SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego honored the athletic and academic accomplishments of its student-athletes Monday night at the "Celebration of Excellence" ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum. Among the honorees were third baseman Kris Bryant, who took home "Male Torero of the Year," and sophomore swimmer Keenan Lineback, who was honored as the "Female Torero of the Year."
Bryant (Las Vegas, Nev.) has been lighting up opposing pitchers all season and currently leads the nation in home runs, walks, slugging percentage, and runs. Bryant also etched his name in the Torero history book after setting the record for most home runs in a season and career. Bryant, who is a finalist for the coveted Golden Spikes Award, is projected to be a top ten pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.
Kris Bryant and Keenan Lineback were named Male and Female Torero of the Year
Lineback, a Conway, South Carolina native, was named to the MPSF 1st Team in the 400 IM and 1650 Free after winning both events at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference championships. Lineback swam a 16:39:04 in the 1650 Free, which not only won her the championship, but also set a school record. In the 400 IM, she swam a 4:17:42, which was a career best and earned her a NCAA B cut. Lineback was also named to the MPSF 2nd team in the 200 Fly and the MPSF All-Academic Team.
Freshmen Torrey DeArmas (men's soccer) and Maya Hood (women's basketball) were named Rookies of the Year. DeArmas, an Escondido, Calif. native, was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team after helping the Toreros advance to the Elite Eight. DeArmas earned a starting spot at forward by the end of September and was a key player down the stretch, helping the Toreros win their first conference championship since 2009. DeArmas finished the season with two goals and one assist.
Hood, who came to USD with her twin sister Malina from La Jolla Country Day School, was named WCC Newcomer of the Year and selected to the WCC All-Freshmen Team. A 5'10" forward, Hood started in 22 of the 32 games she played in, averaging 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 54.3 percent from the field. Hood scored double figures in 18 times and helped the Toreros advance to their second straight WNIT.
Athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom as well with the Annual Academic Achievement Award, which are presented to the sophomore, junior, and senior student-athletes with the highest cumulative GPA. Senior Laura Claus won the award for the second time in her career after posting a 3.96 GPA while double-majoring in Finance and Business Administration.
The junior class was represented by two student-athletes. Taylor Housley from the women's soccer team was honored for the second straight year. Housley, who is a Political Science major and Finance minor holds a 3.87 GPA. Anna Depenau from the women's tennis team shared the award with Housley, also finishing with a 3.87 GPA while majoring in both Marketing and Finance.
Ben Wylly, a member of the baseball team, held the highest GPA in the sophomore class with a remarkable 3.97. Wylly is a Political Science major and Peace and Justice minor.
This year's Student Athlete Advisory Committee President (SAAC), Maddie Levine of the women's cross-country team, took home the SAAC Leadership Award. Levine is a four-year member of SAAC and helped implement the "Spirit of Torero" Facebook page and was the 2012 WCC Represent Individual Award Recipient.
The "Toreros Linking to the Community" Award (TLC) was presented to Johnathan Garcia, a sophomore on the men's cross-country team. Garcia made significant contributions to the community throughout the school year participating and contributing to events and organizations such as: the TLC Donate a Dollar & Holiday Toy Drive, WCC Kids Day, the Tijuana Mission Outreach Foundation, the National Latino Peace Officers Association, and many more.
The Torero softball team received the "Spirit of the Torero" Award. The Spirit of the Torero is a SAAC initiative on Facebook that provides a forum for USD student-athletes and supporters to check out what student-athletes are doing in their sport and in the community. Teams were given points based on the photos and postings on the web page, and the softball team accumulated the most points.
Lastly, the top three moments in Torero athletics were honored. The men's soccer team's Elite Eight appearance took home the award, while the volleyball team's WCC title took second. The women's rowing third straight WCC title in 2012 was picked third.