April 8, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Six University of Wyoming athletesearned 2004 All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Yearhonors as selected by the National Strength and ConditioningAssociation for the 2003-04 athletic seasons.
Cowgirls Megan Shuster (volleyball), Shauna Smith (track and field)and Kara Walters (soccer), along with Cowboys Casey Bramlet(football), Luke Donovan (football) and Kevin Kessner (wrestling) allreceived the award after being nominated by UW Strength andConditioning coach Scott Bennett.
"It is great to give these kids something back for all of the hardwork they have put in," said Bennett. "It is an indication of thestrides our student-athletes are making in the weight room, andwhat's going on within our programs across the board."
Shuster, from Laramie, Wyo., has been a solid competitor for theCowgirl Volleyball program for the past four seasons. She receives thehonors for her accomplishments of a 135 pound bench press. Shusterplayed in 17 matches and 51 games for Wyoming during her seniorseason. She recorded 16 service aces and was an MWC All-Academicselection for the first time in her career.
Smith, from Sheridan, Wyo., reached career best marks in the benchpress (95 pounds), squat (225 pounds) and power clean (165 pounds).Smith's hard work paid off as she earned All-American honors byfinishing sixth in the finals of the women's 400 meter dash at the2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Walters, a native of Casper, Wyo., reached new goals in her strengthtraining as she surpassed 115 pounds in the bench press, 200 pounds inthe squat and 140 pounds in the power clean. Walters helped lead theCowgirl soccer team to a 10-9 record and a second place finish in theMountain West Conference, the best finish in program history.
A Wheatland, Wyo. native, Casey Bramlet was not only Wyoming'sleader on the football field, but also in the weight room. Bramlet setnew weight room records for quarterbacks by bench pressing 345 pounds,squat lifting 460 pounds and power cleaning 295 pounds. Bramlet is thefirst quarterback in Cowboy history to surpass the 9,000 yard mark inpassing, totaling 9,681 yards in his career. His 56 career touchdownpasses is also a UW record.
Donovan, a Spearfish, S.D. native, was one of Wyoming's mostintense performers in the weight room this year. He set personal marksof 325 pounds in the bench press, 435 pounds in the squat and 310pounds in the power clean. On the football field, Donovan averaged42.5 yards a punt, his longest being 60 yards.
A native of Rock Springs, Wyo., Kevin Kessner has been one ofWyoming's most dominating wrestlers. In the weight room, Kessnertotaled 340 pounds in the bench press, 475 pounds in the squat liftand 315 in the power clean. His commitment in the weight room resultedin his qualifying for the NCAA Wrestling Championships the past twoseasons.
The NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Yearprogram recognizes those collegiate athletes, whose athleticaccomplishments, in the opinion of their strength coach, reflect theirdedication to strength training and conditioning. The athletes arealso chosen for their academic and personal accomplishments along withtheir integrity as student athletes.