Billiken’s Celebrated at Annual SLUSPY Awards

ST. LOUIS – The 2022 SLUSPY Awards were held Wednesday, May 4, at the Busch Student Center on the SLU campus. The annual celebration, which is administered by the Billikens’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), recognized student-athletes who excelled this past year in the department’s strategic objectives of education, competition and building community.

The event was emceed by swimming student-athlete Sophie Kishish and track and field student-athletes Danny Hopkins and Luke Schaefer. SLU Director of Athletics Chris May addressed the student-athletes in attendance as well.

Below is a list of the bestowed awards.

Highest Team GPA – Women’s Tennis
Team with the highest GPA during the fall 2021 semester as determined by Billiken Student-Athlete Academic Support Services.

Top Female Academic Performance – Cameron Tucker (Field Hockey)
Junior or senior female student-athlete with the highest GPA with at least four semesters completed at SLU as determined by Billiken Student-Athlete Academic Support Services.

Top Male Academic Performance – Sam Polk (Baseball)
Junior or senior male student-athlete with the highest GPA with at least four semesters completed at SLU as determined by Billiken Student-Athlete Academic Support Services.

Outstanding Female Strength & Conditioning Student-Athlete – Kristi Stevenson (Softball)
The female(s) student-athlete that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement in aspects of leadership, the ability to follow instruction, work ethic, winning attitude, and consistency as chosen by the Sports Performance staff.

Outstanding Male Strength & Conditioning Student-Athlete – Kyle Fitzgerald (Baseball)
The male student-athlete that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement in aspects of leadership, the ability to follow instruction, work ethic, winning attitude, and consistency as chosen by the Sports Performance staff.

Billiken of Distinction “Step UP!” Award – Franklin Liu (Men’s Swimming and Diving)
A student-athlete who participated in several community service endeavors and contributed substantially to the athletic department. This person embodies the goals of the Step UP! Program – raises awareness of helping behaviors; increases motivation to help others; develops skills and confidence when responding to problems or concerns; and ensures the safety of self and others.

Billiken Spirit Award – Jason Ruka (Men’s Swimming and Diving)
The student-athlete who employs a positive attitude at every practice, game, workout, etc. They may be the person you can always count on to make light of a tough situation. Additionally, this student-athlete not only lifts their teammates, but also shows school spirit at the games, matches, meets, etc. of other student-athletes.

Staff Member of the Year Award – Ramon Lopez (Sports Performance)
Awarded to a staff member to recognize their support of the mission of Billiken Athletics. The award honors staff members who are committed to the excellence of student-athlete performances.

Coach of the Year Award – Jim Halliburton (Swimming & Diving)
Awarded to a head coach who throughout the season best demonstrates the true spirit of Billiken Athletics. The award honors coaches who encourage their student-athletes to excel in the department’s strategic objectives of education, competition and building community.

Boken Award – Sadie Wise (Women’s Soccer)
Awarded to the student-athlete who is the ultimate teammate and member of the athletics community. A person who is always positive and supportive, is friendly to student-athletes from all teams and brings a smile to other people more often than not. The Boken Award is in memory of Megan Boken, who we lost in August 2012, but whose spirit lives on in our department.

Team MVP’s

As nominated by coaching staffs, these student-athletes embody the mission of SLU Athletics through education, competition and community involvement.

Baseball | Matt Happ
Men’s Basketball | YuriCollins
Women’s Basketball | Myriama Smith Traore
Cheers | Grace Shultz
Men’s Cross Country | Adam Walker
Women’s Cross Country | Julia Jelagat
Dance | Krystina Salcik
field hockey | Grace Golembiewski
Men’s Soccer | John Klein
Women’s Soccer | Abbie Miller
Softball | Chloe Wendling
Men’s Swimming and Diving | Janssen Gamilla and Daniel Verdico
Women’s Swimming and Diving | Natalie Daniel
Men’s Tennis | Oscar Alvarez
Women’s Tennis | Elizabeth Mintusova
Men’s Track and Field | Toby Gillen
Women’s Track and Field | Susan D’Onofrio and Emily Nichols
volleyball | Maya Taylor

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