July 29, 2008
OXFORD, Ohio--Six student-athletes earned Miami University Athletics' most prestigious annual awards and will be honored at the Miami versus Temple football game on Saturday, Oct. 4.
Ryan Jones (ice hockey) was named the Male Athlete of the Year, while Amanda Jackson (women's basketball) was tabbed the Female Athlete of the Year. Kristina Bolterstein (women's track and field) earned the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolade, while Charlie Effinger (ice hockey) and Evan Armitage (baseball) shared Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Halle Popson (softball) earned Miami's highest honor for a female student-athlete, the Leann Grimes Davidge Memorial Award.
Jones (Chatham, Ontario) was one of three 2008 Hobey Baker finalists and earned 2008 ACHA West All-America First Team honors. A three-time all-CCHA honoree, Jones earned first-team accolades in 2007-08. He captained the RedHawks to a school-record 33 victories during the 2007-08 campaign as Miami spent 10 weeks ranked No. 1. Jones finished the 2007-08 season with 31 goals, giving him 90 for his career and placing him second on the school's all-time scoring list. His 31 goals ranked third nationally and was the first 30-goal season for a Miami player since 1992-93. Jones finished his collegiate career with 21 game-winning goals, tying him with two other players for the second-most game-winners in Division I history. Setting the program record for games played (161), Jones played in every game during his four-year Miami career and propelled the RedHawks to three NCAA Tournament appearances, a No. 1 regional seeding in the 2008 NCAA Tournament and a regular-season CCHA title in 2005-06. Additionally, Jones was named a National Strength and Conditioning All-American in 2008. He is currently signed with the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators.
Jackson (Springfield, Ohio/South) was an honorable mention All-America selection, becoming just the second player in program history to garner All-America distinction. With 1,979 career points, she is the all-time leading scorer in women's basketball history and ranks second only to Ron Harper among Miami basketball's all-time leading scorers regardless of gender. She also is the women's basketball career record holder for field goals made and attempted, free throws made and 20-point games. Tabbed the MAC Tournament MVP, Jackson spearheaded Miami to the 2007 MAC Tournament title and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance. She averaged 21.6 points per game in 2007-08 to lead the MAC and rank seventh nationally, becoming the first in program history to average more than 20.0 ppg in a season. She set a single-game scoring record with 43 points against Texas-San Antonio on Dec. 29 and went on to establish six Miami single-season records in 2007-08 (points, 20-point games, free throws made, free throws attempted, field goals attempted and field goals made). A two-time first-team all-MAC selection, Jackson twice was a WBCA National Player of the Month Honorable Mention selection in 2007-08. She also was named the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Female Athlete of the Year.
Bolterstein (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Midpark), who owns a 3.66 grade-point average and majored in environmental science and zoology, was an All-American in the high jump for a second straight year. She was a four-time MAC Champion in the high jump, earning three MAC indoor crowns and one MAC outdoor title. Bolterstein captured both the indoor and outdoor titles in 2008. In 2008, Bolterstein was a USTFCCCA All-Region selection, was the All-Ohio Indoor and Outdoor High Jump Champion and won the high jump at nine additional regular-season meets. She was a four-time first-team all-MAC selection and a four-time academic all-MAC honoree, while earning ESPN The Magazine First-Team Academic All-District honors in 2008. Bolterstein was named the 2007 USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and also was the 2006-07 Miami Female Athlete of the Year. She owns the Miami and MAC high jump record, clearing a height of 6-1 1/2.
Effinger (Belleville, Ill.), who boasted a 3.51 GPA and majored in American studies and political science, was a part of three NCAA Tournament appearances, a No. 1 regional seeding in the 2008 NCAA Tournament and a regular-season CCHA title in 2005-06. In 2007-08, the RedHawks spent 10 weeks ranked No. 1 in the country and compiled a school-record 33 wins. Effinger--who was considered the consummate team player--was a 2008 Spirit of Miami Award recipient, presented to the male and female senior student-athletes whose playing time did not deter their enthusiastic commitment to their team. In 2007-08, Effinger appeared in eight games and amassed a perfect 6-0 record and finished his career with an impressive mark of 32-12-4. As a sophomore, Effinger was named the CCHA's Best Goaltender and was a second-team all-CCHA selection, ranking first in the league and second nationally in goals-against average and save percentage.
Armitage (Milford, Ohio/Milford ), who owned a 3.73 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering, was a two-time academic all-MAC selection. In his final season in a RedHawk uniform, Armitage set personal season bests in runs (40), RBIs (30), walks (32) and stolen bases (12). Armitage finished the 2008 season ranking first among league statistical leaders in MAC-only play in triples (.15 3B/G), while finishing fourth in triples (.08 3B/G), eighth in stolen bases (.24 SB/G) and 10th in walks (0.63 W/G) in all games. Armitage's four triples in 2008 moved him into a tie for fourth place on Miami's career triples chart with 11 three-baggers. During his freshman campaign, Armitage saw action in 36 games during the 2005 season, helping the RedHawks to MAC regular-season and tournament titles and also advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Popson (Solon, Ohio/Solon) was a National Strength and Conditioning All-American and holds Miami's career record for at-bats (683), runs (137), hits (239) and walks (171). Popson was a two-time all-MAC selection earning first-team honors in 2007 and second-team recognition in 2008, while garnering academic all-MAC accolades in 2008. Popson also was named to the MAC all-tournament team as a freshman in 2005, helping Miami to a MAC tournament crown and a NCAA Tournament berth. In 2008, she also set Miami's single-season record and led the MAC in runs scored with 45. In the true spirit of the Leann Grimes Davidge Award, Popson also was awarded the Miami University President's Distinguished Service Award, Miami University Senior Service Leadership Award and Miami University Women's Leadership Award this year. A four-year starter at first base and two-time captain for the RedHawks, Popson led the Mid-American Conference in 2007 in league batting average, hitting a stellar .453. At the Winter MAC Meetings, Popson presented a study along with Dr. Rose Marie Ward on protecting female student-athletes in regards to the vulnerability in relation to having an alpha female complex. The presentation received unanimous support from the senior administrators, athletic directors and faculty athletics representatives, and all of the MAC schools have pledged their support in requesting female student-athletes participate in this nation-wide study. Additionally, Popson has been involved with reading groups, softball clinics, AIDS walks, multicultural events, senior citizen events and anti-smoking awareness events during her Miami career.
Miami's Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors are awarded to any student-athlete (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior) who has made significant athletic contributions to his/her respective team for that academic year.
The Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards are bestowed upon a student-athlete of senior standing, who has excelled in the classroom as well as in the athletic arena.
Noted as Miami's top award for an upperclass female student-athlete, the Leann Grimes Davidge Award is presented in honor of the former Miami women's tennis coach from 1979 to 1985, who tragically lost her life in an automobile accident. In six years as head coach, Davidge compiled an overall record of 93-50 and 25-1 in MAC action, while capturing four consecutive MAC Championships. This award is meant to keep her legacy alive through recognition of outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, academics and leadership.