|Posted April 23, 2009|
CSU-Pueblo announces Athlete of the Year awards
PUEBLO, Colo. (Apr. 23, 2009) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Athletics has named its 2008-09 award winners, as five student athletes took home various "athlete of the year" awards. The recipients were announced Thursday at the ThunderWolves Senior Luncheon at CSU-Pueblo.
The CSU-Pueblo Male Athlete of the Year award was given to all-American football player Chase Vaughn (Jr., Aurora, Colo.). Vaughn was a third-team selection to the "Don Hansen's Football Gazette" all-American team, the first CSU-Pueblo football all-American since 1982. Vaughn was also a first-team all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter selection. Vaughn was the defensive lynchpin for the ThunderWolves in their first season of football in 24 years, recording 10.5 sacks, putting him in the top ten nationally, and 18.5 tackles for loss, a top 25 mark in the nation.
The CSU-Pueblo Female Athlete of the Year awards was shared between women's basketball standout Rachel Espinoza (So., Pueblo, Colo.) and Janine Tyler (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.), an potential all-American softball player.
Espinoza, the Pack's point guard, helped lead the ThunderWolves to its third Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in four seasons, leading the team in scoring and being named the RMAC Shootout Most Valuable Player. She was a first-team all-RMAC West Division selection for the ThunderWolves.
Tyler, who entered this week ranked fourth in nation in batting average with a .502 mark, currently owns the highest career batting average in CSU-Pueblo history (.404). She is currently leading the RMAC in batting, and is a legitimate candidate to be the RMAC Player of the Year as well as the first ThunderWolf to be named an all-American since 2001. The Pack's leadoff hitter and shortstop, Tyler is currently leading a Pack team that is making a bid for the team's first regional tournament berth since 2001.
Rounding out the award-winners were men's soccer player Trevor Martinet (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.), the recipient of the James "Spank" Blasing award for top male student-athlete, while women's basketball standout Mary Rehfeld (Sr., Juneau, Alaska) won the Jessie Banks Award for top female student-athlete.
Martinet, the first academic all-American in the history of the CSU-Pueblo men's soccer program, carried a 4.0 grade point average throughout his four years at CSU-Pueblo, finishing his career in the top ten in school history in points, assists and goals. Martinet was also named the RMAC Men's Soccer Academic Player of the Year, the first ThunderWolf in program history to attain that prestigious honor. Martinet is majoring in business.
The James "Spank" Blasing award is named for the longtime track and field coach through the various incarnations of the university, from Pueblo Junior College all the way up through the days as University of Southern Colorado.
Rehfeld, a four-year member of the women's basketball team, was on three RMAC championship squads, named to the RMAC shootout all-tournament team three times. Rehfeld graduates from the ThunderWolves having scored the fourth most career points in school history, and is ranked as the top three-point shooter in school history. A mass communications major, Rehfeld has been just as valuable off the court, interning with the Department of Athletics this year and being an integral part of the school's athletic expansion in 2008-09 with the addition of football, wrestling and women's track and field.
The Jessie Banks award is named for the former and longtime University of Southern Colorado women's basketball coach who helped to forge the women's athletics program at the university.
‘Spank' Blasing Award: Trevor Martinet, Men's
Jessie Banks Award: Mary Rehfeld, Women's Basketball
Co-Female Athlete of the Year: Janine Tyler, Softball
Co-Female Athlete of the Year: Rachel Espinoza, Women's Basketball
Male Athlete of the Year: Chase Vaughn, Football