Seven UW Student-Athletes Honored

April 7, 1999


The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has announced its 1998-99 All-America Athletes of the Year and seven University of Wyoming student-athletes are among the honorees. Jesseca Cross (track and field), Anne Stohrer (volleyball) and Dominy Thompson (diving) are the three females from UW to be honored. Kevin Mannon (track and field), Jeff Smith (football), J.P. Williams (football) and Matt Winninger (wrestling) are the four Cowboys who earned NSCA honors.

"The seven individuals who we had earn this honor have been great leaders in their respective sports and in the weight room," said UW head strength and conditioning coach Scott Bennett. "They all bring a great attitude with them everyday they work out.

"In nominating individuals, were given the freedom to nominate student-athletes based not only on their improvement in strength training, but also based on their work ethic, attitude and leadership."

The NSCA All-America Strength and Conditioning Team is sponsored by Power Systems, Inc. It recognizes student-athletes whose athletic accomplishments, in the opinion of their strength coach, reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning. These student-athletes are also recognized for their academic and personal accomplishments, as well as their integrity.

Here are some highlights on each of the seven UW student-athletes to earn 1998-99 NSCA All-America honors.

Jesseca CrossSenior5-10Track and Field/ThrowsPowell, Wyo.

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 215 pound; Squat - 380 pounds; Power Clean - 225 pounds; Vertical Jump - 26".

A three-time All-American in track and field, Cross placed third in the shot put at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships. She holds school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, the 20-pound weight throw, hammer and discus. Cross was also the state of Wyomings nominee for 1998 NCAA Woman of the Year, and was elected the UW Track and Field Most Valuable Athlete, as well as being named a team captain.

"Jesseca used strength and conditioning to improve her shot put personal best from 46 10" to 57 1" in one year," said UW head track and field coach Larry Judge. "She is a tireless worker that carries a 3.80 gpa."

Anne StohrerSenior6-0   Outside Hitter/Middle BlockerBuffalo, Wyo.

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 140 pounds; Squat - 255 pounds; Power Clean - 165 pounds; Vertical Jump - 24".

Stohrer played in 29 of 30 matches for the Cowgirls in 1998, starting in a majority of those matches. Stohrer finished the season with 180 digs, averaging 1.80 per game. She also averaged 2.30 kills per game, whichwas fourth on the team. Against Tulsa (10-29-98), she tied a career high with 15 kills in the match. In 94 career matches, she tallied 510 kills, 527 digs and 204 blocks. An excellent student, Stohrer is a three-time Academic All-WAC and WAC Scholar-Athlete selection. Also a two-time Aluia Spratt Scholarship recipient and a 1998 NCAA FoundationLeadership Conference Participant.

"Certainly, Anne is very deserving of this award," said University of Wyoming head volleyball coach Susan Judge. "She has a very strong work ethic in everything she does, which has obviously carried over into the weight room. Anne is a finely-tuned athlete, and this shows well in her activities in the weight room and the hard work she put in to becoming a better volleyball player."

Dominy ThompsonJunior5-7DivingAnchorage, Alaska

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 150 pounds; Squat - 200 pounds; Vertical Jump - 23".

A three-year letterwinner on the Cowgirl diving team, Thompson is part of an emerging group of female divers that were vastly improved for UW this past season and will be a large part of the teams success nextyear in the new Mountain West Conference. Thompson scored valuable team points for the Cowgirls at the recent WAC Championships by finishing in the top 20 in the 1-meter event, the 3-meter event and the platformdiving competition. Thompson has also earned WAC Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-WAC honors.

"Dominy is very deserving of an award for her work in strength and conditioning," said head UW diving coach Carlos Jimenez. "Her work ethic in the weight room and in the pool is what allowed her to score points for us this year at WACs."

Kevin MannonSenior6-4280Track and Field/ThrowsWest Jefferson, Ohio

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 500 pounds; Squat - 650 pounds; Power Clean - 380 pounds; Vertical Jump - 33".

A 10-time All-American in track and field, Mannon was runnerup in the 35-pound weight throw at the 1999 NCAA Indoor Championships. Mannon also set the American Collegiate record in the 35-pound weight during the 1998-99 Indoor season at 74 8 1/4". He holds school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, the 35-pound weight throw and the hammer. Mannon also won the High-Point Award at the 1998 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, and was a four-time WAC Champion. Mannon was elected his 1998 Team Most Valuable Player and team captain.

"Kevin is a very intense competitor in the ring and the weight room," said UW head track and field coach Larry Judge. "He has used strength and conditioning to become a 10-time All-American. His goal is to make the 2000 Olympic team."

Jeff SmithSenior6-4289CenterPhoenix, Ariz.

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 435 pounds; Squat - 605 pounds; Power Clean - 331 pounds

Smith was a three-year starter on the Wyoming Football team at offensive guard and center. A team captain, as a senior, he helped lead Wyoming to an 8-3 record and a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division. The 1998 Cowboy Football team achieved a high ranking of No. 25 during the season. Smith was selected Second Team All-WAC by conference coaches and participated in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game. He was also a starter on the 1996 Cowboy squad that won the inaugural WAC Pacific Division Championship and earned a final national ranking of No. 22 in both national polls.

"Jeff was a great leader for our football team," said UW head football coach Dana Dimel. "He is a tough hard-nosed player, who leads by example. He worked very hard to overcome shoulder surgery in the spring prior to his senior season, and was definitely the leader of our offensive line. You can tell how hard he worked in the weight room by looking at his durability. Jeff started the last 30 consecutive games of his career."

J.P. WilliamsSenior5-9177CornerbackBillings, Mont.

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 300 pounds; Squat - 505 pounds; Power Clean - 302.5 pounds; Vertical Jump - 36.5".

Williams earned a starting cornerback spot as a senior, starting all 11 games for the Cowboys in 1998. He ended the season with 26 tackles, three passes broken up and one interception. As a junior, he also played a great deal as a cornerback and Wyomings nickel back. His junior season, he made 21 tackles broke up four passes and intercepted two passes -- one of which he returned 11 yards for a touchdown. In 1997, Williams was a member of a secondary that ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in pass defense.

"J.P. is one of those unsung players that a coach really appreciates," said UW head football coach Dana Dimel. "He always did whatever we asked of him for the good of the team. My first year here, he played primarily nickel back for us. As a senior, he was determined to earn a starting position, and he did. He is a young man whose work ethic, positive attitude and dedication to the team is an example that you hope all your young players follow."

Matt WinningerSenior5-7157WrestlingCody, Wyoming

Personal Bests:Bench Press - 275 pounds; Squat - 405 pounds; Power Clean - 242 pounds; Vertical Jump - 28.5".

Winninger finished his senior season capturing the Western Athletic Conference championship at 157-pounds, by defeating #1 seed Tim Cornish of Fresno State 3-2 in the finals. He earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, where he went 1-2. The two matches he lost at nationals were by a combined three points. He also helped lead the Cowboys to a second-place finish at the 1998 WAC Wrestling Championships. As a junior, Winninger posted a 13-10 record on the year, as he was in and out of the lineup with injuries.

"Matt showed real commitment from the first day he was part of this program," said Steven Suder, University of Wyoming head wrestling coach. "I think that is the big reason that hes being honored with this award. He stayed in Laramie this summer, and didnt miss a single workout. He approaches the rest of his life and academics the sameway. This honor couldnt go to a more deserving young man."