Athletics News

Robinson, Ibarra Honored With Athletic Director's S.P.I.R.I.T. Award

Go smu! Taylor Robinson, Director of Athletics Rick Hart, and Jaime Ibarra
Go smu!
Taylor Robinson, Director of Athletics Rick Hart, and Jaime Ibarra
Go smu!

April 29, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) - Taylor Robinson, women's soccer, and Jaime Ibarra, men's soccer, were named as winners of the Athletic Director's S.P.I.R.I.T. award, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon student-athletes at SMU, highlighting a banquet to honor the athletic and academic achievements of the 17 sports programs at SMU.

The Athletic Director's S.P.I.R.I.T. award is given to those who are an inspiration to others, giving unselfishly of their time and talents for the betterment of the team, and who epitomize the values of service, passion, integrity, respect, innovation and teamwork.

Robinson overcame multiple knee injuries to start in 17 matches this season, anchoring a defense whice posted seven shutouts. She earned a degree in accounting last May, and will graduate in May with a master's degree in accounting. Ibarra started every match in goal for the Mustangs, earing Goalkeeper of the Week in The American, all-tournament team selections, and was named Futbol Mundial Publication's Best of the Best. Ibarra continued his career at SMU despite injuries and the loss of his father.

Keena Mays was named SMU Female Student-Athlete of the Year, marking the second straight year a women's basketball player took home the award, and quarterback Garrett Gilbertearned SMU Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

Mays set the SMU single-season scoring record with 691 points, the single-season 3-point record with 88 field goals from outside the arc, and scored 1,115 points in just 55 games on the Hilltop. She was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection after leading the American Athletic Conference with 21.6 points per game.

Gilbert threw for 3,528 yards and 21 touchdowns, completing a school-record 335 passes this season, and was second on the team with 267 rushing yards and a team-high six rushing touchdowns. He threw for over 300 yards in eight of 10 games, including three games with at least 400 yards passing.

Women's swimming's Marne Erasmus and men's basketball's Ben Moorewere honored as the top newcomers on the Hilltop. Erasmus was one of two swimmers to win an individual conference title, winning the 100 Fly. She was also part of the 400 Medley relay team, winning her second conference championship. She finished third and broke the school record in the 100 Fly at the NCAA Championships, and led the 400 Medley relay team to an 11th-place finish, earning two All-America awards as a freshman.

Moore played in all 37 games as a freshman, averaging 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.8 minutes off the bench. He was named Rookie of the Week three times in The American, including Feb. 10, after scoring 15 points with five rebounds in SMU's 76-55 upset win over No. 7 Cincinnati.

The women's tennis team (3.59) and men's tennis team (3.26) had the highest team GPAs, while the women's rowing team was recognized for having the most improved GPA. It was the second straight year in which the men's tennis team boasted the highest GPA. Alice McCall, women's swimming, and Ryan Manuel, men's basketball, earned the Scholar Baller award, which is given to student-athletes who show perseverance and overcome adversity on the quest for academic success.

Women's swimming's Jordan Newman and men's tennis' Mischa Nowicki were awarded the Meyer Brothers Award, which recognizes the male and female senior student-athlete who has the highest cumulative GPA. Newman will graduate in May with degrees in English and psychology, and has posted a 3.917 GPA over her career. In the pool, she helped lead the Mustangs to a top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships. Nowicki maintained a 3.632 GPA in accounting and economics while winning nine singles matches this season, taking his career total to 43 wins.

Maria Elena Villamilearned the Presidential Award of Excellence - Scholar-Athlete, given each year to a graduating senior with at least a 3.5 GPA who has demonstrated outstanding ability on the field and in the classroom. Villamil posted a 3.916 GPA while pursuing degrees in mathematics and computer science. She finished 14th at the inaugural American Athletic Conference women's golf championships, and carded a career-best, two-under 70 in the first round of the Betsy Rawls Invitational.

Track and cross country's Caitlin Keen and men's swimming's Pablo Lara received the Red and Blue Award, presented to the male and female student-athlete who exhibits the greatest passion and dedication to SMU Athletics. Caroline Daly, volleyball, and Shawn Williams, men's basketball, won the Sportsmanship Award, presented to the male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship in the competitive arena.

Holly Archer led the cross country team to the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship in her first season after sitting out a season. The international student from England was declared ineligible by the NCAA based on her high school degree program. She stayed enrolled at SMU and continued to train. For her efforts, she earned the Perseverance Award. Arturs Kazijevs, men's tennis, was the male recipient after two seasons as the No. 1 singles player for the Mustangs with a 3.08 GPA in economics, all while starting a family. Kazijevs is married with a one-year-old daughter.

Courtney Smith, women's soccer, and Ben Hughes, football, were the recipients of the FCA Faithful Service Award, which is given to the male and female student-athletes who best represent the mission and vision of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes through dedicated service to the FCA huddle at SMU. Award recipients are selected based on their personal spiritual growth, dedication and commitment to SMU FCA.

The women's rowing team won the 2013-14 Mustang Cup, earning points throughout the fall and spring semesters through various Life Skills programs, academic and athletic recognitions and SAAC events. SMU established the Mustang Cup to recognize the team who earned the most points which reflect the Mustang Way.

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