BELOIT - Two former Beloit Memorial High School standouts, Eva Laun-Smith and Jose Gutierrez, as well as Hononegah graduate Shelby Kline, were among the Beloit College athletes honored at the annual awards night on Thursday.
Laun-Smith was named Female Sophomore of the Year after stellar seasons in volleyball and track and field. She has written her name into the record books in both sports.
She broke the program record this fall for kills in a match with 23 at Macalester. Just four days later, she hammered 22 at Maranatha Baptist to take over second place in the record book. Laun-Smith's 3.31 kills per set in 2018 is also the best in school history.
In the indoor track and field season, she earned Field Perfomer of the Meet honors for the second consecutive season after shattering the program record in the triple jump, defending her title in the 60-meter hurdles, taking second in the long jump and third in the high jump. Her program record in the triple jump gave her second in the national rankings and sent her to Boston for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships where she captured a bronze medal to become the first to earn All-America honors in women's track and field program history.
Men's soccer and track and field star Gutierrez earned the Pat Dawson Award as Male Senior of the Year.
Gutierrez is a talented multi-sport athlete who was named the SAAC Male Freshman of the Year, SAAC Male Sophomore of the Year and garnered Donald "Red" Janssen Award honors as the top male junior student-athlete a year ago.
A forward/midfielder on the soccer pitch, he was the first Buccaneer selected First Team All-MWC since 2012 as a junior. Hampered by an injury much of the season, he still tied for the team lead in goals scored and was second in points as a senior.
A stellar hurdler, he holds multiple records, the most notable in the 400-meter hurdles. Last season, he successfully defended his title in the event at the MWC championships for the second time. He went on to break his own record in the event at a last chance meet to earn a spot in the national championships. He surpassed the record once again in the prelims and then broke it for the third time in as many races to finish seventh in the nation, becoming the second male track and field student-athlete in program history to earn All-America honors.
Gutierrez has worked hard to make his return to the hurdles following an injury and plans to take the starting blocks for a chance at defending his conference title in the 400 hurdles for the third time this weekend.
Kline received the Ruth Peterson Award as the Female Senior of the Year. She wrote her name into the women's basketball program and MWC history. A two-year captain, she led the league scoring 18.1 points per game en route to MWC Player of the Year honors.
Kline's 83 3-pointers made ranked 11th in the nation this season and ties for the second most in a season in MWC history. She also ranked among the top 10 in the MWC in assists per game, steals per game, 3-point percentage and minutes played.
The two-time All-MWC honoree was also named Second Team All-Region by D3hoops.com this season. Her 1,197 career points ranks seventh in school history. She knocked down six 3-pointers at Knox in January, a mark tied for third in the program record book, and accumulated 198 3's over the course of her career, the third-most in BC history and seventh-most in MWC history.
• Outstanding Female Freshman of the Year: Callie Dutton, softball. Started 37 games on the left side of the infield, hitting .327 with 16 RBIs. She had six doubles and 6-for-6 on stolen bases. She had top five marks in the MWC in assists and double plays.
• Outstanding Male Freshman of the Year: Tenajh Gaitor, swimming and diving. Gaitor wrote his name into the program record book. His 100-breaststroke and 200 breaststroke times rank third. At the MWC Championships, he placed in the top 15 in both events and added a top 10 mark in the 100 butterfly. He is also a member of the record-holding 200 free relay and 400 medley relay.
• Male Sophomore of the Year: Will Kangas-Olson swimming and diving. Kangas-Olson provided the highlight for his team during day two of the MWC Championships. He was runnerup, second only to the eventual NCAA D-III champion, off the one-meter board. The Bucs' lone diver, he posted qualifying scores and competed in an NCAA D-III Diviing Regional this season. He also holds the program's records off the one meter board for six dive and 11 dive totals.
• 1889 Council/Ben Galloway Award: Matthew Miller, men's basketball and track and field.
Miller is a multi-sport athlete who iis a leader on our campus representing his programs on SAAC and serving as an R.A. He has given much of himself to this school and an influential factor in his decision to come to Beloit involved the recruitment efforts of Ben Galloway himself.
• Ed DeGeorge Service and Scholar-Athlete Award: Melissa Pelkey, track and field; Meshach Robert, swimming and diving.
Pelkey is a four-year letterwinner for the Bucs women's track and field team and two-year letterwinner for the Bucs' cross country program. She holds the school record for the 800 run indoors, being part of three record-holding relay teams and capturing five MWC Championship medals including gold as a member of the sprint medley team just a few months ago. A biochemistry and Spanish double major, she holds a 4.0 cumulative GPA and recently ranked in the 99th percentile in the Medical College Admissions Test.
Roberts holds the program record in the 200 backstroke and is a member of the record-holding 200 and 400 medley relay squads. The biology and Spanish major holds a cumulative GPA of 3.68.
• Joe Kobylka Award (sportsmanship): Ashley Lambert, softball; Matthew Miller, men's basketball and track and field; Meshach Roberts, swimming and diving.
• Inspirational Athlete of the Year: Aaron Holzmueller, cross country and track and field; Madi Christine, softball.
• Play/Performance of the Year: Women's Track and Field at the MWC Indoor Championships.
School records fell throughout the championships as the Buccaneer women accumulated 114 points to finish third at the MWC Indoor Championships, tying the best finish at the championship for the Beloit women in 15 years. Over the course of the meet, five school records fell.
• Record-Breaking Performance of the Year: Gutierrez shaved four-tenths of a second off of his 400-meter hurdles time at a last chance qualifier to secure his ticket to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships last spring.
• Academic Team of the Year: Women's Cross Country - 3.66 team GPA.
• Team Community Outreach: Baseball - Lunch Buddy Program at Hackett School.
• Blanket Winners (best of the best, a criterion for Hall of Honor consideration): Candace Cunningham, women's soccer; Jake Karlicek, football; Shelby Kline, women's basketball; Jalen Davis, baseball; Melissa Pelkey, track and field; Genesis Dade, women's soccer and track and field; Jose Gutierrez, men's soccer and track and field; Aleeshah Heinzen, track and field.