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Sports Clubs Bestow Annual Awards

SOCORRO, N.M. April 26, 2012 – Members of New Mexico Tech’s 16 sport clubs gathered at the open air golf pavilion on the evening of Sunday, April 15 to share dinner and honor standout student athletes of the 2011-2012 academic year.

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Physical Recreation director Melissa Begay (from left), Sportswoman of the Year Brittney LaMay, men’s volleyball member Ben Cooper, and sport club coordinator Dave Wheelock, at the annual sports awards banquet.

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Begay, Sportsman of the Year Isaiah Sanchez, teammate Enrique Koerdell, and Wheelock, Photos by George Avila:

A committee comprised of select sport club members reviewed open nominations before choosing Brittney LaMay, player/coach of the Techtonics volleyball team as Tech’s Sportswoman of the Year and rugby club veteran Isaiah Sanchez as Tech’s top Sportsman.

The sport club program is administered by the Department of Physical Recreation and provides funding for self-motivated students who value physical activity as a vehicle for competition, socializing, and personal growth. Clubs participating in 2011-2012 were: baseball, bicycling, caving, climbing, cricket, golf, martial arts, paintball, women’s and men’s rugby, shooting sports, women’s and men’s soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and women’s and men’s volleyball.

A number of clubs recognized outstanding members as follows.

  • Bicycling - Best Mexican Food on a Bike Wreck: Sam Rochelle
  • Caving – Distinguished Service: Daisy Morgan
  • Climbing – Most Improved: Ron Hruban, and Gnarliest Fall: Matthew Sophy
  • Queens Rugby – Passion Award: Kindra Langendorf
  • Shooting Sports – Team captain: David Best, Most Improved: Brian Sun
  • Lady Miners Soccer – BadAss Award: Megan Rosebrough, Newcomer of the Year: Shelby Fellows
  • Miners Soccer – Most Dedicated Freshman: Eric Hernandez
  • Women’s Tech Tonics Volleyball – Awesomeness Award: Dorella Molina
  • Men’s Tech Tonics Volleyball – Most Improved Player: Ethan Riseley, Most Likely to Bring the Crowd to Their Feet: Malcolm Lockett

Brittney LaMay secured her volleyball club’s favor as Most Valuable Player in addition to Sportswoman honors. LaMay hails from Carrizozo, N.M., and is a graduate of Capitan High School. Brittney has played volleyball since the seventh grade and also enjoys basketball. She served as captain and ad hoc coach for the Tech Tonics, refereed in the intramural program, organized fundraising tournaments, and took care of administrative duties for both the women’s and men’s teams.

LaMay credits her mother as her chief inspiration, saying “she stresses the importance of an education, but also happiness.” She also singled out Sharon Spurgin of the Student Services department and David P. Anderson of the men’s volleyball club as significant mentors during her undergraduate years.

As she prepares to gain her bachelor’s in chemistry this year, LaMay reflects on her collegiate athletic life. “Tech is so focused on academia that it’s important to have some kind of stress relief, where people can just get together and not have to think about derivatives, Hermitian operators, writing papers, or any other kind of school work.”

A civil engineering student, Isaiah Sanchez is a graduate of Mora High School in the northern mountains of New Mexico. He was active in several high school sports and has played rugby since coming to New Mexico Tech. At a modest 5’10” and 155 pounds, Isaiah has been his rugby teammate’s frequent choice as Man of the Match for the past two years. In the spring of 2011 he was named recipient of the Jeremiah Wright Cup as most valuable rugby player of the academic year. This year Isaiah was elevated to the position of head captain.

A teammate wrote in a nominating petition “there is not a tackle he cannot make ... he is uncontainable when running the ball.” In addition Isaiah was singled out for “proving that New Mexico Tech is not just a place for academics. He serves as an inspiration to fellow Tech athletes to never give up in academics or athletics because it is possible to balance and succeed in both.”

Other Tech athletes nominated for top honors were Michaela Rempkowski, Lynnae Logan, David Best, Enrique Koerdell, and James Chavez. This year’s sport club awards banquet was sponsored by the divisions of Research and Economic Development and Student and University Relations as well as the Physical Recreation department.

– NMT –

By Dave Wheelock/Sport Club Coordinator