Thatcher Named WAC and America First Credit Union Utah State Athlete of the Week
Alex Thatcher helped the Aggies to back-to-back wins at home this weekend.
Alex Thatcher helped the Aggies to back-to-back wins at home this weekend.

Feb. 16, 2009

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State junior Alex Thatcher has been named the Western Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week as well as American First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for Feb. 9-15. This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for Thatcher as well as the first for USU men's tennis this season.

Thatcher, a native of Paradise, Utah (Mountain Crest HS), won both his No. 5 singles matches this weekend in the Aggies back-to-back wins against Montana State-Billings and Northern Arizona. Thatcher defeated MSUB's Geoff Fehr in a quick, 6-1, 6-2, match and then teamed with fellow Aggie Amit Maharaj to win their number No. 2 doubles match, 8-3. Thatcher and the Aggies swept MSUB, 7-0.

Saturday against Northern Arizona, Thatcher battled and won, 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, against NAU's Jaco Visagie. Thatcher and Maharaj also partnered and won at the No. 2 doubles spot, 9-8. USU beat NAU, 5-2.

Thatcher and the Aggies will continue action this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 21-22, in Las Vegas, Nev. with matches against UC Riverside and UNLV, respectively.

Other USU Athlete of the Week Nominees include:
MEN'S BASKETBALL - Senior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) helped Utah State split a pair of road games last week with a 62-53 win at Idaho and a 66-56 loss at Boise State. Against the Vandals, he recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Against the Broncos he finished with 12 points and six rebounds. For the week, Wilkinson averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field (9-18), 50.0 percent from three-point range (2-4), and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10-12).

MEN'S GOLF - Senior Tyler Labrum (Roosevelt, Utah) tied for 16th-place at the fifth annual Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Southern Utah last week to led Utah State to an 11th-place team finish. Labrum began the tournament with a five-over par 77 and then shot a one-over 73 to finish at six-over 150.



GYMNASTICS - Sophomore Jackie Dillon (Anderson, S.C.) tied a personal-best for the second meet in a row as she tied for third on the floor with a 9.825 in Utah State's 196.950-193.500 loss to No. 1 Utah. Dillon was also USU's top finisher on vault as she placed fifth with a 9.800, .025 shy of her career-best. She also tied for seventh on bars with a 9.750.

MEN'S TRACK - Junior Steve Strickland (Orem, Utah) finished 55th in the 3,000m at the Washington Husky Invitational last weekend, clocking in at 8:20.55 to set a new personal-best. Strickland's time is now the best in the Western Athletic Conference this season.

WOMEN'S TRACK - Sophomore Sonia Grabowska (Warsaw, Poland) won the women's pole vault at the Air Force Invitational last weekend, clearing 13-07.25.

SOFTBALL - Freshman Rayna Bradshaw (Las, Vegas, Nev.) hit .273 at the difficult Campbell-Cartier Softball Tournament in San Diego, Calif., last weekend as Utah State played four ranked teams in five games and finished with a 1-4 record. Bradshaw hit her first collegiate home run, a three-run shot, in USU's 9-5 loss to No. 8 Stanford. Bradshaw also added a double, an RBI and a run scored in USU's 6-5 win against No. 24 UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 13. Against No. 10 Washington, the freshman also had a hit and a run scored. For the week, Bradshaw was 3-for-11 with one home run and one double in four starts.

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

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