Athletic Awards Announced At The Bennys

June 6, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Ken Simonton and Felicia Ragland were named the male and female athletes of the year highlighting the Third Annual Bennys awards ceremony held at the LaSells Stewart Center Wednesday.

Simonton joins Aaron Wells (2000) and Inoke Breckterfield (1999) from the football program as the past Male Athlete of the Year recipients. The junior running back gained a school record 1,559 yards on the ground and scored 19 touchdowns during the 2000 season. Simonton was a first team All-Pac-10 Conference selection, earned numerous All-American honors, and finished ninth in the prestigious Heisman Trophy Ballot voting.

Ragland was an honorable mention Kodak and Associated Press All-American after averaging 19.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. The Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year led the program to its first postseason appearance since 1996. She also became the eighth player in the program's history to exceed 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for a career.

Tanya Chaplin of the gymnastics program and Dennis Erickson of the football team took home honors as the Female and Male Coaches of the Year. Chaplin earned the honor for the second year in a row after guiding the team to the NCAA Championships in back-to-back seasons. Erickson led the football program to an 11-1 season, capped off by a 41-9 Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame to finish the season as the fourth-ranked team in the country.

Richard Seigler from the football team and Birte Steven from swimming were named the Male and Female Newcomers of the Year, respectively. Seigler had one of the finest seasons for a freshman in school history, making 72 tackles (2nd on the team) from his linebacker position and collecting several postseason honors. Steven, who set nine school records, ended the year as the program's second All-American.

Eric Jorgensen from wrestling and Katrina Severin from gymnastics captured the Male and Female Performance of the Year Bennys. Jorgensen, who earned All-American honors, was the Pac-10 Conference Championships Outstanding Wrestler after capturing the title at 157 pounds. Severin finished second at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors in OSU's best showing ever in the event.

The football and gymnastics teams were named the Teams of the Year for the second consecutive year. The football team finished No. 4 in the nation after dismantling Notre Dame in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, while gymnastics qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season and had two All-Americans.

Three women's crew student-athletes dominated the seven-member Scholar-Athlete Team. Abby Roos, Cassie Bouska, and Megan Oest were recognized for their efforts in the classroom, with each having a 3.62 GPA or higher. Sam Bobek of men's crew was also honored, as were Anne Marie Falow of women's soccer, Thad Johnson of baseball, and Carina Olsson of women's golf.

Thirteen student-athletes were honored as All-Americans in their various sports. The 13-member team includes Scott Nicholson (baseball), Felicia Ragland, Chris Gibson (football), DeLawrence Grant (football), Dennis Weathersby (football), Seigler, Simonton, Anthony Arvidson (men's golf), Severin, Lara Degenhardt (gymnastics), Steven, and Jorgensen. Gina Schmidt of the volleyball team was honored as an Academic All-American.

The remaining Bennys were given to Todd Deacon (men's golf) and Christian Green (women's crew) as the Glenn Klein Community Service award winners, long-time administrator and coach Paul Valenti earned the Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement award, the OSU Alumni Association was awarded the Spirit Award Benny for their contributions at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and the famous opossum scampering across the Reser Stadium Field against USC was given the Play of the Year Benny.

THIRD ANNUAL BENNYS RECIPIENTS

Scholar-Athlete Team - Sam Bobek (men's crew), Cassie Bouska (women's crew), Anne Marie Fallow (women's soccer), Thad Johnson (baseball), Megan Oest (women's crew), Carina Olsson (women's golf), Abby Roos (women's crew)

Glenn Klein Community Service Awards: Todd Deacon (golf), Christian Green (women's crew)

Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Valenti (administrator)

Spirit Award: OSU Alumni Association

Male Newcomer of the Year: Richard Siegler (football)

Female Newcomer of the Year: Birte Steven (swimming)

Female Sports Coach of the Year: Tanya Chaplin (gymnastics)

Male Sports Coach of the Year: Dennis Erickson (football)

Play of the Year: Opossum running the length of the Reser Stadium Field vs. USC

Male Performance of the Year: Eric Jorgensen (wrestling)

Female Performance of the Year: Katrina Severin (gymnastics)

Male Athlete of the Year: Ken Simonton (football)

Female Athlete of the Year: Felicia Ragland (women's basketball)

Female Team of the Year: Gymnastics

Male Team of the Year: Football

All-American Recognition: Scott Nicholson (baseball), Felicia Ragland (women's basketball), Chris Gibson (football), DeLawrence Grant (football), Richard Seigler (football), Ken Simonton (football), Dennis Weathersby (football), Anthony Arvidson (men's golf), Katrina Severin (gymnastics), Lara Degenhardt (gymnastics), Birte Steven (swimming), Gina Schmidt (volleyball, academic), Eric Jorgensen (wrestling)

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