UMES HOSTS ANNUAL ATHLETIC AWARDS BANQUET
April 29, 2003
PRINCESS ANNE, MD-- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's (UMES) hosted its annual All-Sports Banquet, a celebration of the past athletic year, on Monday evening, April 28 on campus in the Student Services Center Ballroom. The event was a huge success seeing the Athletic Department recognize its student employees, professional staff, and of course, the student-athletes. A wonderful dinner, a year in review video presentation, and a spoken year in review by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Patrick Doughty, were a few notable activities on the agenda.
While each of UMES' 15 athletic teams presented awards consisting of a Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, a Rookie of the Year, and a Coach's Award, the evening saw some featured presentations take place at the end. Twenty-eight third year letter winners received letterman jackets while 15 seniors received enlarged action photos of themselves to commemorate their time spent as a Hawk.
Mr. Nelson Townsend, the Director of Athletics for UMES made some special presentations at the end of the evening. He first named the "Hawk of the Year" which was awarded to Mr. Kenneth Nixon, who maintains the facility for the Department. "Ken does his job with a smile," said Mr. Townsend. "He sweeps the floor at half-time of a basketball game with a smile. He cleans with a smile; he supports each and every team, all with a positive word and a positive action. He does whatever is asked and never gets down; he embodies the true spirit of a Hawk," he added.
Townsend also went one to present an award called the Quantum Leap Award. This award was presented to the team who made the biggest 'leap' from one season to the next in terms of record, or competitiveness. The 'Maroon Cup' as it will be called, will be rotated each year with the name of the winning team inscribed on it. This year the award was presented to the Volleyball Team and Head Coach Toby Rens who took a team from a 3-28 record to a 20-15 record. That was a jump of 11th to third place in the MEAC.
The final two awards of the night were presented to the Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Freshman Barnabas Togom took home the honors for the men. Togom, a standout for the cross-country and track and field teams this season set new school records in the 3000 and 5000 meter runs, was MVP runner-up in cross-country, won the 5000 meter run at the MEAC, came in third in the 800 meter run and was a member of the school record holding Distance Medley Team. He led cross-country to a third place MEAC finish and Indoor Track to a fourth place finish.
Jana Milin, the 'Croatian Sensation,' another freshman, took home the female athlete of the year award as she lead her team to a 20-15 record, a third place finish in the MEAC, and was named the MEAC Rookie and Player of the year in 2002. She was ranked fourth in the nation in aces per game and 26th in kills per game. She recorded seven triple doubles this season and a quadruple double, the first in NCAA history in over a year.
Both athletes are freshman and can compete for three more seasons in the maroon and gray of the Hawks.