SEGUIN, Texas -- Texas Lutheran celebrated its 2018-19 athletics year Wednesday night by handing out major awards for athletic, academic and community service achievement.
At TLU's Jackson Auditorium, Women's Track & Field All-American Ashley Rynard (Temple/Temple) and Men's Track & Field All-American Darren Jones (Waller/Waller) were named the TLU Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year.
Rynard, also a member of the Women's Cross Country team, earned her first All-America honor with a sixth-place finish this spring in the 800-meter dash at the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. Rynard is among the best 800-meter runners in NCAA Division III (currently ranking fifth nationally in the event), and she is a strong contender for All-America honors at the 2019 Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
At Saturday's SCAC Track & Field Championships, Rynard won the 800 and the 1,500 and was again named SCAC All-Conference. Rynard also was TLU's top cross country runner this past fall. She became the first Bulldog to earn All-SCAC honors in women's cross country. She placed 10th overall at the 2018 SCAC Championships.
Finalists for the Female Student-Athlete of the Year were Rynard, Kelly Jurden (Brenham/Brenham) of Softball, and Tara Molina (San Antonio/Johnson) of Women's Basketball.
Jones nearly won a national championship in the men's 60-meter dash at the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in March. Jones finished third with a new school record time of 6.83 seconds. The All-America honor was his first in indoor track & field and the second of his career.
This past Saturday, Jones won the 100 and the 200-meter dashes and ran on the winning 4x100 relay at the SCAC Championships. Jones led the Bulldogs to their third consecutive SCAC team title. Jones is in good position to return to the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He currently ranks fifth nationally in the 100 and 15th in the 200.
Finalists for the Male Student-Athlete of the Year were: Jones, Baseball's Tyler Cauley (Mont Belvieu/Barbers Hill), Football's Emory Cuzze (Buda/Hays), Men's Soccer's Luis Green (Monterrey, Mexico/Smithson Valley), Men's Basketball's Nathan Josephs (San Antonio/Clark) and Harris Jowell(Brock/Brock), and Men's Golf's Colin Uecker (Kerrville/Tivy).
Women's Track & Field All-American Cortnee Priour (Victoria/Goliad) and Men's Basketball stand-out Jacob Kouremetis (San Antonio/O'Connor) picked up the Female and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards.
Women's Soccer player Aubrie Wells (Houston/Lutheran South Academy) and Kouremetis were named the Female and Male Sportsmanship award winners.
Softball's DeAnna Hernandez (Sugar Land/Dulles) and Men's Tennis player Alex Talley (Live Oak/Judson) received the inaugural awards for outstanding academic and athletic achievement by a junior-year student-athlete.
TLU Women's and Men's Golf received the Team Community Service Award for their service partnership with the LULAC Community Garden near campus, their constant support of TLU's large days of service, and their volunteer support of First United Methodist Church of Seguin's annual Pumpkin Patch.
The Women's Team GPA award went to Women's Golf and Softball, and the Men's Team GPA award was presented to Baseball.
Senior watches and senior pins were awarded to graduating student-athletes.