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UCM Athletics announces Senior Student-Athletes of the Year

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Central Missouri Athletics announced the winners of the 2016-17 Dr. Peggy Martin and Vernon Kennedy Awards for the outstanding Female and Male Senior Student-Athletes of the Year at the annual athletics banquet on Monday night at the UCM Elliott Union Ballroom.

Emily Eldridge of Jennies Soccer and Brittany Kallenberger of Jennies Track & Field were named co-winners of the Dr. Peggy Martin Award, while Garrett Fugate from Mules Football, Jacob Mahin of Mules Track & Field and Alex Springer of Mules Golf were named the winners of the Vernon Kennedy Award.

Eldridge (Bucyrus, Kan./Blue Valley Southwest HS) ended her career as one of the most decorated players in the history of Jennies soccer. She was the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American this season after helping lead the Jennies to their seventh straight MIAA Regular Season Championship and third straight NCAA Regional title. She earned five different All-America honors over the course of her four seasons at UCM and earned six All-Region accolades. She played in 86 games during her career, one short of the UCM and MIAA record, and was a six-time MIAA Player of the Week honoree. She was a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member and a four-time MIAA Scholar-Athlete.

Kallenberger (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit West HS) has been a national champion and three-time All-American for Jennies Track & Field with opportunities for more still to come this postseason. She captured the 2015 outdoor national championship in the pole vault, becoming the first Jennie to win the event at the national meet, and has earned three All-America honors in that event. She is a three-time MIAA Champion and a six-time All-MIAA honoree in the pole vault and the high jump. She is the UCM career record holder in the indoor and outdoor pole vault and ranks in the school’s top 10 in both the indoor and outdoor high jump. She will be a five-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member and a four-time MIAA Scholar-Athlete. She is also the co-President of UCM’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

Fugate (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest HS) finished his career as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play at Central Missouri. He was a Second Team All-MIAA, Second Team All-Region and Third Team All-American this season after leading the MIAA and ranking seventh in the nation in passing. He led the conference and was seventh in the country in total offense as well while helping the Mules to just their third ever NCAA Playoff Appearance. His 2016 totals for completions (271) and passing yards (3,655) are third most in a single-season in UCM history as were his 31 touchdown passes. His 4,112 yards of total offense are the second most all-time while his career mark (7,519) is third best. He ranks fourth all-time in passing yards and touchdown passes and fifth in completions, while also holding the single-season and career records for rushing yards by a quarterback. He is a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member, was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy and was named to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society.

Mahin (Staunton, Ill./Staunton HS) is a three-time All-American thrower for Mules Track & Field with a chance at a couple of more All-American honors later this month. He has earned three straight All-America honors in the shot put, including a fifth place finish at this past March’s NCAA indoor championships. He owns both the indoor and outdoor shot put records at Central Missouri, breaking the outdoor record this past weekend by more than two and a half feet. He also ranks in the UCM Top 10 in the discus. He is a five-time All-MIAA honoree in addition to being a three-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member.

Springer was the MIAA Player of the Year for Mules Golf this season, making him the fourth straight Mule to earn that award. He is a two-time PING Division II All-American with a chance at a third honor this postseason. This year he had nine top 10 finishes and five top five finishes and one individual title at the Fort Hays State Classic, where he shot a UCM and MIAA record-low score on nine-under par 61, just one stroke off the all-time NCAA scoring record. In 47 career events he has 26 top 10 finishes, 14 top five finishes and two tournament titles. He is a five-time MIAA Golfer of the Week and was recently named a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year award for the second straight year. He is a three-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member.

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