Three Owls, Softball Team, to Represent Oregon Tech at Oregon Sports Award Show This Weekend
PORTLAND, Ore. – Three Oregon Tech athletes, including Bryant Sentman, Jackie Imhof and Joseph Foster were named finalists for the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year award, while the 2011 Oregon Tech softball team earned the George Pasero Team of the Year Award and will be honored at the Oregon Sports Award.
The Oregon Sports Awards honors Oregon’s top athletes, coaches and teams of the past year with the winners announced at the 2011 Oregon Sports Awards show on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Campus in Beaverton.
The Ad Rutschman award goes to the outstanding male and female student-athletes representing the state’s NCAA Division II and III, NAIA-affiliated colleges and universities, and community colleges, in the calendar year 2011. The George Pasero award goes to the top team's to represent the state of Oregon.
In 2011 Oregon Tech won the regular season championship after finishing with a 19-5 record in CCC action. The title gave the Owls the right to host the CCC conference tournament which the Owls also won. Oregon Tech then moved on to the 2011 NAIA national tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala. where the Owls made history. Tech, playing their finest softball of the year, rolled to its first-ever NAIA Softball National Championship with a 1-0 shutout of top-ranked California Baptist on May 25. The Owls went 42-13 overall and became the first team in the Cascade Collegiate Conference to win the national championship in the 31-year history of the event.
Foster, a 5-8 senior guard from Vallejo, Calif., was named a First Team NAIA Division II All-American in 2011 after leading the Hustlin’ Owls to a 30-5 overall record and a third-straight “Sweet 16” appearance at the NAIA National Tournament. Prior to All-American honors, Foster earned first-team all-conference honors, along with being named 2011 Cascade Conference Player of the Year after leading Oregon Tech to a 16-2 conference mark. Foster led the Owls in scoring after averaging 19.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists. In just two seasons for the Owls, Foster eclipsed the 1,000 point mark and currently ranks 12th all-time with 1,281 career points.
Imhof, a senior pitcher from Portland, Ore., earned first-team all-conference honors, while being named Cascade Collegiate Conference Female Athlete of the Year in 2011. After helping the Owls to a regular season and conference softball tournament championship, Imhof led the Owls to the 2011 NAIA softball title in May, the first softball crown in program history. Imhof, who set single-season school records for wins (25), innings pitched (211 1/3), strikeouts (272) and shutouts (11), was named the most valuable player at the NAIA Championships. In the week-long national tournament at Gulf Shores, Ala., Imhof posted a 6-1 record and 0.59 earned run average. In addition to shutting out top-ranked Cal Baptist twice, including in the championship game, she also beat the No. 2, No. 6 and No. 7 teams in the country at the national tourney. She threw a perfect game vs. Midland Lutheran, tossed three one-hitters, and allowed just four earned runs in the tournament.
Sentman, a two-sport athlete from Cottage Grove, Ore., and currently in his senior year on the men’s basketball team, captured the NAIA decathlon title at the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Marion, Ind. Sentman, the 2011 Cascade Conference Male Athlete of the Year, scored a school record 7,097 points to edge conference foe Robbie Haynie of Eastern Oregon for the NAIA’s decathlon crown. Sentman established five PR’s in winning the title. He won the discus and javelin events and finished second in the shot put and high jump.
In basketball, the 6-4 forward averaged 10 points and 3.5 rebounds to help the Hustlin’ Owls win the CCC’s regular season and postseason tournament titles, while advancing to the NAIA II championships for a ninth consecutive season.
Oregon Tech was last represented at the awards last year when former Hustlin’ Owl basketball All-American Justin Parnell was a finalist for the Ad Rutschman Athlete of the Year. Prior Oregon Tech athletes named Ad Rutschman Athlete of the Year include Kelsi Haylett (basketball, softball, track and field) in 2007 and Ryan Fiegi (basketball) 2008.
The 2011 national championship softball team will be the third Oregon Tech team honored for the George Pasero award, joining the 2004 and 2008 men’s basketball teams after coming off national championships in those seasons.
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