Jordan Christiansen | Posted: 29 May 2020 | Updated: 3 Jun 2021

Y Awards Cap Successful Seasons

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National Champions and National Runners-Up

PROVO, Utah – The winners of the 2019-20 Y Awards were announced Friday in a special episode of BYU Sports Nation on BYUtv.

Honorees included Whittni Orton of women’s cross country and track and field and Clayton Young of men’s track and field as Female and Male Athlete of the Year, respectively. Whitney Bower of women’s volleyball and Davide Gardini of men’s volleyball were awarded the two Rookie of the Year honors.

Men's cross country was named Men's Team of the Year after winning the 2019 NCAA Championship with head coach Ed Eyestone being named Head Coach of the Year. The women’s cross country team and soccer team were co-winners of the Women's Team of the Year after coming in second and fifth, respectively, in the nation.

Y Award winners were selected by votes from their fellow student-athletes. After head coaches nominated student-athletes from their teams, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council narrowed down the candidates prior to the general student-athlete voting. Award qualifications are based on competition from April 2019 to March 2020.

See below for a complete list of honorees:

Female Athlete of the Year – Whittni Orton, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field

  • 2019 All-American and WCC Cross Country Champion
  • Broke school indoor mile, 3000m, 5000m and DMR records
  • Helped BYU to second place at the 2019 NCAA Cross Country Championships and a WCC title

Male Athlete of the Year – Clayton Young, Men’s Track & Field

  • National Champion in the 10,000 meters
  • Also earned first-team All-American honors finishing sixth in the 5,000m
  • Helped BYU finish 8th at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships

Female Rookie of the Year – Whitney Bower, Women’s Volleyball

  • All-America honorable mention and All-WCC First Team
  • Finished in the top 10 in seven BYU freshman record categories
  • Helped BYU to a 26-5 record and No. 17 final national ranking

Male Rookie of the Year – Davide Gardini, Men’s Volleyball

  • MPSF Freshman of the Year and All-MPSF honoree
  • Started every match, finishing second on the team in kills, digs and aces
  • Helped BYU to a 13-12 record in 2019

Comeback Athlete of the Year – McKenna Miller, Women’s Volleyball

  • Returned back to the court nine months after tearing her ACL
  • Earned All-America and WCC Player of the Year honors
  • Helped BYU to a 26-5 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament

Walk-on of the Year – Justin Sterner, Baseball

  • Led the team with an 8-3 record and 71 strikeouts in 15 appearances
  • Had a 2.92 ERA as BYU had its lowest team ERA in 35 years
  • Helped BYU win the WCC regular season title and rank in the Top 25

Female Crowd Pleaser – Mary Lake, Women's Volleyball

  • 2019 U.S. National Team member, All-American and WCC Libero of the Year
  • Broke BYU’s all-time digs record and finished seventh in aces in the rally era
  • Helped BYU to a 26-5 record and a No. 17 final national ranking

Male Crowd Pleaser – Gabi Garcia Fernandez, Men’s Volleyball

  • AVCA All-America Second Team
  • Led the team with 390 kills, 136 digs and 32 aces
  • Helped BYU to a 13-12 record and fifth place in conference

Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award – Elise Flake, Soccer

  • All-America First Team, All-WCC First Team and a Hermann Trophy semifinalist
  • Led the team with 20 goals, becoming just the second BYU player to score 20 in a season
  • Helped BYU to the 2019 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals, the WCC championship and a No. 5 final national ranking

Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award – Brock Hale, Baseball

  • WCC Player of the Year and All-Region selection
  • Led the team with a .330 batting average and 67 hits, including 14 doubles and 11 home runs
  • Helped BYU win the WCC regular season title and rank in the Top 25

Cougar Club Memorial Award – Kennedy Eschenberg, Women’s Volleyball

  • Elementary education major with a 3.83 GPA
  • All-Region honorable mention, All-WCC First Team, Academic All-District
  • Helped BYU finish No. 17 in the nation and reach the NCAA Second Round

Cougar Club Memorial Award – Matt Owens, Men's Cross Country

  • Exercise and wellness major with a 3.96 GPA
  • Took third in the mile at the MPSF Championships and ran a leg of the DMR that qualified for Nationals in indoor track
  • Helped team win the MPSF title and get set for a solid showing at nationals before it was canceled

Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award – Sabrina Davis, Soccer

  • 2019 All-Region Second Team
  • Allowed just 15 goals all season with 14 shutouts in 23 games
  • Helped BYU to the 2019 NCAA Quarterfinals, the WCC championship and a No. 5 final national ranking

Dale R. McCann Spirit of Sport Award – TJ Haws, Men's Basketball

  • All-WCC First Team and Academic All-American
  • Second in assists, third in 3-pointers, seventh in scoring and eighth in steals all-time at BYU
  • Helped BYU to a 24-8 record and No. 18 final national ranking

Floyd Johnson Service Award – Makayla Cazier, Women’s Swimming & Diving

Kimball Memorial Award (Highest GPA) – Miki Jauhiainen, Men's Volleyball

Coach of the Year — Ed Eyestone, Men's Cross Country/Track & Field

Assistant Coach of the Year — Brent Anderson, Soccer

Men’s Team of the Year — Men’s Cross Country

Women’s Team of the Year — Women’s Cross Country & Soccer

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