LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics presented 35 honors at the 12th annual CATSPY Awards, held Monday in Memorial Coliseum to recognize athletic and academic performances during the 2013-14 year. With co-winners in some categories, a total of six teams and 28 individuals were recognized.
Men’s basketball and men’s tennis, along with softball and women’s track and field, were named Team of the Year for their achievements. The Kentucky men’s basketball team finished the season on a magical postseason run that resulted in the program’s 16th Final Four appearance and a spot in the national championship game.
Despite losing two all-Americans in singles and doubles from the year before, the UK men’s tennis team still never left the top 15 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. Kentucky finished the season ranked in the top 10 of the ITA team rankings for the third straight season and was one of only four teams in the last three years to do so. Additionally, they reached No. 4 in the ITA rankings on March 6, 2013, achieving the program’s highest ranking since 2004.
The UK softball team tallied a school-record 41 wins, advancing to the second NCAA Super Regional in program history. The team earned a national seed and hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time ever, while finishing the season ranked inside the top 14 of both national rankings. UK softball also made its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, becoming one of just 23 schools nationally to claim that honor.
The UK women’s track and field team enjoyed its best indoor season in generations in 2014, a feat all the more remarkable considering how far it’s come in just a two-year span. The Wildcats finished fourth with 72 points at the Southeastern Conference Championships this season, after finishing dead-last (12th) at the 2012 SEC Championships, which were held at home. UK had the 200m national champion and two individual SEC champions.
The Mr. and Miss Wildcat Awards are given for all-around excellence in athletics, academics, character and service. Avery Williamson (football) won the Mr. Wildcat award, while Lauren Cumbess (softball), won the Miss Wildcat award.
The Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to track’s Dezerea Bryant. Bryant enjoyed the best indoor season by a female sprinter in UK history. She became the first NCAA Indoor 200m champion in 2014, and was also the SEC 60m dash champion. She has broken six school records this year.
The Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to Matt Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand scored 20 points at the 2014 SEC Indoor Championships, the most by any individual at the nation’s most competitive conference meet. He won both the 3,000 meters and defended his mile title. Hillenbrand also broke the 24-year-old school record with a time of 3:58.77, becoming just the third Wildcat ever to break four minutes.
The Academic Teams of the Year were men’s and women’s tennis.
The Scholar-Athletes of the Year were Lindsay Hill (swimming) and Tyler Riggs (men’s soccer).
A complete list of awards is below:
Community Service Award
Kastine Evans (Women’s Basketball)
Max Godby (Football)
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Female Rookie of the Year
Kelsey Nunley (Softball)
Male Rookie of the Year
Julius Randle (Basketball)
Bill Keightley "Assist" Award
Justin “Pemo” McKinley (Equipment Manager)
Blue Heart Award
Josh Clemons (Football)
Ashley VanLandingham (Women’s Soccer)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
Lindsay Hill (Swimming)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Tyler Riggs (Soccer)
Female Academic Team of the Year
Male Academic Team of the Year
Micheal Thomas (Baseball)
Grace Trimble (Women’s Tennis)
Griffin Joiner (Softball)
Alex Poythress (Men’s Basketball)
Heart of a Wildcat
Tom Jomby (Men’s Tennis)
Female Performance of the Year
Dezerea Bryant (Track)
Kendra Harrison (Track)
Jennifer O’Neill (Basketball)
Male Performance of the Year
Connor Davis (Rifle)
Aaron Harrison (Basketball)
AJ Reed (Baseball)
Female Athlete of the Year
Dezerea Bryant (Track)
Male Athlete of the Year
Matt Hillenbrand (Cross Country/Track)
Coach(es) of the Year
John Calipari (Men’s Basketball)
Edrick Floreal (M/W Track and Field)
Rachel Lawson (Softball)
Female Teams of the Year
Track and Field
Male Teams of the Year
Lauren Cumbess (Softball)
Avery Williamson (Football)