April 21, 2014
Jeff Whitaker and Lakin Eddy help salute the winners at the AUSPYs (Zach Bland photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Jeff Whitaker, known for a few moves of his own in the defensive line, danced into the awards show to Puttin' on The Ritz with golfing cohost Lakin Eddy.
No top hat and cane, but an all-around good performance at Auburn's AUSPYs on Monday on the night set aside to recognize the academic and athletic successes of the past year.
There were light-hearted moments in Auburn Arena, like when Whitaker found new basketball coach Bruce Pearl, who told the D-lineman he could use his, um, big build to post up at the basket; or when Branndi Melero delivered softball the onstage Minute to Win It title. There was the highlight reel, featuring two of the most dramatic football plays in Auburn history. There was singing, and even a snappy number with a Solo Cup.
And there was the standing ovation for the Inspiration Award for the women's golf team when it took the stage with coach Kim Evans, who battled cancer.
And, of course, there were honors. The university saluted a record 335 athletes who maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average over the last academic year or their careers.
Oh, and there were awards aplenty, interspersed by Whitaker and Eddy smoothly walking among the tables, working the crowd, easily trading talk.
Red carpet work can't be far behind.
Football's run to the SEC title and beyond produced winners, such as Tre Mason as the male athlete of the year; and Chris Davis' 109-yard return for a touchdown on a missed field that beat Alabama on the final play of the game. That was a fitting winner of the War Eagle Moment. Football also was honored as the male team of the year.
But it wasn't all about football.
Pleun Burgmans of women’s tennis and Indy Roper of equestrian were named co-female athletes of the year.
The male rookie of the year went to swimming and diving's Kyle Darmody. The female athlete of the year was gymnastics' Caitlin Atkinson.
Women’s basketball team was selected for the best comeback. Equestrian was the female team of the year.
Eddy was presented the Passion Award.
Football's Jonathon Mincy and men’s basketball’s Chris Denson were honored with the SASS Academic Achievement Award for their determination in academics.
There were more scholar athletes.
The male scholar athlete was men's swimming and diving's Spencer Kerns of men’s swimming with a 4.00 GPA in Chemistry/Biochemistry and men's swimming and diving's TJ Leon with a 4.00 GPA in Biomedical Sciences.
Equestrian's Jennifer Waxman was the female scholar athlete of the year with a 3.97 GPA in political science.
Men's golf won the Life Skills Team Community Service Award. Gymnastics was the overall winner of the award. It also won the Spirit Award. The female team with the highest GPA was volleyball. Cross country had the highest male GPA.
Here are the 2013-14 academic Top Tigers
Baseball (19): Bobby Andrews, Zach Blatt, Cameron Blinka, Robert Clements, Trey Cochran-Gill, Kevin Davis, Samuel Gillikin, Anfernee Grier, Damon Haecker, Cole Lipscomb, Blake Logan, Michael O’Neal, Patrick Savage, Mitchell Self, JJ Shaffer, Connor Short, Keegan Thompson, Derek Varnadore and Chase Williamson.
Men’s Basketball (6): Matthew Atewe, Jordon Granger, Benas Griciunas, Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Dylan Spencer and Dion Wade.
Men’s Cross Country (10): Alexander Main, Andrew Scott, Griffin Jaworski, Hunter Hayes, Jason Miller, Jeffery Sanders, Jonathan Hardin, Kane Grimster, Niklas Buhner and Samuel Mueller.
Football (43): Adam Dyas, Alex Kozan, Alex Kviklys, Anthony Sanders, Aubrey Phillips, Ben Durand, Caden Hoffman, Cameron Artis-Payne, Cameron Toney, Carl Lawson, Chandler Shakespeare, Cody Parkey, Daniel Carlson, Devonte Danzey, Dominic Walker, Duncan McKinney, Gage Batten, Gray King, Greg Robinson, Jackson Thomas, Jimmy Hutchinson, Johnathan Ford, Jonathan Wallace, Jonathon Mincy, Kevin Austin, Luke Ebbesmeyer, Marcus Davis, Michael Clifton, Montavius Adams, Nikolas Anthony, Nosa Eguae, Patrick Young, Peyton Barber, Reid Brooks, Robert Stovall, Ryan Carter, Stanley Chapman, Steven Clark, Taylor Yancey, Trent Fisher, Tucker Tuberville, Tunde Fariyike and Will Adams.
Men’s Golf (11): Blake Messer, Blake Soni, Daniel Stringfellow, David Zickler, Jake Mondy, Matthew Gilchrest, Michael Hebert, Niclas Carlsson, Ryan Benton, Victor Henum and Victor Wiggins.
Men’s Swimming & Diving (23): Alex Hancock, Alexander Goerzen, Alexander Press-Andrew, Andrew Laing, Antton Haramboure, Cameron Rattray, Christopher Kramer, Forrest Davis, Fraser McKean, James Disney-May, John Santeiu, Joseph Patching, Justin Youtsey, Kyle Darmody, Kyle Owens, Michael Duderstadt, Peter Haas, Samuel Parker, Spencer Kerns, Stuart Ferguson, TJ Leon, William Anderson and Zane Grothe.
Men’s Tennis (5): Daniel Cochrane, Dennis Lengsfeld, Jack Nicholas, Lukas Ollert and Michael Wardell.
Men’s Track & Field (17): Brad Money, Chason Farnell, Enrique Gaitan, Gehrig Nelson, Jace Owens, James Swasey, Marcus Popenfoose, Matthew Cooper, Patrick Kelley Cutrell, Samuel Snell, Stephen Saenz, Trey Lee, Tyler Kennedy, Justin Carter, Raymond McCormack, Zachary Gunnz and Torrey Campbell.
Women’s Basketball (7): Blanche Alverson, Brandy Montgomery, Chadarryl Clay, Hasina Muhammad, Katie Frerking, Meagan Tucker and Peyton Davis.
Women’s Cross Country (18): Lauren Barr, Ameenah Bey Shaw, Elizabeth Briasco, Mary Craig, Taylor Duncan, Veronica Eder, Erin Fondren, Susan Givens, Helen Kennedy, Sally Kirklewski, Erika Kolakowski, Rebecca Nylen, Molly Pezzulo, Samantha Scarlett, Madeline Sharp, Kristin Sheehan, Emily Stevens and Rachel Wiggins.
Women’s Equestrian (35): Allison Dusha, Anna Becker, Caitlin Moran, Caroline Becker, Casey Fowler, Cheyeene Cracraft, Christine Orrison, Claire Connaghan, Coryn Bergenty, Danielle Long, Elizabeth Benson, Gabriella Gianturco, Griffin Knight, Hailey Munger, Hannah Loseke, Hasbrouck Donovan, Indy Roper, Jennifer Delman, Jennifer Waxman, Julianna Cook, Kaitlin Sluck, Kasey Saucer, Landrie Folsom, Lucy Igoe, Margaret Barlow, Megan Bifano, Melena Smith, Morgan Burns, Morgan McQuay, Peyton Smith, Piper Donnelly, Quincy Hayes, Rachel Lin, Stephanie Rucci and Victoria Hoft.
Women’s Golf (9): Alexandria Harrell, Clara Baena Sanchez, Diana Fernandez, Jamie Yun, Lakin Eddy, Marta Sanz Barrio, Megan Wilshire, Nicole Quinn and Victoria Trapani.
Gymnastics (16): Abigail Habicht, Brittany Webster, Caitlin Atkinson, Caryn Kadous, Justine Foster, Kara Koster, Kareen Kaveh, Kathryn Kluz, Kelsey Kopec, Kelsey Thomasson, Kullen Hlawek, Kylie Shields, Margaret Lim, Megan Walker, Nicole Galluzzo and Petrina Yokay.
Softball (18): Alexis Davis, Amber Harrison, Anna Gibbs, Ashley Leon, Baylee Stephens, Caitlin Jordan, Emily Carosone, Jordan Rocker, Kasey Cooper, Kelsey Bogaards, Kristyn Richards, Marcy Harper, Maris Medina, McKenzie Kilpatrick, Morgan Estell, Sydne Waldrop, Tiffany Howard and Victoria Draper.
Soccer (23): Alex Massey, Ali Elliott, Alicen Wright, Alyse Scott, Amy Howard, Ana Cate, Bianca Sierra, Brooke Ramsier, Caitlin Torie, Casie Ramsier, Haley Gerken, Jessica Wolfe, Kala Faulkner, Kelly Neeb, Kiana Clarke, Kim Spence, Maddie Barnes, Mary Coffed, Samantha Solaru, Savannah Miller, Sophie Simantel, Taylor Wagnon and Tori Ball.
Women’s Swimming & Diving (23): Aimee Middleton, Ashley Neidigh, Aubrey Peacock, Caitlyn Forman, Carly Scheper, Cinzia Calabretta, Emily Bos, Haley Krakoski, Hallie Stupp, Hannah Riordan, Laura Johnson, Lauren Norberg, Lindsey Norberg, Madison Martin, Mary Elizabeth Warhol, Micah Lawrence, Morgan Mullins, Rebecca Jones, Sarah Reynolds, Shanna Schuelein, Sterling Wine, Tryshia Centeno Rosa and Valerie Inghels.
Women’s Tennis (12): Ashley Kitchen, Emily Flickinger, Jacqueline Kasler, Jennifer Pfeifler, Lindsey Whitehead, Maria Arechavaleta, Maria Cardenas-Conti, Olivia Bennett, Paula de Man, Paulina Schippers-Estrada, Plamena Kurteva and Reka Muller.
Women’s Track & Field (23): Victoria Bernardo, Nicole Charley, Gabriela Cumberbatch, Siobhan Ford-Holland, Melanie Harris, Daina Levy, Anna McCloskey, Valentina Muzaric, Victoria Nwadiogbu, Maya Pressley, Kai Selvon, Amber Sudzius, Olivia Tofani, Alyssa Kopp, Amber Murrell, Carly Schmidt, Ebony Morrison, Halle Robinson, Marshay Ryan, Micaela Creighton, Niya Pierce, Rachel Dincoff and Shekara Martin.
Volleyball (16): Alyssa Ivey, Brittney Rhude, Camilla Jersonsky, Chelsea Wintzinger, Courtney McDonald, Emily Klitzke, Halle Kearney, Katherine Culwell, Kathia Rud, Kristel Moor, Lakia Bright, Mary Arrington, Sarah Bullock, Sarah Wroblicky, Stephanie Campbell and Taylor Schill.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine