Odie Delaney, Ugi Khishignyam and Mariana Garcia Named Athletes of the Year at The Citadel Awards Banquet
Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel held its second annual athletic awards banquet Monday night at the Holliday Alumni Center with wrestlers Odie Delaney and Ugi Khishignyam and soccer player Mariana Garcia earning athlete of the year honors.
In addition to honoring the top male and female cadet-student-athlete for the 2012-13 academic year, the coaching staff of each of The Citadel's 14 varsity teams selected a team MVP and an academic award went to the athlete with the top grade point average on the squad.
Delaney and Khishignyam made Citadel history last month when the duo became only the second and third All-Americans in the long history of the school's wrestling program at the NCAA meet in Des Moines, Iowa. This is the second time that Delaney has been recognized as the male athlete of the year.
Delaney dominated the heavyweight division during his redshirt senior season, accumulating a record of 42-9 en route to collecting his fourth consecutive Southern Conference championship, the first Bulldog in school history to achieve that feat.
The Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., product then split his first two matches at the NCAA meet, losing in the second round to the defending national champion before running off four more wins to take seventh place and earn a spot on the All-America team in his fourth trip to nationals.
His performance on the mat this season earned him SoCon Wrestler of the Year honors from the league's head coaches. He also received four wrestler of the week awards, giving him a conference record eight in his career, and was the wrestler of the month on two occasions.
He closed out his career with 125 wins, tied for the most in school history, and his 61 career pins ranks him second in The Citadel record book.
Ugi exploded onto the wrestling scene this season, grabbing national attention after defeating the country's ninth-ranked grappler in just his third collegiate bout. The native of Mongolia spent the entire season in the top 10 in the nation in the 141-pound weight class and cruised to his first SoCon championship.
He finished his redshirt freshman campaign with a record of 42-6 and was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year. He earned three consecutive wrestler of the week awards in December and was the wrestler of the month as well.
The Bogota, Colombia, native ranked 11th in the nation in goals per game with 0.78 and tied for 33rd nationally with 1.56 points per game while earning first team All-SoCon accolades for the second time in her career.
She scored a goal in 11 of the team's 18 games and had two goals on three occasions, including a pair in a 4-2 win over eventual SoCon champion Georgia Southern.
Garcia sits atop the record book in several career categories, including 31 goals, 67 points, 100 shots on goal and 11 game-winning goals. She was named first team All-SoCon in 2010 when she was honored as the league's player and freshman of the year.
In addition to her work on the soccer field, Garcia has excelled in the classroom. She is a four-time member of the Dean's List and has received Gold Stars on three occasions while boasting a 3.66 grade point average as a biology major.
Baseball: MVP - Will be awarded at conclusion of season; Academic - Ryne Hardwick
Basketball: MVP and Academic - Mike Groselle
Men's Cross Country: MVP - Kyle Keene; Academic - Raeven Lantz
Women's Cross Country: MVP - Danielle McKee; Academic - Micah Wessinger
Football: MVP - Chris Billingslea; Academic - Carson Smith
Golf: MVP - Eraina Manor; Academic - Kellie Anderson
Men's Rifle: MVP - Robert Jackson; Academic - William Wutzer
Women's Rifle: MVP - Julia McCullohs; Academic - Margaret LaRiviere
Soccer: MVP - Mariana Garcia; Academic - Grace Raines
Tennis: MVP - David Orces; Academic - Alex Howle
Men's Track and Field: MVP - Geno Porter; Academic - Cory Yslas
Women's Track and Field: MVP - Micah Wessinger; Academic - Savannah Emmrich
Volleyball: MVP - Rachael Farrell; Academic - Amanda Rudnick and Cassie Urbie