UW Health Sports Medicine 

And the winner is ...

Buckingham-4537.jpgI had heard the buzz for almost a year.

"Did you go to the Buckinghams?"

Last year, the UW athletic department, led by the Office of Academic Services, hosted the first Buckinghams, officially the Student-Athlete Annual Showcase of Excellence. Modeled after the many awards shows out there (Academy Awards, ESPYs, etc.), it was a formal event complete with a red carpet, performances by student-athletes and awards based on off-the-field achievements.

Complete video from the 2010 Buckinghams Awards

The second installment was held last Monday at the Overture Center on State Street. I had to go to see for myself what all the talk was about. The doors opened at 7 p.m. and the foyer of the Overture Center was like a who's who of Badger athletics. There's Barry Alvarez. Bo Ryan and Lisa Stone are over there. Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson are talking in that corner. Bret Bielema is surrounded by Chris Maragos, Nick Toon and John Clay. Obviously, a number of student-athletes were on hand as well, along with some parents.

2010 Buckinghams Photo Gallery

Everyone made their way up the red carpet and the program started at 7:30 p.m. Women's hockey player Alannah McCready opened the show with a stirring rendition of "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum. If you don't have time to watch the entire Buckinghams video, definitely check out the first four minutes for McCready's performance.

The emcee for the event, "The Voice of the Badgers" Matt Lepay, then recognized the 3.5 awards, all the student-athletes who achieved a 3.5 term or cume GPA for Fall 2009 or Spring 2009. The list included 216 names. Again, for emphasis, 216 names.

All the other awards were presented by student-athletes, MTV Video Awards-style. The first pair of presenters were Ryan Gaspar and Jack Bolas of the men's cross country team. Each pair did a little skit, Bolas' involving having run to the awards show as part of training, before presenting their awards. The first award on the docket was the Performance Awards, given to student-athletes nominated by their advisors for their academic work and constant improvement. In the interest of space, the complete list of winners, as well as the complete list of all awards is at the end of this blog.

One of the big hits of the show was the best of the "Ask the Badgers" series. If you've been to the Kohl Center or Camp Randall for a game, you are familiar with these videos. The first showing included John Moffitt's famous "I don't trust children" response to "Do you have any superstitions?"

Buckingham-7232.jpgAfter a few more awards, members of the football team and the Dance team got to re-enact their dance routine from the halftime of the men's basketball game (around the 23:30 mark of the video). The men's and women's cross country team were then presented with the awards for the highest team GPAs while the football and women's golf teams received the Team Community Service Awards.

A.J. Fenton from the football team and Sam Dehn of the women's track team (and sister of football player Casey Dehn) then performed "Standing Outside the Fire" by Garth Brooks. Fenton, who had previously wowed teammates with his guitar skills during the Champs Sports Bowl Kickoff Luncheon in December, played the acoustic guitar while Dehn sang.

After some more awards and another rendition of "Ask the Badgers," men's soccer player Jon Rzepka busted out some lyrics for everyone (about the 48:45 mark). Complete with his straight-brimmed Oakland A's hat, Rzepka performed his original "Baby Girl."

The next performance came from women's basketball's Anya Covington, who recited an original poem, "Victory." The poem itself was powerful but not as powerful as Covington's delivery, which made it one of the must-sees of the show (about the 56:45 mark).

The show ended with the "marquee" awards, the CHAMPS Cup and Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year. The CHAMPS Cup is awarded to one male and female team that earns the most CHAMPS Cup points by participating in volunteer opportunities, attending other team's home events, participating in SAAC meetings and other events. This year's winners were football and softball.

AthletesoftheYear.jpgThe Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year are awarded to athletes who best combine academic and athletic achievements with commitment to community service. Chris Maragos from football and Chavon Robinson from women's track and field were this year's recipients. It was a big coupe weeks for Maragos, who got married last week, went on a cruise for his honeymoon, got back into Madison on Monday, picked up his award and now awaits the NFL Draft (which starts Thursday) to find out where his football career may continue.

The show closed with Roanna Brazier, Kendall Grimm and Alexis Garcia of the softball team performing "When You Believe" from the movie Prince of Egypt. And, of course, no UW function can end without the UW Band playing of "Varsity."

The entire show, which ran about an hour and 15 minutes, is archived on UWBadgers.com. If you don't have that kind of time to devote to watching the show, I would definitely recommend McCready's singing at the beginning of the show and Covington's poem towards the end. Also, be sure to check out the photo gallery to see your favorite Badger coaches and student-athletes all dressed up.

Performance Awards (Nominated by their advisors for their academic work and constant improvement)
Keaton Nankivil, Men's Basketball
Dan Koenig, Men's Swimming & Diving
Rae Lin D'Alie, Women's Basketball
Alexa Renstrom, Women's Cross Country/Track
Candice Peak, Women's Swimming & Diving
Sara Goff, Women's Swimming & Diving
John Clay, Football
Nick Toon, Football

Academic Momentum Award (The National Consortium for Academics and Sport (NCAS) seeks to recognize student-athletes who have demonstrated significant academic improvement throughout their collegiate careers and celebrate them for having the ability to balance textbooks with playbooks)

J.P. Gavinski, Men's Basketball

Wayne Duke Scholarship Nominees (Big Ten Institutions nominate one male and one female and Big Ten selects one male and one female winner)
Max Wilson, Men's Soccer
Beth Weinstein, Women's Golf

President's Award (honoring the SAAC and SAESO Presidents for their leadership)
Sara Goff, Women's Swimming & Diving
Tyler Holland, Football

Team Highest Cumulative GPA

Women's Cross Country
Men's Cross Country

Team Community Service Award
Women's Golf

Individual Community Service Awards (Highest number of community service hours per team)
Keaton Nankivil,Men's Basketball
J.J. Watt, Football
Nick Engen, Men's Golf
Blake Geoffrion, Men's Hockey
Dan Moore, Men's Rowing
Max Wilson, Men's Soccer
Derrick O'Donnell, Men's Swimming & Diving
Chris Freeman, Men's Tennis
Ian Jansen, Men's Track and Field
Trevor Brandvold, Wrestling
Rae Lin D'Alie , Women's Basketball
Heather Herrick,Women's Golf
Carla Pentimone, Women's Hockey
Constance Chucholowski, Women's Lightweight Rowing
Grace Latz, Women's Rowing
Michele Dalton,Women's Soccer
Maggie Strange, Softball
Karlyn Hougan, Women's Swimming & Diving
Alaina Trgovich, Women's Tennis
Carli Ditscheit, Women's Track and Field
Alexis Mitchell, Volleyball

Athletic Board Scholars (Highest cum GPA for previous year, above sophomore standing, letterwinner)
Brett Valentyn, Men's Basketball
Tyler Holland, Football
John Bolas, Men's Cross Country
Nicholas Engen,Men's Golf
Ryan Jeffery, Men's Hockey
Daniel Stevens, Men's Rowing
Andrew Miller, Men's Soccer
Michael Hopkins, Men's Swimming & Diving
Marek Michalicka, Men's Tennis
Jacob Fritz, Men's Track & Field
Erik Senescu, Wrestling
Alyssa Karel, Women's Basketball
Sarah Hurley, Women's Cross Country
Beth Weinstein, Women's Golf
Carla Pentimone, Women's Hockey
Kaela Erickson, Women's Lightweight Rowing
Katie Hurtis, Women's Rowing
Meghan Flannery, Women's Soccer
Kristyn Hansen, Softball
Lauren Borja, Women's Swimming & Diving
Erin Jobe, Women's Tennis
Egle Staisiunaite, Women's Track & Field
Faye McCormack, Volleyball

Chi Alpha Sigma (National Student-Athlete Honor Society with following qualifications: Junior, minimum 3.4 cume GPA, letter winner, coach endorsement)
Philip Thomas, Men's Cross Country
Nathan Emanuel, Football
Scott Tolzien, Football
Max Wilson, Men's Soccer
Ian Jansen, Men's Track and Field
Alyssa Karel, Women's Basketball
Alana Trotter, Women's Basketball
Leah Coyle, Women's Cross Country
Caroline Ditscheit, Women's Cross Country
Lindsey Kong, Women's Cross Country
Mia Cava, Women's Rowing
Rebekah Foelker, Women's Rowing
Taylor Fries, Women's Rowing
Kathryn Haver, Women's Rowing
Breanne Lynch, Women's Rowing
Sarah Obernauer, Women's Rowing
Gabrielle Waclawik, Women's Rowing
Lauren Borja, Women's Soccer
Kristyn Hansen, Softball
Rose Morahan, Women's Swimming & Diving
Kate Flood, Women's Track & Field
Egle Staisiunaite, Women's Track & Field

Remington Scholars (The graduating letterwinners, one male and one female student-athlete, with the highest cume GPAs)
Daniel Stevens, Men's Rowing
Kristin Johnson, Women's Rowing

4.0 Leadership Award (Any student-athlete with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, sophomore or above by fall of '09)
Adam Hexum, Men's Track & Field
Cassie Hintz, Women's Cross Country
Laurie Nosbusch, Women's Soccer

Unsung Hero Award (Displays hard work, positive attitude and determination in athletics, the classroom, as well as the community - nominated by coaches then voted on by student-athlete population)
Brian Whyms, Men's Rowing
Miranda Padilla,Women's Rowing


Male & Female Student-Athletes of the Year (Nominees are all SAAC student-athletes of the month winners)
Chavon Robinson, Women's Track & Field
Chris Maragos, Football