Fifth annual Rock Chalk Choice Awards set for Sept. 11
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Several team and individual trips to the “Big Dance” will be among the many notable athletic and academic achievements celebrated at the fifth annual Rock Chalk Choice Awards, themed “So We Know We Can Dance,” inside the Lied Center of Kansas on Sept. 11.
The Academy Awards-like event will recognize the top team and individual performances of 2015-16 and begins with a red-carpet entrance and a reception in the Lied Center lobby. During the main event inside the Lied Center’s auditorium, top honors 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.
This year’s winners will be presented their awards by past recipients in the respective categories. Those returning special guests include:
- Brianne Riley (Jayhawker), a former libero for the Jayhawks’ volleyball team, who graduated in 2013. She currently has the Kansas all-time dig record with 2,053 digs and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team from her sophomore through her senior year.
- Anthony Davis (Crimson Climb) collected 54 tackles over his four years at cornerback for the Jayhawks. Some of his career highlights include multiple tackles in the 2008 Insight Bowl, five tackles in the final two games of the 2009 season and an interception against Baylor in 2011.
- Michael Cummings (Supporting Role) ended the 2014 season with 2,357 yards of total offense. He also added nine passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. After suffering a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2015 season, Cummings turned into a key off-the-field leader for the Jayhawks.
- Maddie Stein (True Blue), who graduated in 2015, finished her career first in RBIs (150), tied for fourth in batting average (.349), tied for third in doubles (47), tied for fourth in hits (219), sixth in total bases (307) and 10th in slugging percentage (.490) on KU’s softball leaderboards. She also represented Kansas and Big 12 student-athletes as a voting delegate at the 2015 NCAA Convention, among other community and academic honors.
- Maggie Hull-Tietz (All-Americans), who played for Kansas from 2010-13, is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team (2011-13) selection as well as a three-time All-Big 12 honoree (2011-13). Hull-Tietz was also a two-time Academic All-American (2012, 2013) and recently joined the Kansas softball staff as the director of operations.
- Diamond Dixon (Female Athlete of the Year) was a key part of the Kansas track and field team from 2011-14. She was an NCAA Champion and All-American in the 400 meters in 2012. Later that year she was invited to London for the Olympics and took home a gold medal as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team.
- Michael Stigler (Male Athlete of the Year), a 2015 graduate from Canyon, Texas, had a decorated career during his time at KU and at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards. A three-time Male Athlete of the Year selection, Stigler capped his career as an individual NCAA outdoor champion when he ran to the 400-meter hurdle title and also became the first Jayhawk in program history to earn First Team All-America honors in a single event in four-consecutive years.
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 selected KU faculty and dignitaries. A tape-delayed presentation of the Rock Chalk Choice Awards will be aired at a later date on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, along with scenes from the student-athlete entrances on the red carpet. The red carpet entrance will also be streamed via Facebook Live for followers of Kansas Athletics.
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