Committee Reveals Nominees for Two More Rock Chalk Choice Awards
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ Rock Chalk Choice Awards committee revealed the nominees for the Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role and the Crimson Climb awards Friday afternoon, in advance of the Academy Awards-like event at the Lied Center of Kansas, Sept. 7. Nominees of three of the seven total awards to be presented have now been announced.
Blair Beck (baseball), Alison Moffit (swimming and diving), Shannon Renner (soccer), Brianne Riley (volleyball) and JaCorey Shepherd (football) were nominated for The Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role Award, presented to a student-athlete who demonstrates extraordinary sportsmanship, support and loyalty to teammates and Kansas Athletics.
Described as an unselfish competitor, all-about winning by his teammates, Beck played in 46 games for the Jayhawks and batted .250 with seven extra-base hits in his first season after transferring to KU from Midland College in his hometown of Midland, Texas.
Moffit was a true senior leader for the Jayhawks in her final season competing for Kansas, recognized by her teammates for a commitment to make everyone on the team better and being a spirited, vocal leader in practice and at meets. The Flower Mound, Texas, native swam a career-best time in the 1650-yard freestyle and was a member of the team’s record-breaking 800-yard freestyle relay, both at the Big 12 Conference Championships.
Renner, a senior defender on last year’s soccer team, contributed in 15 contests for Kansas, earning respect from her teammates as a huge support system and great leader. The Overland Park, Kansas, native earned multiple awards during her career for success in the classroom in addition to contributing on the soccer pitch.
Riley closed her Jayhawk career as the program’s all-time digs leader and helped Kansas to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance but will perhaps be remembered most by her teammates for always putting others first and serving as a mentor to the freshman class. From Naperville, Illinois, Riley started all 33 matches as KU’s libero during the 2013 season.
Noted for selfless decisions like volunteering his time in the community and moving from offense to defense after a successful debut season on offense, Shepherd earned honorable mention recognition from the Big 12 in 2013. The Mesquite, Texas, product intercepted a pair of passes and broke up 13 others while leading an improved Jayhawk secondary.
The Crimson Climb award is given to the student-athlete who has served as an inspiration to others by overcoming challenges and exceeding academic expectations. Sydney Conley (track and field), Madison Hovis (rowing), Kenneth McCuin (track and field) and Liana Salazar (Soccer) all encountered and defeated difficult challenges off the field while also contributing positively to their team’s efforts on the field.
Following a red-carpet entrance and a reception in the Lied Center lobby, accolades in seven different categories – Jayhawker Award, Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role, The Crimson Climb Award, True Blue Award, Rock Chalk Moment Award, and Male and Female Athlete of the Year – will be unveiled and special student-athlete academic achievements will be recognized during the ceremony in the Auditorium. For the final four awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
As in years past, due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes and their families, KU faculty and selected dignitaries.
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