Abanobi recognized. Senior Maryann Abanobi was named to the Southland Conference women's basketball all-academic first team for the third straight year. She also was selected to the CoSIDA All-District IV first team, posting a 3.51 grade-point average as a bio-chemistry major, while leading the Mavericks in scoring with 12.7 points per game. Abanobi and senior Tiffeny Riles were named to the all-SLC second team as UT Arlington finished 19-10 overall under first-year coach Samantha Morrow. The Mavericks were 13-3 in conference play and lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament to UT San Antonio, 77-67.
Two earn men's basketball academic honors. Junior Anthony Vereen and sophomore Tommy Moffitt earned Southland Conference men's basketball all-academic second team honors. Vereen has maintained a cumulative 3.01 grade-point average in exercise and sports studies, while Moffitt has a 3.41 GPA in criminology and criminal justice. Vereen was the team's leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points per game and was named SLC Tournament Most Valuable Player, leading UT Arlington to its first-ever tournament title and berth in the NCAA Tournament. Moffitt averaged 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Movin' Mavs selected for Final Four demo. Movin' Mav wheelchair basketball players Danny Fik and David Wilkes participated in the NCAA Final Four Wheelchair Basketball demonstration in San Antonio in April. The NCAA integrated the demo into the Final Four March Madness event last year to help educate people about the abilities of people with disabilities. The top wheelchair basketball players in the country were selected based on court skills, attitude and coaches recommendations. Fik, a senior captain, and Wilkes, a sophomore, talked to fans and competed in a wheelchair basketball demonstration game in the Final Four Arena. In the National Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Edinboro, Pa. in March, the Movin' Mavs finished fifth.
Massa leads golfers. Sophomore Bobby Massa was named to the all-Southland Conference first team, as he finished with the SLC's lowest scoring average (71.53) for the season. He also had the lowest round of any SLC golfer with a 64 at the Hawaii Turtle Bay Intercollegiate in November. Senior Zack Reeves was named to the all-SLC second team while sophomore Michael Van de Venter was listed on the third team and junior Kevin Carrigan earned honorable mention. "It has been a record-setting year (see Strokes of Genius), and it's great to see the guys be rewarded for the sacrifices throughout the year," said coach Jay Rees, who is in his ninth year at UT Arlington. The Mavericks finished sixth in the SLC Tournament in April and advanced to the NCAA Central Regional at Columbus, Ohio, in May.
Five net tennis honors. Freshman Brieuc Hamon (No. 4 singles) and sophomore Gonzalo Bienzobas (No. 5 singles) were selected to the first team all-Southland Conference tennis team in the spring. They were 5-0 and 4-2 in league action, respectively. Freshman Hugo Taracido made the second team at No. 3 singles with a 3-2 record in conference competition. Freshman Daiana Negreanu was named the women's SLC Newcomer of the Year after posting a 7-3 record at No. 3 singles. Freshman Monika Hadvigerova earned a spot on the all-conference second team at No. 2 singles, where she was 8-1.
Five softballers earn awards. Five softball players earned all-Southland Conference honors in the spring. Senior left fielder Katie Jones and sophomore catcher Samantha Chumchal were named to the first team. Senior shortstop Amanda Swofford and sophomore pitcher Cara Hulme were selected to the second team. Freshman third baseman Whitney Simpson was named to the third team. UT Arlington finished 27-21 overall and 20-10 in the conference, earning the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament before losing in the semifinals. Coach Debbie Hedrick recorded her 300th career win during the season.
Five win events at conference track meet. Sprinter Jasmine Walls received the 2008 Outstanding Female Award at the Southland Conference Track and Field Championships in May. She finished first in both the 100- and 200-meter events while also running on two UT Arlington relay teams. For the men's team, pole vaulter Wade Hayes, 800-meter runner Idilio Campos, long jumper Quinchun Carey and high jumper Andrew Duncan III all recorded first-place finishes as the Mavericks finished third overall. The women finished sixth.
Choice earns freshman award. Center fielder Michael Choice was named the 2008 SLC Freshman of the Year. He batted .376 for the season and led the team in runs batted in with 51. Choice was also a second-team all-SLC outfielder, the only freshman to be named to the first, second or third team. Senior designated hitter Danny Slinkman was named to the third team as he posted a .370 batting average and was second on the team in RBIs with 47. Senior infielder David McLeod, who batted .375 and led the team in doubles with 18, received honorable mention honors. The Mavericks notched wins over UT Austin, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and earned a trip to the SLC Tournament.
Connaughton strides toward olympics. Former UT Arlington sprinter Jared Connaughton, a native of Canada, turned in a time of 10.15 to win the 100-meter event at the UT Arlington Open track meet in May. His time in the 100 and the 200 (20.7) are both the best in Canada this year and give him a solid chance to run for the Canadian Olympic team this summer. Canadian Olympic trials will be held in July. His time in the 100 is the 10th fastest in the world this year.
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