Morgan Hooe named Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year

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At the end of the school year, the Athletic Department hosts an end of year banquet for all of UAA’s intercollegiate sports teams. At this event, held on April 28 was the announcement of the 33rd winner of the Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year, Morgan Hooe.

Hooe was nominated for her impressive All-American honors and her role as team captain for the team that made it to the NCAA Div. II National Title Match. Hooe was the 2016 GNAC player of the year, for the finish of her four years as a leader and setter for the Seawolves.

For the current year, 13 athletes were nominated for the prestigious title, including one athlete from each gender for each sport.

The first nomination was presented to the gymnastics team, naming Kendra Daniels to the list for her top performances on the team in the 2017 season. In balance beam, she set a UAA record at 9.9, and also competed in floor and vault. Daniels was the first Seawolf to get four or more beam scores of higher than 9.825 in a season.

The next nominations were for cross-country running, for the women’s side was Caroline Kugart and Edwin Kangogo for the men’s side.

Kugart performed exceptionally in the 2016 season by finishing third at the NCAA Championships in her individual race. The Eldoret, Kenya local was also the NCAA West Region runner-up and GNAC individual title winner.

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Kangogo, also from Eldoret is a two time All-American. He boasts an impressive individual title at the GNAC Championships as well as a fourth place finish at the NCAA West Region Championships.

For skiing, Tony Nacuik made the men’s nomination and Charley Field for the women’s.

Nacuik is part of the alpine skiing team, originally from Calgary, Alberta. In the 2016-17 season he finished as the Seawolves’ highest scorer and top finisher at the national championships. Nacuik placed 20th in the slalom and the giant slalom.

Field is also on the alpine team and originally from Pemberton, B.C. Field earned the title of Second Team All-RMISA honors. She also finished runner-up in the women’s giant slalom at the RMISA championships. Field earned four top-10 results during her season.

The men’s and women’s basketball nominations went to Suki Wiggs and Kiki Robertson, respectively.

Wiggs proved to be the highest scorer in GNAC for the second year in a row, averaging 24.4 points per game, also the fifth highest in all of Div. II. In addition, Wiggs earned First Team All-West Region honors, First Team All-GNAC honors and a spot in the top-25 of the Bevo Francis Award.

Robertson, originally from Hawaii, ended her senior year with an impressive career of 700 assists, 382 steals and 116 total wins. She finished off her career ranked with her team as No. 2 in the nation while also being the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.

For hockey, Matt Anholt, a junior, was nominated for the award. Anholt, a Saskatchewan local, contributed 22 points and 17 assists for the Seawolves this year. Anholt was also a team captain.

The final nominations were for both track and field seasons, indoor and outdoor.

Jamie Ashcroft and Dominik Notz made the list for indoor track and field, while Joyce Chelimo and Cody Thomas were nominated for outdoor track and field.

Ashcroft, a senior for Shawnigan Lake, B.C was nominated due to her 2017 performances in indoor track and field, including a seventh place finish in both the 200m and 4x400m relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition, Ashcroft won her fourth straight GNAC title in both the 60m and 200m.

Notz was named for his exemplary performances in his distance events. He earned his third and fourth indoor All-American honors and also placed fifth in the 5k and 7th in the 3K at Indoor Nationals. Notz also holds the UAA and GNAC records for the 3K.

Chelimo, a Kapsowar, Kenya local, was named due to her previous 2016 outdoor performances. She was named to the second team All-American in the 5K as well as earning a GNAC title in the 10K. Chelimo also holds the UAA record in the 5K and 10K; her 10K time is also a GNAC record and the fifth fastest ever in Div. II.

The final nomination before the winner, Thomas, a national Decathlete champion — and the first ever Seawolf to do so — was nominated for his 2016 outdoor performances. The New Zealand local won the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the decathlete, also breaking the GNAC record in the event. Thomas earned the USTFCCCA’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the 2016 outdoor season.

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Morgan Hooe goes for the set in a home game at the Alaska Airlines Center. Hooe made All-American honors in 2016, and also led her team to the NCAA Division II finals. Photo credit: Marc Lester

Last, but exceptionally not least, is Morgan Hooe, the official nomination for volleyball and the 2016 Athlete of the Year.