Fourth Annual Benny Awards Announced

CORVALLIS - Seniors Nathan Coy from the wrestling team and FeliciaRagland from the women's basketball program were selected the Oregon StateUniversity Male and Female Athletes of the Year highlighting the FourthAnnual Benny Awards Tuesday evening at the LaSells Stewart Center on campus.The event culminated the 2001-2002 athletic year.

Coy, a four-year letterman from Oregon City, posted a 22-7 record at174 pounds. He won his second straight Pacific-10 Conference title andproceeded to earn his first All-American honor by placing fourth at the NCAAChampionships. Coy won 11 consecutive matches during the course of theseason and posted two victories over nationally ranked opponents.

Ragland concluded her banner career by being selected to theAll-Pac-10 team for the third consecutive season. The native of Tulare,Calif., repeated as an All-American this season after leading the conferencein scoring and steals. She concluded her career as the third Oregon Stateplayer to eclipse the 1,600-point and 600-rebound marks. Ragland became thefirst Beaver ever to be selected in the Women's National BasketballAssociation Draft, as Seattle tabbed her in the second round.

Team of the Year Bennys were awarded to the men's crew and women'sgymnastics programs. The varsity eight crew captured fourth place at theIntercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, the highestfinish ever by the program. Oregon State's junior varsity eight andfreshmen eight also finished in the top 10. The gymnastics team advancedto the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year, finishing 12th.The nationally ranked team posted four of the top 20 scores in schoolhistory.

Dave Reischman of men's crew, in his eighth year, received the MaleSport Coach of the Year Benny while Mariusz Podkoscielny of swimmingaccepted the Female Sport Coach of the Year Benny. Both coaches guidedtheir programs to their best seasons in school history. Podkoscielny, thesixth-year head coach, led OSU to a school record 31st place at the NCAAChampionships. The program also achieved the highest finish ever at thePac-10 Championships and its third consecutive winning season.

Mitch Meeuwsen of the football program garnered the Male Newcomer ofthe Year Benny, while Juleen Smith of basketball captured the female honor.Meeuwsen was among the team leaders for tackles and was named a FreshmanAll-American. Smith started 14 consecutive games to conclude the season,and averaged 20 points and 8.5 rebounds at the Pac-10 Tournament.

The Robert Byers Spirit Award, named in honor of the late crewathlete who passed away recently, was awarded to junior wrestler Casey Horn.The North Salem High School graduate battled knee and elbow injuriesthroughout the season but still managed to post a 19-7 record. Hisaccolades include a team-high eight pins and a victory over the secondranked wrestler in the country in his weight class.

Sophomore pitchers Ben Rowe and Monica Hoffman were the recipientsof the Male and Female Performance of the Year Bennys. Rowe hurled afour-hitter in the Beavers' series opening victory over the No. 4 StanfordCardinal in the first night contest ever at Goss Stadium and Coleman Field.Hoffman pitched a perfect game, the third in school history, in the softballteam's 1-0 win at Hawaii. She dominated opponents in a six-day period, withtwo no-hitters.

The Glenn Klein Community Service Bennys were awarded to freshmanAdam Daniel of wrestling and sophomore Courtney Carter of women's soccer.Both Daniel and Carter were involved in numerous functions around the OSUand Corvallis communities throughout the year.

All-American Bennys were presented to Coy, Meeuwsen, Ragland, DennisWeathersby of football, Elizabeth Jillson of gymnastics, Gina Schmidt ofvolleyball, and Birte Steven and Naya Higashijima of swimming.

Scholar-Athlete Bennys were awarded to Schmidt, Jerra Lopez ofgymnastics, Bonnie Renwick from swimming, and Emmy Gardner and LaurenSommers of crew.

The Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Benny was presented tolongtime Beaver supporter Sue Poorman of Portland. Poorman is a formerpresident of the Beaver Athletic Student Fund, and has raised over $1million for the organization. Both Sue and her husband, Ken, are graduatesof OSU.

The 2001-2002 Benny Awards

Male Athlete of the Year: Nathan Coy (wrestling)
Female Athlete of the Year: Felicia Ragland (basketball)
Male Newcomer of the Year: Mitch Meeuwsen (football)
Female Newcomer of the Year: Juleen Smith (basketball)
Male Performance of the Year: Ben Rowe (baseball)
Female Performance of the Year: Monica Hoffman (softball)
Male Coach of the Year: Dave Reischman (crew)
Female Coach of the Year: Mariusz Podkoscielny (swimming)
Male Team of the Year: Crew
Female Team of the Year: Gymnastics
Community Service Awards: Adam Daniel (wrestling) & Courtney Carter (soccer)
Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award: Sue Poorman
Scholar Athletes of the Year: Emmy Gardner (crew), Jerra Lopez (gymnastics),Bonnie Renwick (swimming), Gina Schmidt (volleyball), Lauren Sommers (crew)
All-Americans: Felicia Ragland (basketball), Birte Steven (swimming), NayaHigashijima (swimming), Dennis Weathersby (football), Mitch Meeuwsen(football), Elizabeth Jillson (gymnastics), Gina Schmidt (volleyball),Nathan Coy (wrestling)

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