May 1, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University athletics department honored its 2012-13 student-athletes at its annual athletics banquet at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life this past Sunday night.
The athletics banquet was a joint effort with the Tulane athletics staff and the department's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), which is composed of 35 current Green Wave student-athletes.
Each of Tulane's 16 sports gave out team awards and discussed their respective seasons, and TU's 2012-13 senior class was also honored for their contributions both on and off the playing field during their careers as a Green Wave student-athlete.
Tulane also presented specialty awards, including the Tulane Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year and the Tulane Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year. The Green Wave family also named the second annual recipients of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Award, adopted in 2012 to honor James W. Wilson, Jr., a Tulane football letter winner and one of the most caring people Tulane University has ever known. This award will be given to Tulane student-athletes that demonstrate an unusually strong overall impact on Green Wave athletics through leadership and achievement in the three pillars of what Tulane Athletics represents: Excellence in Education, Excellence in Competition, and Excellence in Service.
The Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year is awarded to the male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average after at least three semesters at Tulane University, while the Male and Female Student-Athlete award was based on performance.
This year's recipient for Female Scholar Athlete of the Year was sophomore swimmer Claire Schelske. A Bloomfield Hills, Mich, native, Schelske owns a 4.00 GPA and was a member of the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and Tulane's 3.0 Club last year.
Schelske participated in all nine meets this past season, posting career-best times in the 100 breast, the 200 breast and the 500 free at the C-USA Championship on Feb. 21. She also posted her career-best in the 200 IM at Arkansas-Little Rock on Oct. 16.
This year's recipient for Male Scholar Athlete of the Year was junior baseball player Briggs Barrios. A finance major from Metairie, La., Barrios owns a current GPA of 3.965.
Barrios was a member of the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and Tulane's 3.0 Club last year. He has made 25 appearances with 14 starts in the field during the 2013 season, while battling injuries. He has three doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored.
This year's female athlete of the year was junior communications major from Bogota, Columbia, Maribel Lopez Porras, a member of the Green Wave women's golf team.
Lopez-Porras is currently ranked as the 61st best golfer in the nation and helped guide the Green Wave to the 2013 C-USA Championship. She has led Tulane to four top-5 finished this spring and claimed the individual title at the Alamo Invitational.
This year's Male Athlete of the Year was junior kicker Cairo Santos of the Green Wave football team.
Santos, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and St. Augustine, Fla., received the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top place-kicker and was Tulane's first consensus first team All-America since 1941 and just the fifth in school history. Santos set the NCAA single season record for field goal percentage by hitting all 21 of his attempts.
The Wilson Award recipients were senior track and field athlete Candice St. Etienne and senior track & field athlete Brian Lozes.
Each team also handed award individual honors during the event.
Volleyball awarded Milica Jovic as its Most Improved Player and Melanie Mandelbaum as its Most Inspirational Player.
Sand Volleyball named Sophie Asprey as its Most Inspirational and Olivia Utt as its Most Improved Player.
Women's Cross country named Paige Callahan as the Most Outstand Runner and Men's Cross Country named Mark Manion as the Most Outstanding Runner.
Women's track and field named Merritt Van Meter as the Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, Tamika Brazzel as the Indoor Freshman of the Year, Ana Ruzevic as the 2012 Outdoor Athlete of the Year.
Men's track and field awarded Jon Franco Outdoor Athlete of the Year.
Football handed Ryan Grant and Ryan Griffin the co-Most Valuable Offensive Player honor, Darion Monroe the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Cairo Santos the Most Valuable Special Teams Player honor.
Women's golf awarded Gemma Dryburgh the Bower Award.
Men's tennis awarded Dominik Koepfer the Most Valuable Player honor.