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High school athletes win big at Oregon Sports Awards

Olympic champions, Ducks also grab the spotlight at Nike


by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Gresham High's Haley Crouser (left) and Aloha High's Thomas Tyner show off their trophies after each won two prep awards during Sunday's Oregon Sports Awards at Nike.Ashton Eaton, Megan Rapinoe, Kenjon Barner, Elizabeth Brenner, Erik Spoelstra, Chip Kelly and many more won top honors Sunday at the 61st annual Oregon Sports Awards.

Decathlon world record-holder Eaton, from Bend and the University of Oregon, and Olympic soccer star Megan Rapinoe, a former University of Portland star, were named the state’s Harry Glickman Pro Athletes of the Year for 2012. Both won gold medals competing for the United States at the London Summer Games.

UO running back Barner and the Ducks’ Brenner, a four-sport athlete from Jesuit High, won the Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year trophies, giving the U of O a sweep in that category.

Spoelstra and Kelly shared the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award. Spoelstra, who played at Jesuit and UP, coached the Miami Heat to the NBA title, while Kelly coached Oregon to a No. 2 national ranking and Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State.

Spoelstra gave his acceptance speech by video, while Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota and defensive lineman Taylor Hart accepted for Kelly, now coach of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles.

The awards show at Nike’s Tiger Woods Center, hosted by ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, also saluted scores of the state’s best high school athletes during a fast-paced, 105-minute stage show that featured a dozen celebrity presenters.

Award presenters, in addition to UO grad Everett, included two-time Olympic women’s saber fencing champion Mariel Zagunis, former UO/NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, football coach and run ‘n’ shoot offense guru Mouse Davis, Oregon State All-American defensive back Jordan Poyer, Miami Dolphins quarterback and ex-Beaver Matt Moore, middle-distance track star Matthew Centrowitz from U of O, former OSU and NBA basketball standout Steve Johnson, Barner and ex-Duck tight end David Paulson, OSU football assistant coach Jay Locey, Ryan Kawulok of the Portland Timbers and from the U of P, and Trail Blazers broadcasting legend Bill Schonely.

This year’s Oregon Sports Awards added a new dimension, with awards going to the most outstanding male and female athletes from each Oregon School Activities Association-sponsored sport — 19 of those in all.

The Johnny Carpenter Prep Athletes of the Year for large and small schools remained a highlight of the show, as well.

The Carpenter Awards for Class 6A and 5A went to Aloha High running back Thomas Tyner and Gresham High track and field star Haley Crouser.

The Carpenter 4A/3A/2A/1A awards went to Oshay Dunmore, who starred in track and field and football at Newport High, and Baily Bennett, a three-sport athlete from Heppner High.

All-American Tyner became the all-time state leader with his 3,415 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns in 11 games last season, and he has signed to play for Oregon.

Crouser, who has committed to Oregon, won three events as a junior at the state track and field meet and later won the U.S. junior national javelin title, set a national record in the event and finished 11th in the World Junior Championships. She also made second-team all-state in volleyball for the Gophers.

Dunmore, a redshirt in football at Oregon in 2012, was the top athlete at the 4A track and field meet, after an All-American season as a two-way back in football.

Bennett led Heppner to the 2A softball title, going 23-4 on the mound and batting .413. She also was all-state in volleyball and honorable mention all-state in basketball.

Individual sport winners included Tyner in football, Lake Oswego High’s Calvin Hermanson and Springfield High’s Mercedes Russell in basketball, Dunmore and Crouser in track and field, Westview High’s Carson Kelly in baseball and North Medford High’s Maryssa Becker in softball.

Other prep winners were: Jesuit’s Christo Michaelson and Scappoose’s Ariel Viera, soccer; Summit’s Travis Neuman and South Eugene’s Sara Tsai, cross country; Tani Stephens of West Albany in volleyball; Zac Brunson of Churchill in wrestling; Sunset’s Cameron Stitt and Lake Oswego’s Sarah Kaunitz in swimming; South Eugene’s Sulman Raza and Beaverton’s Gigi Stoll, golf; and Lincoln’s Goutham Sundaram and Jesuit’s Erin Larner, tennis.

The Oregon Ducks claimed three of the five trophies handed out to George Pasero Teams of the Year. Recipients were Oregon’s national championship teams in women’s cross country, women’s indoor track and acrobatics and tumbling.

The Duck women’s cross country squad, coached by Robert Johnson, scored 114 points to runner-up Providence’s 183 points at the national meet, with the Ducks’ Jordan Hasay taking third in a tight finish among the top three.

The women’s indoor track team, under the direction of Vin Lananna, rode victories in the pentathlon by Brianne Theisen and 60 meters by English Gardner to a 49-30 margin over NCAA runner-up Kansas.

Oregon repeated as national champ in acrobatics and tumbling in 2012. Coach Felecia Mulkey’s team became the first to post an undefeated (11-0) season.

Other Pasero Teams of the Year: Oregon Institute of Technology men’s basketball and Blue Mountain Community College volleyball.

The OIT men captured their third NAIA Division II championship in 2012, and this was the program’s third Pasero award since 2004, as well. The Owls set a team record for wins, going 34-4.

Blue Mountain went 43-4, 14-0 in league, as the Timberwolves, coached by Dave Baty, captured the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship.

Danny Miles, OIT’s longtime men’s basketball coach, won the DNA Award, who goes to individuals or organizations for their extraordinary passion and dedication to sports in Oregon. Miles also was one of three finalists for the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award. He finished the 2011-12 season with 971 career victories, second on the all-time NCAA/NAIA list.

The Oregon Sports Awards had second-time winners in the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year category. Southern Oregon University wrestler Mitch Lofstedt and Linfield College softball standout Staci Doucette were honored for their 2012 achievements.

Lofstedt won the NAIA championship at 125 pounds, going 39-2 and being named the outstanding wrestler at the national tournament, where he pinned four opponents in a combined 7 minutes, 37 seconds.

Doucette, an All-American first baseman, became the NCAA Division III all-time leader in home runs (73 in four seasons) and RBI (259) in helping the Wildcats go 47-7 and place second in the nation.

Lofstedt and Doucette both won the Rutschman Award for 2010, as well.

Dony Knight, a student at Sutherlin High, received the Lou Burge Special Olympics Athlete of the Year honor. He has participated in Special Olympics since age 11, competing in swimming, basketball, softball and soccer. He has been an Oregon team captain at the USA National Games and has helped with the football and baseball programs at Sutherlin.

The Game Changer Award, which is for individuals who have dedicated their lives to high school sports and made compelling changes in their schools and communities, went to Bobbie Steninger of Lakeview High. She has spent 50 years as a coach and teacher at Lakeview, which named its new track in her honor.