April 29, 2014
By Ben Gotz, Athletics Communications Student Assistant
MINNEAPOLIS - Several members of the Gopher men’s gymnastics team were honored Monday night, when the University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics department hosted the eighth annual Golden Goldys/Scholar Athlete banquet at TCF Bank Stadium.
Junior Ellis Mannon was honored as one of five nominees for male athlete of the year, after winning the NCAA pommel horse title and being named an All-American.
Mannon was also the Big Ten Champion on pommel horse, an All-Big Ten first team honoree, and an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Mannon scored the third-highest NCAA men’s gymnastics pommel horse score of all-time at the Windy City Invitational earlier in the year, with a 15.950.
Mannon’s fellow nominees were Ra’Shede Hageman (football), Tony Nelson (wrestling), Derek Toomey (swimming), and Adam Wilcox (hockey). The award ended up going to Wilcox, the starting goalie for the NCAA runner-up Gophers hockey squad.
Senior Nathan Fortunato was given one of the “Top Five Awards,” given to the athletes with the top five GPAs for both men and women’s athletics. Fortunato currently sports a perfect 4.0 GPA with his Recreation Resource Management major.
Senior Yoshi Morinishi was one of two athletes awarded the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship, along with Rachel Drake of women’s cross country and women’s track and field. Morinishi is an electrical engineering major and won the Big Ten Sportsmanship award this season.
The Golden Goldys voting process included spring sports of 2013 (baseball, men’s and women’s gold, rowing, softball, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field and men’s and women’s tennis) and the fall and winter sports of the 2013-14 athletic year.
2013-14 Golden Goldy Winners
Female Athlete of the Year
Rachel Banham, Basketball
Male Athlete of the Year
Adam Wilcox, Hockey
Female Rookie of the Year
Amanda Zahui B. Basketball
Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year
David Cobb, Football
Female Breakthrough Athlete Of the Year
Rachael Bona, Hockey
Male Rookie of the Year
Wally Ellenson, Track & Field
Best Female Team
Best Male Team
Best Women's Team Coach
Jessica Allister, Softball
Best Men's Team Coach
Don Lucia, Hockey
Gladys Brooks and Norman Borlaug Commitment to Academic Excellence Award
Women's Cross Country and Men's Golf
Top Five Awards (top five GPAs for both men and women)
Rachel Drake, CC/TRK
Becca Dyson, CC/TRK
Erica Meyer, Softball
Jessica Plant, Swimming & Diving
Rebecca Rethwisch, CC/TRK
Nathan Fortunato, Gymnastics
Mathieu Froment, Tennis
Matthew Jergenson, Track & Field
Corey Mills, Swimming & Diving
Josh Shupe, Wrestling
Tom H. Swain Campus Recognition Award
University of Minnesota Orientation & First-Year Programs
Richard "Pinky" McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award
Cedric Thompson, Football
Community Service Team Award
Women's Track & Field/Cross Country, Men's Swimming & Diving
Outstanding Academic Team Award
Women's Teams - Soccer, Tennis
Men's Team - Swimming & Diving, Tennis
Gophers Prepare For Major Competitions
The Gophers will be represented at the World University Games and the P&G Championships at the end of August.
Meet Assistant Coach Jordan Valdez
Last week the Gophers announced the addition of Jordan Valdez to the men's gymnastics coaching staff.
Gophers Hire Valdez As Assistant Coach
The University of Minnesota has hired Jordan Valdez as the latest member of their coaching staff, head coach Mike Burns announced Friday.