Andrews, Symmonds Are Finalists for Rutschman Award; Ceremony Set for Sunday Night

Alicia Andrews and Nick Symmonds, All-American track and field athletes, are both finalists for the Ad Rutschman Award for small college athlete of the year at the Oregon Sports awards Banquet Sunday night at the Tiger Woods Center on the campus of Nike Headquarters in Beaverton.

The 90-minute event will honor the top athletes, coaches, teams, administrators and organizations from last year.

Winners will be announced in 12 categories, covering pro, major college, small college, high school and Special Olympics sports.

A total of 75 finalists have been selected by a statewide panel, and a winner has been chosen for the Les Schwab Friend of Sports Award, which goes to a corporation, group or individual. In addition, three merit awards will be presented.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. The 54th annual Oregon Sports Awards will be broadcast live by KATU (2) and 1080 AM the Fan. The Fan also will broadcast two hours of pre-event coverage, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Andrews, who graduated last year, was second in the 800 meter run and a member of the Bearcats 4 x 400 relay team that finished eight at nationals last year. She is a three-time NCAA Division III All-American. During her career, she won nine individual Northwest Conference titles, including victories in the 400, the 800 and the 4 x 400 relay.

Andrews is also an exceptional scholar and is a four time members of the USTCA All-American team and a second team ESPN the Magazine CoSida Academic All-American in 2005. Last year Andrews also won an NCAA post-graduate scholarship, one of three Bearcats honored with that prestigious award last year.

Symmonds was named the Male Track Athlete of the Year last season following his double victories in the 800 and 1500 at the NCAA Division III Track and Field championships. Symmonds' two victories paced the Bearcats to a fourth place finish at last year’s nationals, the best showing ever for a Bearcat track team.

In three seasons, Symmonds has won a total of five NCAA championship races. He doubled in the 800 and 1500 as a freshman, but could only race in the 1500 due to injury as a sophomore. He came back to win both races last year, including running the 6th fastest NCAA Division III time ever in the 1500. Symmonds is also an academic All-American and was named to the ESPN The Magazine CoSida Academic All-American first team last year.

Symmonds capped his cross country career this past fall by winning the NWC Cross Country title in a race run here at Bush Park. He finished 93rd in the country at the DIII Cross Country championships in November. Symmonds and his cross country teammates have won five straight NWC titles and four straight West Region Cross Country championships.

Ad Rutschman small-college athlete of the year (men)
Finalists –Brett Elliott, Linfield College, football; Eric Fiegi, Corban College, basketball; Greg McCarthy, Western Oregon University, baseball; Nick Symmonds, Willamette University, track and field, cross country; Shea Washington, Southern Oregon University, basketball
Recent winners –Brett Elliott (2004), Tyler Matthews (2003), David Russell (2002), Nik Lubisich (2001)

Ad Rutschman small-college athlete of the year (women)
Finalists — Alicia Andrews, Willamette University, track and field; DeeDee Arnall, Pacific University, track and field, basketball; Michelle Forbes, George Fox University, track and field; Monica Smith, Western Oregon University, track and field; Elizabeth Kapua Torres, Pacific University, wrestling
Recent winners — Caitie Davidson (2004), Shelly Butcher (2003), Meagan Webber (2002), Becky Holliday (2001).

A story about the entire Sports Awards banquet can be found in the Portland Tribune at http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=33372

Alicia Andrews

Alicia Andrews