LOGAN, Utah – Utah State Athletics held its annual U-Star Awards banquet for the 2022-23 academic year on Wednesday night in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom.
The winners among the nominated Aggies were selected by a vote of their student-athlete peers and represent the finest accomplishments and performances over the past 12 months.
A week ago, former men’s basketball player Steven Ashworth and current volleyball player Tatum Stall were named the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the annual Robins Awards, recognizing the best of Utah State University.
During his junior season with the Aggies, the 6-foot-1 Ashworth averaged a team-best 16.2 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range to help the Aggies reach the title game of the Mountain West Championships. Utah State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and finished the season at 26-9 overall.
Other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year included cross country junior Yonas Mogos, football graduate Hunter Reynolds, golf junior Josh Pehrson, tennis senior David Cierny and track & field junior Brennan Brenson.
During her junior season at Utah State, Stall led the Aggies to just their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The Aggies, who went 22-11 on the season, earned an automatic bid to the Big Dance after beating San José State in the championship game of the Mountain West Tournament. The 6-foot outside hitter led USU in total kills (360) and kills per set (2.90).
Other nominees for Female Athlete of the Year included basketball graduate Maria Carvalho, cross country sophomore Ana Weaver, gymnastics junior Brianna Brooks, soccer junior Alex Day, softball sophomore Claire Raley, tennis senior Zeynep Naz Ozturk and track & field graduate Mica Rivera.
Below is a list of each U-Star Award nominee and subsequent winner.
Male Rookie of the Year
• Ike Larsen, Football (WINNER)
• Logan Hammer, Track & Field
Female Rookie of the Year
• Kaylie Chambers, Soccer (WINNER)
• Leah-Wilton LaBoy, Volleyball
• Sarah Ellis, Cross Country
Team Service Award
• Football and Gymnastics (WINNERS)
Male Walk-On of the Year
• Drew Hogan, Track & Field (WINNER)
• Cooper Jones, Football
Female Walk-On of the Year
• Jordi Holdaway, Volleyball (WINNER)
• Dani Kirstine, Gymnastics
Male International Athlete of the Year
• Max Shulga, Men’s Basketball (WINNER)
• David Cierny, Men’s Tennis
• Esteban Jaramillo, Golf
Female International Athlete of the Year
• Rine Yonaha, Soccer (WINNER)
• Beatriz Rodrigues, Volleyball
• Maria Carvalho, Women’s Basketball
Support Staff Member of the Year
• Ronda Christoffersen (WINNER)
Comeback Athlete of the Year
• Adna Mehmedovic, Volleyball (WINNER)
• Carley Bayles, Gymnastics
• Ashya Klopfenstein, Women’s Basketball
Male Transfer of the Year
• Dan Akin, Men’s Basketball (WINNER)
• Yonas Mogos, Men’s Cross Country
• Brian Cobbs, Football
Female Transfer of the Year
• Ana Weaver, Women’s Cross Country (WINNER)
• Shelby Capllonch, Volleyball
• Alivia Ostendorf, Football
Performance of the Year
• Hailey McLean, Softball (WINNER) – Set both a school and UCLA stadium record with 20 strikeouts against Cal State Bakersfield.
• Taylor Funk, Men’s Basketball – Scored 21 of his season-high 32 points in the first half to help propel the third-seeded Aggies to a 91-76 victory over sixth-seeded New Mexico in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championships.
• Volleyball – Swept top-seeded UNLV (25-18, 25-23, 25-21) in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament. Utah State went on to defeat San Jose State in the championship match and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Upset of the Year
• David Cierny, Men’s Tennis (WINNER) – Defeated the No. 35 singles player in the country.
• Volleyball – Beat No. 12 UCLA in four sets (27-25, 27-29, 25-22, 25-19) at Club Estes.
• Softball – Knocked off No. 22 San Diego State 3-1 on the road on May 7, 2022, for the Aggies’ first win over a ranked opponent since 2010.
Moment of the Year
• Whitney Lopez, Soccer (WINNER) – Scored on a header in the 83rd minute to beat No. 25 BYU and preserve a seven-match home unbeaten streak.
• Taylor Funk, Men’s Basketball – Made a trio of 3-pointers in 60 seconds.
• Gabriella Jimenez, Softball – Set the single-season home run record (14) against San Jose State on May 13, 2022.
Coach of the Year
• Artie Gulden, Men’s Cross Country (WINNER)
• Ryan Odom, Men’s Basketball
• Manny Martins, Soccer
• Rob Neilson, Volleyball
Team of the Year
• Volleyball (WINNER)
• Men’s Cross Country
• Men’s Basketball
Male True-Blooded Aggie Award
• Mark Crandall, Men’s Cross Country (WINNER)
• Jacob Garcia, Football
Female True-Blooded Aggie Award
• Annaliese County, Women’s Tennis (WINNER)
• Kennedi Boyd, Volleyball
• Brianna Brooks, Gymnastics
• Mica Rivera, Women’s Cross Country
For more on Utah State Athletics, fans can follow the Aggies on Twitter (@usuathletics) or on Facebook by searching Utah State Athletics.