Cole, Fernandez, Manes-Manthe Named Outstanding Athletes

Siloam Springs, Ark. (April 14, 2003) — The JBU Department of Athletics held their annual awards convocation on Saturday to honor athletes for their outstanding accomplishments over the past year. Brandon Cole, freshman guard for men's basketball, Pablo Fernandez, sophomore goalkeeper for men's soccer and Michelle Manes-Manthe, senior setter for women's volleyball were named the outstanding male and female athletes at John Brown University. Manes-Manthe also received the Champions of Character award for female athletes and Shane Mark, senior midfielder for men's soccer was the male recipient of the Champions of Character award. The head coach of each sport spoke briefly on the team accomplishments and presented individual awards to players who were voted on by team members for such recognition as the most valuable player, the most improved player and the most inspirational player.

Brent Rush, head swim coach, presented both the men and women's swimming awards. For the women, Kathleen Kubrich received the High Point Swimmer of the Year, Emily McGuire was named the Most Improved Swimmer and Jenny Brown was selected the Most Inspirational Swimmer. In men's swimming, the High Point Swimmer of the Year was Nik Hook who also received the award for the Most Inspirational Swimmer and the Most Improved Swimmer was Adam Rhode.

Jeff Soderquist the head women's basketball coach, announced Katie Elliott as the Most Valuable Player, Natalie Reed as the Most Improved Player, and Amber Owens as the winner of the Hustle Award.

For men's basketball, head coach John Sheehy, named Ty Sawyer as the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award, Pat Smits as the winner of the Charles H. Thomas Hustle Award, Alex Terry as the Best Defensive player and Abdiel Mendieta as the Most Valuable Player.

Joe Thoma, head women's soccer coach, announced the awards for his team. Catalina Herrera received the Most Inspirational Award, Brooke Williams and Christy Smeal were the Most Valuable Offensive Players, and Kristin Snyder was the Most Valuable Defensive Player.

Bob Gustavson, men's soccer coach, presented the men's soccer awards to Pablo Fernandez as the Most Valuable Player, Andy Korn as the Most Improved Player, and Shane Mark for the Sportsmanship Award.

Roby Gordon, head volleyball coach, announced the volleyball awards. Michelle Manes-Manthe was named as the Most Valuable Player, Elisa Evans received the Most Improved Player Award and Rachel Cureton was the recipient of the JBU Volleyball Christian Character Award.

Amber Owens, the tennis coach, presented both men and women's tennis awards. The Most Valuable Player for women's tennis was Martha Elbrecht, the Most Improved Player was Silvy Perkins, and the Hustle Award winner was Raynisha Robinson. For men's tennis, Tim Miller received the Most Valuable Player award, Mike Dill received the Most Improved Player Award, and Chase Willsey was named as the winner of the Hustle Award.

JBU scholar athletes were also recognized. In women's basketball Katie Elliott, Aubree Schwartz, and Stepahnie Kunego were named scholar athletes. Women's soccer players who were named scholar athletes were Esther Kim and Danae Millard. Men's soccer players earning the title scholar athlete were Andy Korn and Kris Finsher. Volleyball players named as scholar athletes were Michelle Manes-Manthe, Jairin Schrader, Rachel Cureton, Kemi Dowe, and Christine Haverdink. In tennis, Allison McKenzie and Martha Elbrecht received the scholar athlete recognition.

Director of Athletics Dr. Bob Burns and Executive Vice-President Dr. Jim Worthington both commended the athletes for a great year on the field of competition and as representatives of John Brown University.