Colorado Mesa’s athletic department caps the year with a picnic for the athletes the final week of class, with coaches manning the grills and smokers and putting on an impressive spread.
COVID-19 wiped that out, along with the majority of the spring sports season, so instead of announcing the annual Rumble Awards at the picnic, the department released them on Twitter throughout the week.
Each team submits nominees for individual awards, with members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which has representatives from each sport, voting.
Since the spring season was canceled, special spring awards were voted on for the spring athlete, freshman and team of the year.
Hannah More, who was on pace to break the women’s golf program record for stroke average, at 75.2, was voted the spring athlete of the year. The men’s lacrosse team, which was off to a program-best 7-0 record, was the spring team of the year, and Cole Emmanuel of the men’s lacrosse team, who was fifth in the nation, winning 76.9% of his faceoffs, was the spring freshman of the year.
Ammar Hassan, who was the top contender to win his fifth and sixth national diving titles when the NCAA canceled the winter championships, was voted the men’s athlete of the year. Hassan had just qualified for the 1-meter diving finals when the meet was halted.
Daniella Turner, who led the women’s basketball team in scoring at 15.8 points per game and was an honorable-mention All-American, was voted the women’s athlete of the year.
The comeback player of the year went to Payton Tawater, the oft-injured senior wrestler who came back from two knee injuries and qualified for nationals for the first time in his career. The Division II wrestling national championships were canceled the afternoon before competition began.
Lauren White, who earned six first-team All-RMAC and three first-team All-America awards for the swim team, was voted the freshman of the year.
Brittany Dixon, a senior diver, and Mitch Steadman, a senior on the men’s tennis team, received the department’s leadership awards.
With every CMU winter team qualifying for the national championships, the only Division II school to achieve that, the team of the year awards went to the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The women won their second straight RMAC regular-season and tournament titles and were No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 48.9 points per game.
The men’s team, seeded fourth, won its first RMAC tournament title since CMU joined the Division II ranks and qualified for the South Central Regional. Mesa’s 21-10 record was its first 20-win season in four years.
Three players received spring academic all-district honors from the College Sports Information Directors Association and are now eligible for academic All-America awards.
Spencer Bramwell, a junior catcher for the baseball team, has a 3.46 GPA in health and fitness promotion. He was hitting .338 with six home runs and 15 RBI for the fourth-ranked Mavericks.
Outfielder Hailey Hinson and third baseman Bailey Kleespies made the softball academic team. Hinson graduated Saturday with a 4.0 GPA in accounting and was hitting .388 with three home runs and 10 RBI. Kleespies also graduated Saturday, with a 3.881 GPA in finance. She was hitting .310 with 24 RBI when the season was canceled.