KU Senior Student-Athletes Honored at Jayhawk Senior and Scholar Banquet

April 30, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Five graduating senior student-athletes from the University of Kansas were recognized as the Athletes of the Year as the KU Athletics Department honored its top seniors for their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom at the annual Jayhawk Senior and Scholar Athlete Banquet Wednesday night in Kansas City, Mo. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Among the 410 Athletics Director’s Honor Roll recipients, 86 Academic All-Big 12 honorees, 16 Athletics All-Americans and 11 Academic All-Americans, Russell Robinson, James McClinton, Egor Agafonov, Kate Sultanova and Elizaveta Avdeeva received the Athletes of the Year Award.

Robinson earned the 2008 Mr. Jayhawk Award for the third straight season as a member of the men’s basketball national championship team. The New York, N.Y., native was part of the All-Big 12 Defensive Team for the third straight season and was the only player to start all 40 games for the Jayhawks this season. The Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree finished his career fifth on the all-time career steals list at KU.

McClinton was a 2007 Second Team All-American for the 2008 Orange Bowl Champion football team. The 2007 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team member helped guide KU to its winningest season in school history (12-1). The Garland, Texas, native was a 2007 AP All-American and a member of the 2007 Big 12 Good Works Team for his efforts in the community.

Agafonov won his second straight national championship in the weight throw for the Kansas track and field team this past indoor season. The Togliatti, Russia, native has won five Big 12 Championships, including three straight in the weight throw. He is also a five-time All-American and earned ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2007. Agafonov leaves as the KU record holder in the hammer throw and is second all-time in the weight throw.

Sultanova is four-time All-American in the pole vault for the track and field team. A native of Krasnodar, Russia, she will leave Kansas as the school record holder in the indoor pole vault and is second all-time in the outdoor event. The former Big 12 Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Sultanova is the Anschutz Pavilion record holder and won two Big 12 Championships in her career – one in indoor and one outdoor.

Avdeeva is a two-time All-Big 12 singles honoree for the tennis team and a two-time member of the All-Big 12 doubles team. In leading the Jayhawks to their best season since 2001-02, the 2006 and 2008 Academic All-Big 12 First Team member from Obninsk, Russia, graduates as the all-time leader in doubles wins at KU.

Sasha Kaun (men’s basketball) and Terri Schramka (swimming and diving) were the Robert Frederick Senior Scholar Athletes of the Year. Schramka was a three-time Academic All-American and a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. Kaun made the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 9 First Team and was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree.

Former Jayhawk greats John Hadl and Tom Kivisto each received the Lifetime Service Award for their lifelong dedication to the support of Kansas Athletics. Former Jayhawk and NFL quarterback, Hadl now serves as an Associate Athletics Director at Kansas in the Williams Educational Fund. Kivisto, a former Academic All-American for the KU men’s basketball team has been the primary donor to several state-of-the-art athletic facilities built at the Lawrence campus as he is the CEO of his own service company, SemGroup, L.P. The football field at Memorial Stadium has been named in his honor.

Kansas Athletics also recognized two student-athlete recipients of the Prentice Gautt Big 12 Postgraduate scholarships. Kara Boston (rowing) and Jeff Foster (football) both received the prestigious award to further continue their academic pursuits.

In addition to honoring KU’s student-athletes, English professor Mary Klayder was the recipient of the Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award and Patsy Bryant received the Student-Athlete Support Service Award.

Formerly known as the Jayhawk Scholar Recognition Banquet in its initial 10 years, the event was expanded in 2003-04 to include both academic and athletic success.