K Ring Ceremony Highlights 2013 Jayhawk Senior Celebration

May 6, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Athletics presented the student-athlete members of the 2013 senior class with their K Rings in a ceremony held in Kansas Student Union Monday night. In addition to the K Rings, the program featured awards presentations as well as appearances by a host of former Jayhawk greats to help congratulate the seniors on their outstanding Kansas careers.

The highlight of the night came when K Club Director and former KU student-athlete David Johnston presented the senior Jayhawks with their K Rings. Johnston discussed the importance of the rings and how each ring is a symbol of the athletes’ past, present and future.

“Tonight we mark another beginning; your time as a K Club member,” Kansas Athletics Director Dr. Sheahon Zenger said to the student-athletes and the more than 400 people, including their parents, faculty and athletics administrators in attendance. “You will forever be a Jayhawk. Only a handful of universities have the history and the tradition that we share at the University of Kansas. Tonight we celebrate your place in that history.”

Volleyball’s Tayler Tolefree and softball’s Maggie Hull were named co-winners of the Bob Frederick Female Senior Scholar Athlete Award, while football standout Trevor Marrongelli was the Bob Frederick Male Senior Scholar Athlete Award recipient. Dr. Bernie Kish, director of facilities, health, sport, and exercise sciences at KU, and Bob Frederick’s wife, Margey, presented both the male and female Bob Frederick Senior Scholar Athlete Awards.

Last fall, Tolefree was named the inaugural Big 12 Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Tolefree, from Lawrence, Kan., finished her career at KU in several areas of the Jayhawks’ all-time records book: career attack percentage (.272, 3rd), single-season attack percentage (.303, 6th), career total blocks (405, 4th), single-season blocks (126, 8th), career block assists (354, 2nd), single-season block assists (116, 4th) and career blocks per set (0.98, 6th). During her senior season, Tolefree became the first player in Kansas history (third in Big 12 history) to hit 1.000 for a match with 10 kills, no errors on 10 attacks against West Virginia on Oct. 29, 2012.

“This was a total surprise and I am very thankful,” Tolefree said. “Dr. Frederick had a legacy and reputation I knew about before even getting here. I’m very appreciative. It shows the work that I put in being here.”

Hull has started all 207 games of her Jayhawk career. The Lawrence, Kan., native is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection was drafted 11th overall by the Chicago Bandits in the 2013 NPF College Draft, the highest draft selection all-time by a Kansas player. Hull is on nearly every KU career record list: career batting average (.363, 1st), RBIs (135, T-1st), hits (227, 2nd), runs scored (136, 2nd), doubles (48, 3rd) and home runs (21, T-9th). She has led the Big 12 for the entirety of the 2012-13 season with her .443 batting average, which includes a KU record 20-game hitting streak earlier this season. As a junior, Hull broke the KU single-season batting average record at .409.

“This is the highest honor KU gives to seniors for both academics and athletics so it’s a huge honor to be able to represent my graduating class in this way and a huge honor to represent softball,” Hull said.

A three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Marrongelli started all 12 games at center, giving him 24 consecutive starts to end his career. The Austin, Texas, native started a total of 30 games during his KU career and helped pave the way for a running game that averaged 4.6 yards per carry and had a 1,000-yard rusher in 2012.

“Tonight was pretty much the perfect night and getting this award was the icing on the cake,” said Marrongelli who is pursuing an NFL career with the Detroit Lions. “There is no way I could have done it without the advisors and coaches help. They were important throughout the five years I have been here.”

Zenger presented Jerry Waugh with the first award of the evening, the K Club Lifetime Service Award. A Wellington, Kan., native Waugh is a living link to the rich history of the Kansas basketball program. Having played for the legendary coach Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, Waugh returned to assist another well-known KU coach in Dick Harp. Together, the pair would win a total of 48 games during their three seasons on the bench. That brief stint as a KU coach would not be the last for Waugh as he would return as the KU women’s golf coach from 1992-99. An active member of K Club, Waugh has twice served as the K Club board president in 1949-50 and 1982-83.

KU track and field seniors Heather Bergmann and Kaman Schneider were the recipients of the Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship Award with presenters Dr. Susan Stagg-Williams, KU’s faculty athletics representative, and Sandra Gautt, associate professor in KU’s special education department and widow of Prentice Gautt. The Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship is a $9,000 award given to two student-athletes at each Big 12 institution who have at least a 3.5 GPA and are expected to enroll in a graduate or professional school within 15 months after they graduate. An All-American in the javelin Bergmann, from Concordia, Kan., is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree, while Schneider, from Tribune, Kan., is a two-time academic all-conference selection.

Dr. Andrew Fry, in his fourth year at KU as a professor in the exercise physiology program, was the 2013 Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award recipient as selected by the KU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Fry, also the director of research for the Research and Coaching Performance Team recently formed with Kansas Athletics, received the honor from Shankel and KU seniors Carolyn Davis (women’s basketball) and Madison Wagner (swimming).

A day after KU’s Big 12 Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, three-time track and field national champion Andrea Geubelle then addressed her fellow seniors prior to Johnston’s presentation of the K Rings.

The night concluded with a rendition of the alma mater and the Rock Chalk Chant, sending the student-athletes off with a lasting memory to commemorate their outstanding Kansas careers.

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