March 2, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Senior John Strang was named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete Of The Week for the period ending on Sunday, March 1. The USU award is voted on by a statewide media panel.
Strang, a native of Hawthorne, N.J. (Hawthorne HS), won the heptathlon at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at Boise, Idaho this past weekend, his second heptathlon title in a row. He totaled an NCAA provisional qualifying 5,522 points, setting a new USU school record, breaking the previous record of 5,506 points that he set in 2008 when he won the heptathlon. Strang now has four consecutive multi-event titles counting the two outdoor championship titles he took in 2008 and 2007 in the decathlon.
Strang finished the heptathlon Friday taking first in the 60m hurdles at 8.25 and second in the pole vault clearing 14-03.25 (4.35m). He also took third in the 1,000m clocking in at 2:55.80. On Thursday, he won the high jump, clearing 6-11.00 (2.11m) as well as winning the long jump with a 23-09.50 (7.25m) mark. Strang also took second in the 60m clocking in at 7.05 and took seventh in the shot put with a distance of 35-06.00 (10.82m).
On Saturday, Strang also took third in the high jump clearing 6-08.75 (2.05m) and fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 44-04.00 (13.51m).
This is Strang's second USU award on the season, earning it Feb. 2 for his performance in winning the heptathlon at the Washington State Invitational. Strang collected his fourth career USU honor as he won it twice last year (March 3 and May 5).
If selected to the NCAA National Championships, Strang will be in action at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 12-14 hosted by Texas A&M at College Station, Texas.
Nominees from other sports included:
MEN'S BASKETBALL - Senior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) led Utah State to a 1-1 record last week as it defeated Hawai'i (82-62) and lost at Nevada (84-71). Against the Rainbow Warriors, Wilkinson scored a game-high 27 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals as USU won its first outright WAC regular season championship. He then added 16 points at Nevada. For the week, Wilkinson averaged 21.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 63.0 percent from the field (17-27) and 72.7 percent from the free throw line (8-11).
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - Senior forward Shawnta Pope (Cairo, Ga.) was a spark off the bench for Utah State as the Aggies split road games with New Mexico State and second-place Louisiana Tech. In the 69-52 win against New Mexico State, Pope scored eight points and added one steal and two rebounds. In its 53-46 loss at Louisiana Tech, she scored 10 points to go along with 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. She also added a career-high four steals against the Lady Techsters. For the week, Pope averaged 9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals.
GYMNASTICS - Sophomore Nicole Simoneau (Manchester, N.H.) won the bars individual title with a 9.875 last weekend as Utah State finished third in a tri-meet at Sacramento State with Boise State. Simoneau tied her season-high for the third time this season and won her fourth bars title and sixth event win this season.
MEN'S TENNIS - Sophomore Jakob Asplund (Stockholm, Sweden) helped Utah State to a 5-2 win against Weber State last week as he rallied for a three-sets win (4-6, 6-4, 6-2) at No. 1 singles. Asplund also teamed with sophomore Bryan Marchant at No. 1 doubles and the duo posted an 8-1 win.
WOMEN'S TENNIS - Sophomore Hailey Swenson (North Salt Lake City, Utah) recorded a straight sets win (6-0, 6-0) at No. 1 single in Utah State's 4-3 loss to Weber State last week. Swenson also paired with senior Bridgette Strickland at No. 1 singles and posted a 9-7 win.
SOFTBALL - Senior first baseman Aubrie Stroman (Red Bluff, Calif.) had a solid weekend for Utah State as the Aggies went 0-5 at the Diamond Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., including a 9-0 loss to defending Women's College World Series champion and No. 8 ranked Arizona State. Stroman's best game during the tournament was in a 9-3 loss to Southern Utah as she went 2-for-4 with one run scored. She also added a hit in a 3-1 loss to Northern Colorado as well as a walk. Stroman's final hit of the weekend came in a 4-2 loss to New Mexico State as she went 1-for-3 with a double. USU also lost to South Alabama (5-1) during the weekend. For the week, she hit .308 (4-13).
WOMEN'S TRACK - Junior Erin Stratton (Aurora, Colo.) helped Utah State finish fourth at the WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships last weekend in Boise, Idaho as she won the women's mile, breaking the tape in 4:55.42. Stratton also captured the 3,000m crown clocking in at 10:07.55, running the sixth-best time in USU history and a new personal best time.
2008-09 Utah State Athlete of the Week Winners
Sept. 1 - Jessie Chugg, Cross Country
Sept. 8 - Shantel Flanary, Soccer
Sept. 15 - Melissa Osterloh, Volleyball
Sept. 22 - Diondre Borel, Football
Sept. 29 - Christine Morrill, Volleyball
Oct. 6 - Ben Kessen, Cross Country
Oct. 13 - Lauren Hansen, Soccer
Oct. 20 - Sydne Porter, Soccer
Oct. 27 - Candice Clark, Soccer
Nov. 3 - Diondre Borel, Football & Jason Holt, Cross Country
Nov. 10 - Lauren Hansen, Soccer
Nov. 17 - Gary Wilkinson, Men's Basketball
Nov. 24 - Ana Pares, Women's Basketball
Dec. 1 - Ben Calderwood, Football
Dec. 8 - Lydia Whitehead, Women's Basketball
Dec. 15 - Gary Wilkinson, Men's Basketball
Dec. 22 - Jared Quayle, Men's Basketball
Dec. 29 - Tai Wesley, Men's Basketball
Jan. 5 - Jared Quayle, Men's Basketball
Jan. 12 - Gary Wilkinson, Men's Basketball
Jan. 19 - Sonia Grabowska, Women's Track and Field
Jan. 26 - Ana Pares, Women's Basketball
Feb. 2 - John Strang, Men's Track and Field
Feb. 9 - Danyelle Snelgro, Women's Basketball
Feb. 16 - Alex Thatcher, Men's Tennis
Feb. 23 - Danyelle Snelgro, Women's Basketball
Mar. 2 - John Strang, Men's Track and Field
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