Benny Picks The Best

The Oregon St. Athletes of the Year for 2013-14, Madeline Gardner, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Conforto.

Brandin Cooks, Michael Conforto, and Madeline Gardiner Athletes of the Year

Tuesday night at Gill Coliseum, Oregon St. athletes, their friends & family, and fans gathered to see who received the annual "Bennies", the awards Benny hands out annually to recognize the best accomplishments of OSU athletes and teams for the just concluded academic year.

Benny was joined in making the awards by Portland TV Sportscasters Katy Brown and Cathy Marshall.

All Americans Brandin Cooks, the Bletnikoff Award Winner as the best receiver in the country, and Michael Conforto, the Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Year, who has also been named 1 of 3 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award (go vote for him!), shared the Male Athlete of the Year Award, and another All-American, gymnast Madeline Gardiner, garnered the Female Athlete of the Year honor.

Baseball was name the Male Team of the Year for the second year in a row, after claiming their second consecutive Pac-12 Championship, and climbed to #1 in the nation.

The Women's Basketball team was Benny's pick as the Female Team of the Year, for the first time in history, after finishing tied for second in the Pac-12 in the regular season, reaching the Pac-12 Tournament title game, and picking up a first round win in the NCAA Tournament.

Those teams' success also produced the Coach of the Year awards, as baseball coach Pat Casey, who notched his 700th career win during the season, was named the Male Sport Coach of the Year, and womens' hoops coach Scott Rueck, below, was named the Female Sport Coach of the Year.

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The Male athlete Performance of the Year went to Jace Fry, who threw a no-hitter, only the 2nd complete game 9 inning no-hitter in Oregon St. history.

The Female athlete Performance of the Year went to women's swimming All-American and Pac-12 Champion Sammy Harrison.

Besides Cooks, Harrison, Gardiner, Fry and Conforto, other Oregon St. All-Americans honored included football's Scott Crichton and baseball pitcher Ben Wetzler.

NCAA Gymnsatics Regional Champions Chelsea Tang and Kaytianna McMillan, Pac-12 individual champions Harrison in swimming and wrestling;s Joey Delgado, Scott Sakaguchi, and R.J. Pena were also honored, as was the Wrestling team for claiming the Pac-12 Wrestling Title.

Additional awards Benny handed out include the Robert Byers Spirit Award to rowing's Saasha Bruce, the Glenn Klein Community Service Awards to rowing's Rita Hepler and football's Obum Gwacham, and the Everyday Champions Team Academic Awards which went to Men's Golf and Women's Track and Field/Cross Country.

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Former Oregon St. quarterback and long time tv analyst Steve Preece also received the Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award, above presented by football head coach Mike Riley.

Scholar Athletes of the Year honored were Brandi Dawson, soccer; Lin Hill, rowing; Marissa Kovac, soccer; Karly Laney, rowing; Lacey London, track; Brittney Oljar, soccer; Ellen Pesek, rowing; Laura Schaudt, volleyball; Josh Smith, soccer; Dan Van Vleet, soccer; Tayla Woods, volleyball; and Kelsey Zimmerman, volleyball.

BTD congratulates all the winners on jobs well done!

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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