Honoring the student-athletes of Oklahoma Christian University, the Maroon Carpet Awards Banquet held by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee took place in the Gaylord University center on Monday evening. Following a dinner and speech from each head coach, the presentation of awards included Most Outstanding Male and Female Leader, team Most Valuable Players, superlative awards and Mr. and Ms. Eagle.
The final awards of the night, Mr. and Ms. Eagle, were what Athletic Director David Lynn deemed “the biggest award and honor any Oklahoma Christian athlete can receive.” Seniors John Moon and McKenzie Stanford were the recipients of the awards, which according to the Sports Information Office, are voted on by the head coaches and athletic administration and are presented to the male and female senior student-athletes who best combine success in their sport with representing the ideals of Oklahoma Christian.
“I feel honored to receive the Mr. Eagle award,” Moon said. “I have been blessed to be able to compete at OC for these four years and I am glad I was given this opportunity to be able to represent this university so well by Coach Hays and the administration.”
The Most Outstanding Male and Female Leader was awarded to the student-athletes who show outstanding leadership qualities both on and off the field. Senior basketball players Sarah Parker and Luis Lopez were the recipients of this year’s honor, after the two were nominated by coaches and chosen by the Oklahoma Christian student-athletes.
In addition to voting for the Most Outstanding Male and Female Leader, each team also submitted names for MVPs. For women’s soccer, Rubi Villegas Aguilar was the team’s MVP, after being named to the All-Heartland Conference third-team list and College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District in the fall.
Men’s cross country had co-MVPs in junior Sisay Gillock and senior Kyle Broaddrick, who both were first-team All-Heartland during their season. Gillock was also named a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic.
Senior Layne Hammer was named the women’s cross country MVP after advancing to the NCAA DII Championship meet last semester. She was also a three-time recipient of the Heartland Conference Runner of the Week award, named All-South Central Region, USTFCCCA All-Academic and first-team All-Heartland.
Women’s basketball had co-MVPs in seniors Parker and Stanford, who were named to the first and second All-Heartland teams, respectively. Parker was named COSIDA Academic All-Conference, second-team All-OklahomaSports.Net Oklahoma Division II, the Conference Player of the Week twice and joined the career 1,000-point club during her senior season. Stanford was also first-team All-South Central Region, the OklahomaSports.Net Oklahoma Division II Player of the Year, first-team All-OklahomaSports.Net Oklahoma Division II and named both the Conference and OklahomaSports.net Player of the Week twice for the 2016-17 season.
“It is an honor to be named Ms. Eagle and co-MVP,” Stanford said. “There are no words that can explain how exciting it is. I am so thankful for the opportunities I was blessed with at OC, especially getting to be a two sport athlete playing basketball and running track. I was just a small town girl whose plan was to come into OC, work hard everyday and hopefully the hard work would pay off. It did and all the glory goes to God.”
Moon was nominated as the men’s basketball MVP after being named a first-team COSIDA Academic All-American, Second-Team All-South Central Region, first-team All-OklahomaSports.Net Oklahoma Division II, the Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Heartland Conference, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association DII Player of the Week, HeroSports.com Division II Hero of the Week and to the Bevo Francis Watch List. He was also named both the Conference Player and OklahomaSports.net Player of the Week twice for his senior season.
Junior Landon Huslig was nominated as the men’s track and field MVP after gaining All-American status earlier this spring in the indoor 4×400 relay. Along with Sawyer Pehkonen, Joshua Jones and Jalen Brown, the relay team holds the Oklahoma Christian indoor record and all four runners were named All-South Central Region. Huslig was also named the Great American Conference Track Athlete of the Week once this season.
Hammer and sophomore Leisa VanVooren were the women’s track and field co-MVPS for the indoor and outdoor seasons. Hammer was named All-South Central Region in the 3,000 meters and a qualifier of the NCAA DII Indoor Championship meet in both the 3,000 meters and the mile, making her the first female track athlete from Oklahoma Christian to qualify for the national meet in more than one event. She also holds school records in both events. VanVooren currently holds the Oklahoma Christian school record in the 600 meters.
The softball team nominated sophomore Madison Hagood as their team’s MVP after the left-handed pitcher was named the Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week three times this season, the most of any player up to date. Hagood also currently has the lowest ERA in the conference with a 1.46 and is second in strikeouts with 100 on the season. Senior Lane Paul was named the baseball MVP, as the catcher currently has a batting average of .371, with 39 hits, 21 RBIs and one home run.
Sophomore Kate Goodwin was the women’s golf MVP after being named the Conference Player of the Week twice this season and the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Individual Champion. Juan Pallack was named the men’s golf MVP, as the sophomore has a conference record of 28-25 and is currently ranked 486th in Division II.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.