Ha. You were afraid it wouldn't happen this year. UVA put three (!!!) national championship trophies in the case this year - an unprecedented number, which led to winning the men's Capital One Cup, and therefore certainly the best-ever season in UVA sports. Now we just have to put the finishing touches on it. We just had to wait until the baseball team finished - annoying, I know, but what ya gonna do? This way, we have a few things going on during the summer we can count, too.
You know how this goes, but in case you forgot: I nominate 12 athletes, you pick the winner after reading the capsules. I get to interpret the results how I like, which means that if I think it's close enough or if there's reason to do so, I might announce co-winners.
First, a list of previous winners:
2009: Danny Hultzen (baseball)
2010: Diego Restrepo (men's soccer)
2011: Danny Hultzen (baseball)
2012: Mike Scott (men's hoops) / Morgan Brian (women's soccer)
2013: Jarmere Jenkins (men's tennis)
2014: Joe Harris (men's hoops)
I also like to highlight Paige Selenski, thus far the only four-year nominee. Going into the seventh year of the award, I continue to be awfully pleased that non-rev sports fare so well in the voting. The whole point of this, after all, is to put them on the same pedestal as the glamor sports.
Now, the unveiling of this year's list:
Eric Bird - Men's soccer
Quin Blanding - Football
Morgan Brian - Women's soccer
Malcolm Brogdon - Men's basketball
Denny McCarthy - Men's golf
Josh Sborz - Baseball
Ryan Shane - Men's tennis
Leah Smith - Women's swimming
Nick Sulzer - Wrestling
Courtney Swan - Women's lacrosse
Tara Vittese - Field hockey
Jordan Young - Men's track and field
I feel like I say this every year, cause that's kind of the nature of the beast, but this is one hell of a field of nominees. There's three team national champions plus an individual national champion, a World Cup winner and Herrmann Trophy winner, a tourney Most Outstanding Player, a gold medalist, a couple program record-setters, and I think literally all but one of them is some kind of all-American. I'll be profiling them two at a time in the coming days. Good luck figuring this one out.