Friday, June 21, 2013

FOV Cavalier of the Year #9/#10

From Old Virginia celebrates its birthday in a unique way: by recognizing one of Virginia's student-athletes as the Cavalier of the Year. What are the criteria for the award? You decide; that's the beauty. I nominate the 12 athletes that I think have been the most outstanding during the latest season of UVA athletics, and provide a short summary of their accomplishments. You choose the winner in a poll that goes up after all 12 have had their moment in the spotlight. The full list of nominees is here.

Over the next few weeks, two athletes at a time will be profiled, and you'll hear about what they've accomplished while representing Mr. Jefferson's University this year. The athletes are presented in a totally random order so as to hopefully not imply any endorsement one way or another. Athletes from all fields are considered; the point is to emphasize that UVA is about excellence across the
entire department and doesn't shortchange its so-called non-revenue sports simply because they don't make headlines. The previous winners are Danny Hultzen (2009, 2011), Diego Restrepo (2010), and Mike Scott and Morgan Brian (2012); today's athlete's are Luke Papendick and Jarmere Jenkins.
Luke Papendick - Men's swimming - Back/Free/IM

Team accomplishments:

-- ACC champions
-- 27th at NCAA national meet

Personal accomplishments:

-- ACC Freshman of the Year
-- Honorable mention all-American
-- Won NCAA 200-yard backstroke consolation heat
-- Set school 200-yard backstroke record
-- ACC all-academic team

The nomination rule I go by, which I almost always follow, is to pick only one member of a team.  That's usually pretty hard for the swim team, because of the nature of the beast - every event is weighted the same, and there's no opportunity to defer to a teammate.  And we happen to have awesome swim teams, which you can't have without having a lot of awesome swimmers, so there's always a multitude of swimmers to choose from.  More often than not, a freestyler gets chosen, because there are more freestyle events and more chances for glory.

Set a school record as a freshman, though, and you're in.  Luke Papendick swims the backstroke and individual medley (IM), and he's got a promising career ahead as a star in each of them.  At the ACC meet, Papendick took 9th in the 200 IM, 5th in the 100 back, and 2nd in the 200 back.  That second-place swim was a school record, which lasted all of a couple weeks - until the NCAA meet, when Papendick broke it again with a 9th-place finish nationally.

That last swim earned him the honorable mention all-American honors, and cemented his FOY selection as well, if he hadn't locked it down already.  Papendick also received the team's Performance of the Year award.  Turns out it's not that hard after all to make the nomination choice.

Jarmere Jenkins - Men's tennis

Team accomplishments:

-- National champions
-- ACC champions
-- Undefeated

Personal accomplishments:

-- National doubles champion (with Mac Styslinger)
-- National singles runner-up
-- ITA National Senior Player of the Year
-- Ended season ranked #1 in singles, #2 in doubles
-- ITA indoor singles champion
-- NCAA Tournament MVP
-- All-ACC (obviously)
-- UVA Male Athlete of the Year

Is that enough for you?  Not only did Jarmere Jenkins walk away from Champaign, Illinois (the location of this year's tennis finals) with a big pile of trophies, he was really just a hair's breadth away from becoming tennis's fourth "Triple Crown" winner since 1977; that would be the team, singles, and doubles titles.  Jenkins won two of the three and reached the singles final before finally dropping a match in the tournament.

Even though he didn't quite pull off the feat, he's got more honors under his belt than pretty much any UVA athlete this year.  Despite the singles loss, Jenkins finished the year as basically the best player in collegiate tennis and won his team a national championship besides.  Hard to argue with the credentials.

No comments: