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Feb. 28, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Both of Miami’s Athletes of the Week had big-time performances for their team as their season winds down as sophomore diver Nikki Craft is the Miami Female Athlete of the Week while junior forward Reilly Smith is the Miami Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Feb. 20-26.
Craft (Bay Village, Ohio) had a strong showing at the MAC Swimming & Diving Championships, helping Miami to a third-place finish while she was named MAC Diver of the Year and First-Team All-MAC. Craft won her first career MAC title on the three-meter board, which was Miami’s first win in the event since 2000 while she becomes just the ninth RedHawk diver to win a MAC title. She scored a personal-best 334.05 on her six dives to win the three-meter title Saturday. Craft also competed in one-meter diving, placing third with a score of 298.80 out of 16 competitors on Thursday. She scored 36 points for Miami at the meet with 20 from three-meter diving and 16 from one-meter diving.
The honor is Craft’s first Miami Athlete of the Week award.
Smith (Mimico, Ont.) totaled six points, leading the hockey team to a sweep of No. 17 Ohio State, scoring three goals and adding three assists. Friday, he scored a pair of goals, his fifth multi-goal game this year, scoring the first two goals in a 3-0 win. His first goal was the game-winner as he tied the Miami single-season record of eight, which also leads the country. Saturday at OSU, Smith tied a career high with four points, including a career-high-tying three assists, as he had a hand in four of Miami's five goals in a 5-1 victory, including one short-handed.
Smith was named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts as well, his fourth time winning the award this year while this is his fourth Miami Male Athlete of the Week honor as well. He ended the regular season with 26 goals, which led the CCHA and ranks second nationally, while his 38 points were second in the CCHA. In league play only, he won the goal scoring title with 18 while his 28 points were third, one point behind the two leaders. Smith has now won the CCHA goal-scoring title each of the last two years, both overall and in league play. He had a +6 rating on the weekend, including a season-best +4 in Saturday's game. By scoring in both games he is now on a career-long-tying four-game goal streak and a season-long six-game point streak. He was the No. 1 star in both games last weekend, as well.
Craft next competes at the NCAA Zone C Diving Regional Championships in Bloomington, Ind. March 9-10. Smith leads the RedHawks into the CCHA Tournament as fourth-seeded Miami earned a first-round bye and will host fifth-seeded Michigan State in a best-of-three quarterfinal series at Steve Cady Arena March 9-11.
The next Miami Athletes of the Week will be announced Tuesday, March 6. For a list of previous winners, click here.