors. The Croatian was 7-3 in Big Sky matches, and also went 8-10 at No. 1 doubles.
Cooper Kupp (Football) . . . Kupp was the recipient of the Jerry Rice Award given to the top freshman in FCS, and also was a unanimous first team All-America selection. He caught 93 passes for 1,691 yards and a FCS record 21 touchdowns, and his 14-straight games with a TD reception were also among his total of six FCS records.
Ognjen Miljkovic (Basketball) . . . The Serbian averaged 8.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in an average of 18.6 minutes per game. He missed six games with an ankle injury, but returned to score 32 points against Portland State to equal the 31st-best performance in school history.
Trenton Osborn (Track & Field) . . . In his first Big Sky Conference competition, Osborn placed second in the long jump at the Big Sky Indoor Championships. His jump of 23-3 1/4 came just two inches away from winning the league title, and he followed that with sixth-place finishes in the long jump and triple jump outdoors.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Erin Blessing (Tennis) . . . Blessing finished her debut as an Eagle with a 5-14 record at No. 2 and No. 3 singles. She also was 9-10 in doubles competition, including an 8-7 record at No. 1 doubles with first team All-Big Sky performer Moira Hedberg.
Courtney Bray (Track & Field) . . . Bray won the pole vault at the Big Sky Conference Championships with an effort of 13-5 3/4 and had a season-best of 13-6 1/4 to rank third in school history. Indoors, she had a season-best effort of 12-10 to rank fourth all-time at Eastern and place fourth in the league.
Kylie Curtis (Volleyball) . . . Curtis played in 30 matches – six as a starter -- and 93 total sets in her debut as an Eagle. The daughter of former Eagle Carly Curtis (1993-94), she averaged 0.92 kills per game, hit .121 and had 84 digs and 24 total blocks en route to earning Big Sky All-Academic honors. She also earned all-tournament honors at the San Diego Tournament.
Paula Gil-Echevarria (Cross Country/Track & Field) . . . She began her Eastern career by placing 25th at the Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships (second among EWU runners) and then placing eighth in the mile at the league’s indoor track and field meet. Her personal-best time of 4:54.78 in the mile is just .11 away from the school record. Outdoors, she has recorded the third-fastest steeplechase time in school history and the seventh-best 1,500 time.
Jade Redmon (Basketball) . . . In her first season as an Eagle, Redmon led the Big Sky Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.1 per game) to rank 37th in NCAA Division I. She started 19 of 30 games and averaged 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while making 80.8 percent of her shots from the free throw line.
SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN
Angelica Rodriguez (Cross Country/Track & Field) – The SAAC President, her community service endeavors included the Coin Drive for Samaritans Feet ($500) and the School Supply Drive Leadership (400 items collected). She provided leadership at all SAAC Meetings and contributed 1200 student-athlete service hours. After competing in cross country for her first two years at Eastern, Rodriguez has competed in the sprints exclusively, running the second-fastest 400 in school history outdoors as well as running a leg on both the school-record breaking 4x400 relays indoors and outdoors. A 3.63 student majoring in education/spanish, she will be honored on the Big Sky All-Academic team for the eighth time in 2014.
Caitlin Rice (Golf) – A SAAC Member, she was involved in the Polar Plunge as captain of EWU Project UNIFY ($2,211.63 in donations), was a Special Olympics Volunteer and provided leadership for the Stuffed Animal Drive (200+ collected and distributed to local children’s hospitals). Rice has a 3.13 grade point average in therapeutic recreation, and had an 82.6 average in 15 rounds for the Eagles in the 2013-14 season.
Aaron Neary (Football) – The SAAC Secretary, he was captain for the EWU Football Team in the Polar Plunge ($3,235 in donations), and also provided leadership in the School Supply Drive (400 items collected). He has a 3.04 grade point average as a social science education major, and played in all 15 games as a sophomore offensive guard in 2013. He helped the Eagles set numerous records, including school records of 592 points, 83 touchdowns and 8,002 yards of total offense.
Steven Forgette (Football) . . . A senior, Forgette previously served two years as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He and teammate Ronnie Hamlin helped organize Eastern’s participation in the 2013 Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Washington. Raising nearly $700, the Eagles were given the award for "Top Fundraising School" at the event. Forgette has also has organized several other community service projects, including Special Olympics, Adopt-a-Family and an afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane. Forgette has a 3.37 grade point average as an exercise science major, and three times has been named to the Big Sky All-Academic team. He earned second team All-Big Sky Conference honors for the second-straight year in 2013, and was an honorable mention All-American in 2012.
Siara Byers (Soccer) . . . Byers is a two-time winner of the Silver Eagle Award (spring soccer MVP) and winner of the Iron Eagle as team MVP in the weight room. She is also a two-year team captain, a member of the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team three years and a two-time EWU Soccer Scholar. As a team, Eastern received a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Ethics/Sportsmanship Award and the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 11th-consecutive season. Her community service endeavors include serving as a TOPSoccer coach for two years and participation in the Ronald McDonald House of Spokane Meal Program, in which the Eagles spent an evening cooking dinner for families staying at the RMH. Byers has 3.57 grade point average as a major in children’s studies. On the field, Byers started nine of 18 matches and finished with two goals and 13 shots (seven on goal).
Lexie Nelson (W. Basketball) . . . Nelson, along with her teammates, participated in five community service projects during the year, including Special Olympics, Spokane Guild School Penny Drive, Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, visitation of the Cheney Care Center and volunteering at a Cheney Middle School track meet. She has a 3.68 grade point average as an exercise science major, and was a member of the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. A transfer from Montana, Nelson earned first team All-Big Sky honors after leading the Eagles to a 19-13 record and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Allen Brown (Football) . . . Brown played in 48 of a possible 48 games in his Eastern career until a hamstring injury held him out of three games. He still joined four other players to set the school record of 52 games played. Brown finished his career with 38 starts, 237 tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes broken up.
Jon Buchanan (Track & Field) . . . Buchanan earned four All-Big Sky Conference honors in his Eastern career, including his first title in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 57-11 3/4 at the Big Sky Conference Championships. His all-league accolades have included three in the shot put and one in the weight throw indoors. He ranks in the top 10 all-time at Eastern in four events, including second in the shot put indoors and fourth outdoors. He will also earn his third Big Sky All-Academic honor this spring.
T.J. Lee III (Football) . . . A first team All-American in 2013, Lee is only the third player in school history and the 45th in the 50-year-old Big Sky Conference to win first team all-league honors three times. Lee finished his career with 263 tackles to rank 11th in school history, 25 passes broken up to rank sixth, four interceptions and 3 1/2 sacks in his 49-game career (35 starts).
Zack Nielsen (Track & Field) . . . Capping a career that included a trio of all-league honors, Nielsen won the title in the hammer throw at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships to move into third in school history with a throw of 203-5. Besides his title, he has also finished second and third indoors in the 35-pound weight throw to earn All-Big Sky accolades. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in three events, and this spring will earn his third Big Sky All-Academic honor.
Steven Warner (Track & Field) . . . Warner broke his second school record when he placed second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.23 seconds at the 2014 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. He also owns the school record in the 60-meter hurdles indoors with an 8.07 time. Warner was the 2012 Big Sky hurdles champion indoors, and placed third that spring in the 110 hurdles. This spring he will win his seventh Big Sky Conference all-academic honor in track and field, including three indoors and four outdoors.
Aubrey Ashenfelter (Basketball) . . . Ashenfelter played a school-record 122 games and is the only player in school history with 800 career points, 400 career rebounds, 200 career assists and 100 career steals. She finished her senior season averaging 9.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocked shots to rank in the top four on the team in all five categories. She earned Big Sky All-Academic honors in each of her four seasons, with Eastern advancing to the Big Sky Tournament all four years and playing in the WNIT in 2013.
Brianna Brannan (Soccer) . . . Appearing in 52 career matches, Brannan earned Big Sky All-Academic honors three times and was a first team All-Big Sky selection by College Sports Madness as a senior. She played in only five games as a freshman in 2010, but ended her career by starting 33 of 33 matches in her junior and senior campaigns.
Keisa Monterola (Track & Field) . . . Monterola finished her Eastern career as one of only three female All-Americans in school history in track and field, with a fifth-place finish in 2012. She owns school and Big Sky records indoors with a 14-4 vault, and her best outdoors of 14-0 is a school record and second in league history. She capped her career by winning her fourth league title in five appearances when she won the 2014 indoor title.
Ashley Wright (Volleyball) . . . Wright played in 116 matches and 391 sets in her career, with totals of 499 kills, 247 assists, 385 digs and 185 blocks. She was a four-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic team after playing nearly every position on the court for EWU.
EAGLE AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP & EXCELLENCE
Ashton Clark (Football) . . . Clark was one of four senior captains in the 2013 season, and earned Big Sky All-Academic honors for the second time. He was also a second team All-Big Sky selection after ending his 42-game career with 166 catches for 2,324 yards and 19 touchdowns. In spring of 2012 he was selected as the team’s most improved offensive player.
Ashton Miller (Football) . . . Miller tore his Achilles in his first career start at Washington in 2011, but capped his career in 2013 by earning first team All-America honors. He was a starter in 30 of the 33 games he played in his career, and was one of four senior captains in the 2013 season.
Steven Warner (Track & Field) . . . Warner’s many accomplishments include two school records, a Big Sky Conference title, a runner-up finish and seven Big Sky Conference All-Academic accolades. He even helped fill-in as a member of the cross country team in 2012.
Ashley Wright (Volleyball) . . . Playing wherever she was needed throughout her career, in 2012 she was forced into action as EWU’s setter because of an injury to starter Lindsay Niemeier. Wright was a four-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic team after playing in 116 career matches.