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SDSU Holds First A.C.E. Awards Banquet

May 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO – The first Aztecs Celebrating Excellence (A.C.E) Awards were held last week at the Cal Coast Open Air Amphitheater hosted by athletics staff and coaches. The event honored student-athletes for excellence in their sport and holistic development in the classroom. 

"The A.C.E. Awards is a new tradition that provides the SDSU Athletics community an opportunity to come together and celebrate the many achievements of student-athletes and staff from the academic year," Bobby Smitheran, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services said. "This program positively impacts the student-athlete experience, and we look forward to growing this event in years to come." 

Throughout the night multiple student-athletes were honored for their various academic achievements, as well as teams were rewarded for their outstanding academic performances as a team this year. Softball's Maggie Balint and football's Cameron Thomas were awarded Student-Athlete of the Year, while men's golf and lacrosse were honored for having the highest team GPAs.

Other awards handed out to student-athletes and support staff include the All-Aztecs Going Pro Award, which is given to seniors who have exemplified personal growth, career development, and civic engagement throughout their time at SDSU. April Ranches of women's golf and Laukoa (kao) Santos of men's soccer earned the award. Additionally, the department handed out the Aztecs Going Pro Resilience Award to CJ Jones of lacrosse and Keshad Johnson of men's basketball. The Aztecs Going Pro Resilience Award is given to student-athletes who have improved academically and personally through continuous effort, resilience, and commitment throughout their time at San Diego State.

43 Aztec student-athletes earned the Malik award during the event. The Malik award is awarded to any student-athlete that earned a perfect 4.0 GPA over a semester at San Diego State. Additionally, 412 student-athletes earned scholar athlete designation. Scholar athlete designation is awarded to a student-athlete who earned either a 3.2 semester GPA or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Department Award Recipients 
Student-Athlete of the Year Award

Maggie Balint, Softball
Cameron Thomas, Football

Highest Team GPA (Average of Spring and Fall 2021 Semesters)
Men's Golf (3.23)
Lacrosse (3.50) 

All-Aztecs Going Pro Award
April Ranches, Women's Golf
Laukoa (Koa) Santos, Men's Soccer
Aztecs Going Pro Resilience Award
CJ Jones, Lacrosse
Keshad Johnson, Men's Basketball 
2022 SAAC Superlative Awards Winners (voted on by Aztec student-athletes)
Most Team Spirit 

Kaitlin Heri, Track and Field
Elliot Pavis, Men's Soccer
Most Comedic
Jessie McMurray, Swim and Dive
Johannes Seeman, Men's Tennis
FAC (Fowler Athletic Center) Rat
CJ Jones, Lacrosse
Zavier Leonard, Football 
Best Shoe Game 
Asia Avinger, Women's Basketball
Nathan Mensah, Men's Basketball 
Most likely to be seen on a Reality TV Show
Anna Toohey, Women's Soccer
Caden McDonald, Football

Dr. James Kitchen Distinguished Service Award 
Libby Skiles, Director of Student Health Services 
Aztec Distinguished Service Award 
Lori Mitchell, Administrative Support Coordinator for Academics and Compliance

Malik Award Recipients
Caden Miller                         Baseball
Lauren Harper                      Cross Country/Track & Field
Carlene Masar                      Cross Country/Track & Field
Natalie Regalado                  Cross Country/Track & Field
Chandler Patterson               Football
Courtney Anderson               Lacrosse
Caitlin Jones                         Lacrosse
Lauren Kilger                        Lacrosse
Mia Kohn                              Lacrosse
Courtney Robinson               Lacrosse
Alexis Sullivan                      Lacrosse
Katie Wozencroft                  Lacrosse
Cailin Young                         Lacrosse
Puwit Anupansuebsai           Men's Golf
Juliana Santiago                   Rowing
Greta Viss                             Rowing
Anastasia Vontzou                Rowing
Shaylan Whatman                Softball
Alice Decoteau                     Swimming & Diving
Sammy Geyer                      Swimming & Diving
Lizzie Menzmer                    Swimming & Diving
Kristina Murphy                    Swimming & Diving
Mia Ryan                              Swimming & Diving
Evonne Stehr                       Swimming & Diving
Riley Tapley                         Swimming & Diving
Lauren Torchiana                 Swimming & Diving
Cari Acosta                          Track & Field
Sara Absten                         Track & Field
Carina Clark                        Track & Field
Jenna Fee Feyerabend       Track & Field
Elizabeth Funk                    Track & Field
Kennedy Feuerborn           Volleyball
Serena Hodson                   Volleyball
Lauren Lee                          Volleyball
Ashley Vanderpan               Volleyball
Karli Canale                        Water Polo
Haley Hagerty                     Water Polo
Rose Kanemy                     Water Polo
Phoebe Leitch                    Women's Soccer
Emily Lowe                         Women's Soccer
Abbie Rieder                     Women's Soccer
Agustina Rimoldi Godoy     Women's Tennis
Alexandria Von Tersch Pohrer Women's Tennis