Nominees Announced for the 2021 Rock Chalk Choice Awards

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nominees for the 2021 Rock Chalk Choice Awards were announced by the Rock Chalk Choice Awards committee today, featuring nominations for the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, True Blue Award and Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role, among others, to be presented at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards on Sunday, September 12 at 6 p.m.

There were many notable athletic and academic accomplishments throughout the 2020-21 year, but there were several student-athletes who stuck out in their respective sports. The male and female Athlete of the Year nominees represent incredible team and individual accomplishments, while being a leader on their respective teams.

This year’s nominees for the Male Athlete of the Year Award are:

  • Marcus Garrett (Men’s Basketball)
  • Jonah Ulane (Baseball)
  • Gleb Dudarev (Track & Field)
  • Kyron Johnson (Football)

This year’s nominees for the Female Athlete of the Year Award are:

  • Jenny Mosser (Volleyball)
  • Manon Manning (Swimming & Diving)
  • Ceri Holland (Soccer)
  • Alexandra Emilianov (Track & Field)

The True Blue Award honors a student-athlete who demonstrates devotion to excellence in academics and athletics while advancing Kansas Athletics through participation in student organizations or community service projects. The award will be presented by Kansas track & field and cross country alumni and past True Blue award winner Riley Cooney.

This year’s nominees for the True Blue Award are:

  • Ellie Flannagan (Swimming & Diving)
  • Dan Hagerty (Baseball)
  • Sam Burt (Football)
  • Kai Alexander (Rowing)

The nominees for Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role not only give everything they have, day-in-and-day-out, but they have the ability to get the best out of their teammates, elevating the competition every day. The student-athletes nominated for this award demonstrate extraordinary sportsmanship, support and loyalty to teammates and Kansas Athletics. The Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role will be presented by former a former winner of the award, Kansas swimming and diving alumni Haley Molden.

This year’s nominees for the Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role are:

  • Lauryn Parrish (Swimming & Diving)
  • Andrea Willis (Track & Field)
  • Rylan Childers (Soccer)
  • Laurel Salisbury (Rowing)
  • Cody Johnson (Track & Field)

The nominees for the Crimson Climb award overcame challenges and exceeded academic expectations to serve as an inspiration to others. Presenting the award will be Assistant Athletics Director and former KU rowing and soccer student-athlete Stephanie Mahal. This year’s nominees include:

  • Kristen Bryant (Track & Field)
  • Caleb Sampson (Football)
  • Sonia Smagina (Tennis)
  • Sera Tadokoro (Women’s Golf)

The Jayhawker Award is presented to the student-athlete that has exhibited a commitment to Kansas principles and demonstrated mental toughness in the face of adversity and competition while making a positive contribution to Kansas Athletics.  Jeff Long, a former member of the KU baseball and football team and past K Club President will present the award.

This year’s nominees for the Jayhawker Award are:

  • Malcolm Lee (Football)
  • Jalen Wilson (Men’s Basketball)
  • Andrea Willis (Track & Field)
  • Kate Steward (Swimming & Diving)
  • Heidi Burns (Rowing)
  • Hussain Al-Hizam (Track & Field)
  • Cheyenne Hornbuckle (Softball)

The Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award is given to an outstanding member of the faculty at the University of Kansas. Presenting the award will be Kansas Athletics Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Susan Michelle Stagg-Williams. This year’s nominees are:

  • Mary Fry
  • Ken Ward
  • Christopher Depcik
  • Stephen Ilardi

In addition to the nominations listed above, special student-athlete academic achievements and All-Americans will also be recognized throughout the program on September 12.