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Sports Information Director:  Steve McCloskey   Phone:  (570) 662-4845    Email:  


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mountaineer Winter Sports Award Winners Announced -- Jess Uhrich and Dave Sanford Named Athletes of the Year

MANSFIELD Jessica Uhrich and Dave Sanford were named the Mansfield University Winter Athletes of the Year at the annual winter sports banquet Wednesday evening. Women's basketball, men's basketball, cheerleading, swimming and indoor track and field all gave out awards at the banquet.

It was no surprise when Jessica Uhrich (Palmyra/Palmyra) was announced as the female Athlete of the Year. The senior standout finished her inspiring career by leading the Mountaineer women into the playoffs two consecutive seasons and starting in her final 81 straight games.

Uhrich became the first Mountaineer woman to lead the PSAC in scoring and rebounding while setting the new single season mark for points with 508, the only Mountaineer woman to ever score over 500 points in a season.

She was named the PSAC East Player of the Week three times during the season setting a new Mountaineer record with eight Player of the Week honors. Uhrich earned her second straight All-PSAC First team honor this season and followed that up by being named the PSAC East Player of the Year.

The senior captain leaves Mansfield ranked in the top twelve in nearly every statistical category including third in rebounds (866), fourth in points (1241), fifth in blocked shots (78), 10th in assists (220) and 12th in steals (145).

Dave Sanford (Nescopeck/Central Columbia) transferred to Mansfield at the start of the fall season and has been turning heads ever since. Sanford shocked the PSAC with his drastic improvements in the 800 meter run this year dropping nearly six seconds off his previous indoor best.

Sanford began the season by helping the Mountaineer 4x800 relay team set a new school record and followed that up by shattering Chris Cummings' 800 meter record.

Sanford once again turned heads when he lowered his record even further to a 1:53.97, a time fast enough to place him on the NCAA Division II provisional qualifier list.

Sanford took the 1000 meter championship at the CTC meet this year with another school record performance and led off the distance medley relay team that set a new school record and hit a NCAA provisional mark.

He capped off his season with a heroic performance at the PSAC Championships when he was stepped on and lost one shoe just 100 meters into the race. Sanford ran 700 meters with one shoe and managed to hold off the entire field with the exception of Sean Strauman (finished 2nd at Nationals) of IUP. His efforts earned him All-PSAC honors. Ultimately, Sanford missed qualifying for the National Championships by just 0.8 seconds.

Prior to the announcement of the Athlete of the Year honors, all the winter sports coaches handed out Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player Awards.

To no surprise, Sanford took home the MVP for men's track and field. The MIP award went to freshman Mike Gray (Elmira, NY/Horseheads) who surprised even himself this winter when he equaled his high school best with the college shot put. Gray looks even more impressive this outdoor season already setting a school record in the discus and a personal best in the shot put.

On the women's side, Nicole Dann (Lucan, ON/Medway) was announced as the MVP for the indoor season. Dann was the leader on and off the track for the Mountaineer women as shown in her performance at the CTC meet where she won the 800, 1000, and mile before anchoring the 4x400 relay team. Dann earned All-PSAC honors in the 800. The MIP award went to freshman Katie Foster (Elmira, NY/Elmira Southside) who tackled the task of the multi-event athlete this season. Foster improved in all her events this season and ended up scoring points in the pentathlon at the PSAC Championships.

Abbe Tipton (Elmira, NY/EFA) took home the MVP honors for the swim team after leading the Mountaineer women's performances at the PSAC Championships this season. Tipton, the leading Mountie backstroker for the past four seasons finished seventh at the PSAC Championships in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Sarah Koontz (York/William Penn) was honored with the MIP award after improving an impressive three seconds in the 50 free and four seconds in the 100 free. Koontz joined the Mountie swim team as a relay member at the PSAC Championships.

Dr. Maris humored the crowd while reminding everyone in attendance of how special the 'student' in 'student athlete' is. Maris, the head coach of the Cheerleading team, announced Ashley Spencer (Clarks Summit/Abington Hts.) as the MVP of this winter's cheerleading squad.

To no surprise, Jessica Uhrich was named the MVP of the women's basketball season. The MIP award went to Clarissa Correll (Mansfield/Mansfield). Correll worked hard in the off-season to improve all facets of her game and moved into the starting lineup throughout the season. Her speedy and tight defensive play was crucial to the Mountaineers success.

The men's basketball MVP was given to John Hampton (Philadelphia/George Washington) after Hampton ranked in the top 15 in the PSAC in scoring, steals, assists, free throw percentage, and 3-point percentage. Hampton finished the season with 387 points averaging 14.9 points per game. The MIP award was given to Kevin Hill (Mansfield/Mansfield). The hometown junior moved into the starting lineup this season starting in all but one game. Hill knocked down an impressive 90 3-pointers this season ranking him third in school history for 3's in a season. Hill led the PSAC in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage.

All seniors were honored throughout the evening by the coaches and by the athletics administration. The seniors are each listed with their respective sports below.

Men's Basketball -- Terrance Williams (Harrisburg/Central Dauphin)

Women's Basketball -- Jessica Uhrich

Track and Field -- Nicole Dann, Jamie Sweitzer (Glen Rock/Dallastown), Rachel Hall (Jackson/Blue Ridge)

Swimming -- Abbe Tipton, Daniella Borrelli (Vestal, NY/Vestal)


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