The University of Minnesota, Morris athletic department is pleased to announce the annual winners of the Arnold Henjum and Willis Kelly Awards, as well as the Cougars' Honor Athletes.
The Henjum and Kelly Awards are given to top male and female senior athletes respectively, honoring the Cougars' best for their performance in the arena over the past year. The Honor Athletes are those seniors who demonstrate the best balance of success in academics as well as athletics.
In a rare sweep, Leah Parker of women's soccer and track & field won both the Kelly and Honor Athlete awards, with Zach Smith of men's track & field earning the Henjum Award and Greg Borchers of men's soccer winning the Honor Athlete award.
A two-sport athlete and double major who maintains a 3.57 GPA in Psychology and Liberal Arts for the Human Services, Parker was twice First Team All-UMAC on the pitch, and is a four-time All-UMAC performer on the track.
She led the Cougar soccer team to a runner-up finish the UMAC standings this past fall, eventually ending their season just a goal shy of the NCAA Tournament, falling 2-1 to St. Scholastica in the UMAC Tournament Championship game. In each of the last two seasons she led the Cougars in goals, with seven as a senior, as well as 12 as a junior, which also stands as the fifth best single season in school history.
Just last week at the UMAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, she won her first UMAC championship in the pole vault, after already holding the school records in the event both indoors and outdoors.
A team captain in both sports, Parker has been a member of the UMAC All-Academic Team in each sport as a junior and senior, and has been a mainstay on the Dean's List since 2009. She also follows Melissa Kloek from 2010-11, making it two straight Honor Athlete awards for women's track and field.
The Henjum winner, Zach Smith makes it two straight for the men's track and field team following Luke Toso from last season. A dominant force for the Cougars, Smith ends his career as a seven-time All-UMAC honoree, crossing both the indoor and outdoor seasons since his sophomore year.
Smith also holds school records in both the 4x200 and 4x400-meter relays, as well as the distance medley relay, while also holding the UMAC record in the indoor 400-meter dash. He has been a conference champion 10 times, most recently as a member of 2012 champion 4x400-meter relay.
As the men's Honor Athlete, Greg Borchers follows in Jeff Lind's footsteps from 2011, collecting the award for his success in the classroom and on the field. Borchers is a 3.68 student in Sports Management, and was named a Scholar All-American this past fall by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Also a Scholar All-Region performer by the NSCAA, Borchers was an Academic All-UMAC honoree each of his final three seasons.
On the field he was the Cougars' team MVP as a senior, leading them to the UMAC Tournament Title and their first NCAA Tournament. A three-time All-UMAC player, he was also named All-Region by the NSCAA, and ended his career as the program leader in games played and started, while ranking seventh in career goals, assists and points.
All three of these athletes led their respective teams to runner-up finishes in the UMAC in 2011-12, while exemplifying the high level of success in both academics and athletes that Minnesota Morris athletes are held to.