Winger Receives Booth Award, Dinsmore is Chosen for Williams Award

Bearcats Honor Seniors at Athletics Awards Night

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University Athletics Department honored its senior student-athletes and presented several special awards during the 2012 Athletics Awards Night on Monday, April 30 at Cone Field House.

Paul Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake HS) from the men's track and field team received the J. Henry Booth Award as the top senior male student-athlete and Jaela Dinsmore (Sr., Hines, OR/Burns HS) from the women's track and field team was selected for the Jean Williams Award as the top senior female student-athlete.

Former Willamette basketball player and current WU fitness instructor Christine Folz was named Alumnus of the Year. Associate Director of Athletics Judy Gordon was chosen for the Sue J. Rauch Distinguished Service to Willamette Athletics Award. Dr. Junggi Hong, assistant professor of exercise science, received the Julie Abendroth, Ed. D., Professor of the Year Award.

Dinsmore was honored as the Women's Senior Scholar-Athlete and Doug Gilmore from the WU football team was recognized as the Men's Senior Scholar-Athlete for having the highest cumulative grade point averages among the graduating seniors.

J. Henry Booth Award

The Booth Award is presented annually by the Willamette University Athletics Department to a graduating senior male student-athlete who has developed and demonstrated strong leadership skills and outstanding athleticism, while maintaining a high rank of scholarship during his collegiate career.

Winger has won four Northwest Conference titles in the 400-meter dash and has achieved two NWC championships in the 200-meter dash for a total of six individual NWC titles. He was named NWC Men's Track Athlete of the Meet for his efforts at the 2012 NWC Championships on April 20-21.

This year, he is ranked 43rd in NCAA Division III in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 48.93 seconds in the finals of the NWC Championships.

In 2010 Winger won the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, while also helping Willamette win the 4 x 100-meter relay and the 4 x 400-meter relay.

Winger's community service involvement includes serving as a Hurricane Katrina Response volunteer, working with Habitat for Humanity and helping at a soup kitchen in the Seattle area. He is majoring in Philosophy and has achieved a 3.48 cumulative GPA at Willamette.

Other nominees for the J. Henry Booth Award were Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) from the men's basketball team and Harmon Bruno (Sr., OLB, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) from the football team.

Meehan played in 75 games and scored 933 points in three seasons with the Bearcats after transferring from Montana State University-Billings. He averaged 12.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game during his Willamette career.

Bruno played in all 42 Bearcat football games during his four-year career. He earned 218 total tackles, including 26.0 tackles for losses and 10.5 quarterback sacks. He was chosen First Team All-NWC in 2010 and 2011, and was Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2009.

Jean Williams Award

The Williams Award is presented annually by the Willamette University Athletics Department to a graduating senior female student-athlete who has developed and demonstrated strong leadership skills and outstanding athleticism, while maintaining a high rank of scholarship during her collegiate career.

Dinsmore took first place in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash at this year's NWC Championships. She also helped WU earn second place in the 4 x 100-meter relay and the 4 x 400-meter relay. She won the NWC 400-meter championship in 2011 and helped WU win the 4 x 400-meter relay in 2009 and 2010.

She is ranked nationally in NCAA Division III this season at 100 meters (12.26 seconds, 21st), 200 meters (25.10 seconds, 15th) and 400 meters (57.54 seconds, 31st). She is ranked on Willamette's all-time Top 10 list for all three distances, as she holds second in the 100, third in the 200 and sixth in the 400.

Dinsmore has worked as a youth mentor, a peer advisor for international students and a WU Campus Ambassador. She is completing a double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. She has attained a 3.99 cumulative GPA. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received Third Team Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2011.

Other nominees for the Jean Williams Award were Stephanie Skelly (Sr., MF, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) from the women's soccer team and Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) from the softball team.

Skelly provided the Bearcats with 35 goals and 7 assists during her career. She was the NWC Offensive Player of the Year this past fall, when she scored 16 goals and 5 assists. She was First Team All-NWC in 2009 and 2011, and was Second Team All-NWC in 2010. Skelly, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned First Team Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2011.

Watilo set a Willamette softball record for career victories on her way to a 52-20 record. She also set records for appearances (88), games started (76) and complete games (55). She struck out 258 batters to rank second all-time at WU. This year, she was 14-7 with a 1.87 earned run average and 84 strikeouts.

Additional Honors and Awards

Willamette paid tribute to all 66 senior athletes during the Athletics Awards Night. Four-year members of Bearcat athletic teams received the traditional Willamette Athletics blanket. Student-athletes with fewer than four years on a team received a framed "W" letter award.

The Athletics Department also recognized the student-athletes in all four academic classes who have achieved a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA. A total of 94 Bearcats qualified for Scholar Student-Athlete honors.

Jaela Dinsmore, left, received the Jean Williams Award and Paul Winger, right, received the J. Henry Booth Award.

Jaela Dinsmore, left, received the Jean Williams Award and Paul Winger, right, received the J. Henry Booth Award.

Former WU basketball player Christine Folz was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year.

Former WU basketball player Christine Folz was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year.

Judy Gordon, associate director of athletics, received the Sue Rauch Distinguished Service Award.

Judy Gordon, associate director of athletics, received the Sue Rauch Distinguished Service Award.

Jaela Dinsmore, left, and Doug Gilmore, right, were honored as the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award winners.

Jaela Dinsmore, left, and Doug Gilmore, right, were honored as the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award winners.