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Track, cross country and soccer athletes, coaches dominate BYU’s annual Y Awards

After coronavirus pandemic forces cancellation of annual ceremony at Marriott Center, winners are announced during a BYUtv television show

BYU’s Whittni Orton, shown here in a 2018 promotional poster, was named BYU’s Female Athlete of the Year during the Y Awards on Friday, May 29, 2020
BYU’s Whittni Orton, shown here in a 2018 promotional poster, was named BYU’s Female Athlete of the Year during the Y Awards on Friday, May 29, 2020
BYU Athletic Communications

PROVO — BYU’s cross-country and track and field teams dominated the annual Y Awards for the 2019-20 sports season.

The school usually makes the Y Awards a high-profile event at the Marriott Center, similar to the Academy Awards in Hollywood, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s winners were announced during an episode of BYU Sports Nation on BYUtv Friday morning.

BYU’s men’s cross-country team, the 2019 national champions, was named the school’s Men’s Team of the Year. The women’s soccer team and women’s cross-country team were named co-winners of the Women’s Team of the Year award.

In the other major awards, Whittni Orton of the women’s cross-country and track and field team was named BYU’s Female Athlete of the Year, while Clayton Young of the men’s track team was named Male Athlete of the Year.

Coach of the Year honors went to head track coach Ed Eyestone, who guided the Cougars to the 2019 NCAA men’s cross-country national championship last November.

The Y Award winners are voted on by fellow student-athletes after head coaches nominate athletes from their respective teams. The Student-Athlete Advisory Council narrows the candidates before the general student-athlete voting.

Coaches, teams and athletes who performed between April of 2019 and March of 2020 were eligible.

Here are the other winners:

  • Female Rookie of the Year: Whitney Bower, women’s volleyball
  • Male Rookie of the Year: Davide Gardini, men’s volleyball
  • Comeback Athlete of the Year: McKenna Miller, women’s volleyball
  • Walk-on of the Year: Justin Sterner, baseball
  • Female Crowd-Pleaser: Mary Lake, women’s volleyball
  • Male Crowd-Pleaser: Gabi Garcia-Fernandez, men’s volleyball
  • Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete: Elise Flake, soccer
  • Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete: Brock Hale, baseball
  • Cougar Club Memorial Award: Kennedy Eschenberg, women’s volleyball
  • Cougar Club Memorial Award: Matt Owens, men’s cross-country
  • Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award: Sabrina Davis, soccer
  • Dale R. McCann Spirit of Sport Award: TJ Haws, men’s basketball
  • Floyd Johnson Service Award: Makayla Cazier, women’s swimming and diving
  • Kimball Memorial Award (highest GPA): Miki Jauhiainen, men’s volleyball
  • Assistant Coach of the Year: Brent Anderson, soccer