Utah Sports Commission Honors Athletes Of All Levels With Yearly Awards

Mar 30, 2020, 5:25 PM
Utah Ski Team...
The University of Utah won the team title at the 2019 NCAA Skiing Championships with a score of 530.5 points. It's the Utes' second national championship in three years, its 12th NCAA title and 13th championship overall, including an AIAW title in 1978. (Photo courtesy Utah Athletics)
(Photo courtesy Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Sports Commission has announced their honorees for the annual “Governor’s State of Sport Awards.”

Normally, the Utah Sports Commission and Governor Gary Herbert host an awards ceremony but it has been postponed due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards are for the accomplishments that occurred in 2019.

Here are all of the awards handed out by the Governor and the Utah Sports Commission.

Professional Male

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the Professional Male Athlete of the Year. He has become a backbone of the Jazz success, a fan favorite and deeply integrated with the community through his personal cause-related outreach.

Gobert has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award the last two seasons, was named All-NBA Defensive first team, All-NBA third team, while averaging career highs in points per game (15.9), rebounds (12.9) and 2 assists last season.

Professional Female

Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press and defender Kelley O’Hara have been named Professional Female Athletes of the Year.

Not only did Press and O’Hara have tremendous seasons for the Royals in 2019 but they also helped the United States Women’s National Team take home their second straight World Cup title.

Team Of The Year

The University of Utah Ski Team is the Team of the Year after they powered their way to their second NCAA team title in three years. All of that coming under new leadership with Director of Skiing Fredrik Landstedt. It was the 12th NCAA title in school history for the Utes.

Olympian Male

Former BYU cross country runner Jared Ward has received the Olympian Male Athlete of the Year award after he has established himself as one of America’s top marathon runners in 2019.

Ward finished eighth in the 2019 Boston Marathon including the second fastest U.S runner and the 15th fastest American in history of the race. He was the top American finisher at sixth in the 2019 New York City Marathon and finished third in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, going on to finish sixth at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Olympian Female

Long Track Speedskater Brittany Bowe is the Olympian Female Athlete of the Year after skating her best year ever in 2019 which includes a new World Record in the 1000 meter event at the Olympic Oval in March, 2019.

Bowe took home the 2019 World Cup title and has won the 1000 meter World Cup races seven straight times.

Adaptive Male

Two-time Paralympic snowboard medalist Keith Gabel of Ogden had a year to remember in 2019. Gabel won his first World Championship gold medal by winning the snowboard cross title in Finland.

The Ogden, Utah native won his first ever World Cup banked slalom title with a victory in Spain followed by a pair of second places finishes – one each in banked slalom and snowboard cross in the World Cup Finals in Finland.

Adaptive Female

Woodland, Utah native Saylor O’Brien was born with spina bifida, but is now on track to qualify for the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.

O’Brien started 2019 with a third place finish in a NorAm super-G at Winter Park, Colorado. Then she took home the bronze medal in slalom at the U.S. Championships and has started 2020 with a third place finish in the NorAm giant slalom at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Event Of The Year

The 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships that was held at Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Resort and Park City Mountain received Event of the Year.

The event was held last February and was Utah’s largest winter event since the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Over 1,400 athletes from 45 nations for 28 scheduled events competed over 10 days. Over 50,000 spectators at venues including Solitude Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Canyons Village.

The event attracted over 300 media and broadcasters from 20 nations with nearly 60 million viewers worldwide watched the event.

Collegiate Male

Utah Utes running back Zack Moss has been named the Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year after a tremendous 2019 season. He broke six school rushing records in his career and was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Collegiate Female

University of Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner is the Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year after she won two Pac-12 individual titles and led the Red Rocks to second in the conference and into an Elevated Eight berth at the NCAA Championships.

High School Male

Corner Canyon’s Cole Hagen was named the High School Male Athlete of the Year. Hagen was the starting quarterback for the football team. Was a guard on the basketball team and was a sprinter for track and field.

As a senior in 2019, Hagen won state titles in football, basketball and track and field. He signed a letter of intent to the Ivy League at Yale.

Hagen’s long list of accomplishments include leading the football team to a perfect season and the 6A state title, a perfect 28-0 record as the starting quarterback, Gatorade Player of the Year, 4 state championships with two in football and set Corner Canyon’s school record in 4×100, 4×400 and the Medley Relay.

High School Female

West High School softball star Huntyr Ava was named High School Female Athlete of the Year. The star first basmen led the Panthers to the 2019 state softball title.

She finished the season with a .699 batting average, 51 hits, 19 home runs and 70 RBI’s while ending her career with a new state record of 58 home runs.

Ava was named Deseret News’ Ms. Softball and was the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year. She is now on the softball team for BYU.

Coach Of The Year

BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone is the Coach of the Year. A 1984 NCAA cross country champion himself, Eyestone led the Cougars to their first-ever NCAA men’s division I cross country title dethroning Northern Arizona University who had won three-straight titles.

Under Eyestone, BYU had six athletes that were named All-Americans, 13 Cougars named to the WCC Cross Country All-Academic Team and in 20 seasons at BYU, Eyestone has led the program to 15 conference titles including a title in 2019.

Eyestone was also named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year.


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Utah Sports Commission Honors Athletes Of All Levels With Yearly Awards