GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Fifth Annual Florida Letterman Awards were held Monday evening, giving the Gators a chance to celebrate accomplishments of the 2013 calendar year.
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UF’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the awards show at the Phillips Center on campus. Think UF’s version of the ESPY Awards that ESPN puts on each year.
And the winners were …
Male Team of the Year:
- Track & Field – 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Champions for second consecutive year
Female Team of the Year:
- Gymnastics – won program’s first NCAA team title in 2013
The Athlete of the Year is awarded to the athlete who accomplished the most in their season.
- Male Athlete of the Year: Marcin Cieslak, Swimming & Diving
2013 SEC 100 and 200 fly champion. Collected first NCAA title as anchor of the 800 free relay that set a school record.
- Female Athlete of the Year: Elizabeth Beisel, Swimming & Diving
Claimed her second NCAA Championship after winning the 400 IM. Earned five All-America honors during the national meet and did not finish lower than fifth.
Comeback Athlete of the Year goes to the male and female athlete who showed tremendous fight and determination to recover after an injury.
- Male Comeback Athlete: Ronald Powell, Football
Returned to the field after over a year off and played in 11 games with eight starts. Led the team with four sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Second on the team with seven tackles-for-loss. Earned the team’s Chris Patrick Courage Award for battling back through injuries. Named a team captain for the Kentucky and Arkansas games.
- Female Comeback Athlete: Alaina Johnson, Gymnastics
Suffered two stress fractures in back, causing her to miss eight competitions during the season. Returned to the competitive lineup for vault and bars at NCAA Regionals, where she scored a 9.925 in the vault. First Gator to ever claim NCAA uneven bars championship.
The Male and Female Rookie of the Year Award is given to the freshman athlete that showed superior skills in their given sport in their first year of competition.
- Male Rookie of the Year: Michael Frazier II, Basketball
One of the most accurate 3-point shooters in country; Named to the 2013 SEC All Freshman Team; Two time SEC Freshman of the week
- Female Rookie of the Year: Bridget Sloan, Gymnastics
NCAA all-around and balance beam champion, earning all four All-America first team honors in NCAA Championships competition. 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year, winning the SEC all-around, uneven bar and floor exercise titles. Winner of the Honda Award as the top collegiate gymnast - only the fourth freshman to win honor in award’s 37-year history.
The Male and Female Performance of the Year Award is given to the male and female athlete who had an outstanding game, meet or match that should be recognized above all else.
- Male Performance of the Year: 4x400 relay, Track & Field
Clinched Florida’s second-consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships team title with their NCAA Relay win
- Female Performance of the Year: Taylor Burke, Soccer
Season-high five saves versus Texas A&M helped Gators to shutout SEC leader Texas A&M 2-0 in a key win which helped the Gators win a share of its 13th overall SEC title.
Male/Female Scholar Athlete:
- Jared Watkins: Men's Track and Field
- Nora Barry: Lacrosse
Community Service Award is given to the male and female student-athlete who contributes their time to other people with the simple intention of impacting another person’s life in a positive way
- Mike McNeely: Football
- Brittany Koziara: Women's Track and Field
The Mr. and Miss Orange and Blue Award is given to the male and female athletes who inspire everyone around them. They represent what it means to be a Gator which is all-around excellence in athletics, academics, character and service.
- Mr. Orange & Blue: Will Yeguete, Basketball
- Miss Orange & Blue: Elizabeth Beisel, Swimming & Diving
The Florida Way award is given to an athlete from each team who most demonstrates what it means to do things the Florida Way. This award is given to male and female athletes who display qualities such as honesty, integrity, strong work ethic, and compassion. These traits make them nature leaders on and off their given field.
Florida Way Award Winners:
- Baseball - Cody Dent
- Basketball - Will Yeguete
- Cross Country - Mark Mutz
- Football - Max Garcia
- Golf - Tyler McCumber
- Swimming - Cameron Martin
- Tennis - Michael Alford
- Track & Field - Hugh Graham
- Basketball - Lily Svete
- Cross Country - Agata Strausa
- Golf - Elcin Ulu
- Gymnastics - Ashanée Dickerson
- Lacrosse - Caroline Chesterman
- Soccer - Haley Reeb
- Softball - Kelsey Horton
- Swimming & Diving - Elizabeth Beisel
- Tennis - Lauren Embree
- Track & Field - Ebony Eutsey
- Volleyball - Madison Monserez
- Cheer - Laura Warner
- Cheer - Anthony DePiero
- Dazzler - Amanda Rochford
- Mascot - Suzanne Wilcox