SAAC Honors Top Cowboy and Cowgirl Student-Athletes of the Past Year

Laramie, Wyo. (April 21, 2010) -- The University of Wyoming Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) honored the top Cowboy and Cowgirl Student-Athletes of the past year, along with the seniors from each sport in a program hosted by SAAC members Monday night, April 19 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Awards were presented to male and female student-athletes in the categories of: Newcomers of the Year, Unsung Heroes and Athletes of the Year. There was also an award given for the Most Memorable Moment in UW Athletics over the past year.

Nominations were made by each sports team, and the award winners were selected by the members of SAAC, which includes representatives from each intercollegiate sport at UW.

After the individual awards were handed out senior rings were presented by each sport's coach and Athletics Director Tom Burman. Winners of this year's SAAC awards were:

Female Newcomer of the Year - Jodi Purdy, Volleyball, MWC Freshman of the Year

Male Newcomer of the Year - Austyn Carta-Samuels, Football, MWC Freshman of the Year

Female Unsung Hero - Morgan Johnson, Soccer, who took time away from her premed studies to help with Haiti relief efforts

Male Unsung Hero - John Alderson, Track and Field, who volunteered as a Big Brother for an adopted boy whose father was serving in the United States military overseas

Female Athlete of the Year - Aubrey Vandiver, Basketball, Second Team All-MWC

Male Athlete of the Year - Joe LeBlanc, Wrestling, Placed Fourth at NCAA Wrestling Championships and earned All-America honors at 184 pounds

Most Memorable Moment - Wyoming Wrestling Team winning the NCAA West Regional for the first time in school history, winning the Western Wrestling Conference regular-season title and advancing four individuals to the NCAA Championships