(Editor’s note: University of Montana athletics release)
MISSOULA — The University of Montana held its annual Scholar-Athlete Honors Banquet on Monday evening, where the top individual honors were given to Erika McLeod of the women’s track and field program and Michael Oguine of the men’s basketball team. Both were named this year’s Grizzly Cup award-winners.
Highlighting many of Montana’s most-recognized student-athletes over nearly a century, the annual award is given to the top all-around senior student-athletes, given to one female and one male.
The honor was initially presented to three-sport athlete Larry Higbee in 1921, and was awarded to Montana’s top male senior student-athlete nearly every year through 1987. It was reinstated in 2009 and over the past decade has been given to both the top male and female senior student-athletes.
The award was initiated by Dr. W.E. Schreiber, who served as the head of UM’s physical education department for several years.
McLeod, a native of Butte, is one of the most-decorated athletes in program history. With the Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships still ahead, McLeod has already won four individual titles and holds two school records. Nothing, though, compares to her performance at the Big Sky Indoor Track & Field Championships this past February.
Competing in the pentathlon, McLeod set Montana, Big Sky and Championship records to win the event for the third time in her career. Her performance was so strong that she earned the meet’s Outstanding Performer award – also for the third time – and received an invitation to the NCAA Championships, being ranked 11th in the nation at the time.
In addition to her three pentathlon titles, McLeod is also a Big Sky champion in the heptathlon and indoor long jump. During her career, she has scored 15 times and has reached the podium on eight occasions.
McLeod will graduate in May with a degree in psychology.
Oguine did it all for the Montana basketball team, helping the Grizzlies earn back-to-back Big Sky Conference regular-season titles, tournament championships and NCAA tournament berths. The Grizzlies won a school-record 52 games over the past two seasons, and during Oguine’s four-year career won 89 contests, the second-best four-year stretch in school history.
A selfless player who was willing to mold his game for the team’s benefit, Oguine still finished his career ranked seventh for career scoring, third for career steals and first for career games started. During the 2018-19 season, he was one of six active players in NCAA Division I basketball with more than 1,500 career points, 600 rebounds and 350 steals.
He was three times named an all-conference player, also being selected as the league’s top defensive player and Big Sky tournament MVP in 2018. Off the court, he was a four-time Academic all-Big Sky honoree. Oguine will graduate next month with a degree in business marketing.
This marks the third year in a row that a basketball player has earned the male Grizzly Cup award, and the eighth time in the past 11 years since the award was reinstated.
Grizzly Cup winners
1921: Larry Higbee (football/basketball/baseball)
1922: Gil Porter (football/basketball/track)
1923: Gil Porter (football/basketball/baseball/track)
1924: Angus “Cammie” Meagher (football/baseball)
1925: Russ Sweet (football/basketball/track)
1926: Ted “Chief” Illman (football/basketball/baseball)
1927: Clarence Coyle (football/basketball/track)
1928: Ed Chinske (football/basketball/baseball)
1929: Tom Davis (football/track)
1930: Ray Lewis (football)
1931: Glenn Lockwood (basketball/track)
1932: Lowell Dailey (football)
1933: Dale Hinman (football/basketball)
1934: Al Dahlberg (football/basketball/track)
1935: Naseby Rhinehart Sr. (football/basketball/track)
1936: Henry Blastic (football/basketball)
1938: Bill Lazetich (football/basketball/track)
1940: Bob Thornally (football)
1941: Tom O’Donnell (football)
1942: Bill Jones (football/basketball)
1943: Henry Dahmer (football)
1948: Charles “Timer” Moses (basketball)
1949: John Helding (football/basketball/baseball)
1950: Jack O’Loughlin (football/baseball)
1951: Ray Bauer (football)
1952: Robert “Lefty” Byrne (football/basketball/baseball)
1953: Jack Luckman (basketball/track)
1954: Ed Anderson (football/basketball/baseball)
1955: Murdo Campbell (football/baseball)
1956: Dale Shupe (football/track)
1957: Don Williamson (football/baseball)
1958: Naseby Rhinehart Jr. (football/track)
1959: Mike Granbois (track)
1960: Rudy Ruana (skiing)
1961-62: Bob O’Billovich (football/basketball/baseball)
1963: Paul D. Miller (football)
1964: Tim Aldrich (basketball)
1965: William M. Rice (basketball/track)
1966: Gary B. Peck (basketball/baseball)
1967: Greg Hanson (basketball)
1968: Willie Jones (football/track)
1969: Mick Harrington (track)
1970: Roy Robinson (football/track)
1971: Lonzo Lewis (football/basketball)
1972: Steve Okoniewski (football)
1973: Earl Tye (basketball)
1974: Robin Selvig (basketball)
1975: Rock Svennungsen (football)
1976: Dean Erhard (track/cross country)
1977: Marsha Hamilton (gymnastics/track)
1978: Tim Kerr (football)
1979: Ed Cerkovnik (football)
1980: Craig Zanon (basketball)
1981: Rocky Klever (football)
1982: Greg Iseman (football)
1983: Brian Salonen (football)
1984-86: Larry Krystkowiak (basketball)
1987: Scott Zanon (basketball/track/football)
1988-2008: No Grizzly Cup awarded
2009: Jordan Hasquet (basketball), Jade Roskam (volleyball)
2010: Anthony Johnson (basketball), Lauren Beck (basketball)
2011: Erik Stoll (football), Jaimie Thibeault (volleyball)
2012: Bryan Waldhauser (football), Katrina Drennen (cross country/track and field)
2013: Mathias Ward (basketball), Olivia Weber (golf)
2014: Brock Coyle (football), Jordan Sullivan (basketball)
2015: Jordan Gregory (basketball), Brooke Moody (soccer)
2016: Tyrone Holmes (football), McCalle Feller (basketball)
2017: Brandon Gfeller (basketball), Sammy Evans (track and field)
2018: Fabijan Krslovic (basketball), Delene Colburn (softball)
2019: Michael Oguine (basketball), Erika McLeod (track and field)
There were also numerous more individual student-athletes awarded throughout the night, and the Griz men’s tennis team came home with a first, winning the program’s first-ever Dusten Hollist Award.
What was the Athletic Director’s Award for the team with the top overall GPA in the department has been renamed in honor of a person who was a champion of the student-athlete ideal and someone Grizzly Athletics lost too early: former faculty athletic representative Dusten Hollist.
Just before he passed, head men’s tennis coach Jason Brown and junior Max Korkh visited Hollist in the hospital as a small token of hope and gratitude for the years he spent advising the team succeed in the classroom.
Fittingly enough, it would be Brown’s team that would etch their name on the first-ever Dusten Hollist Team Award with a cumulative team GPA of 3.68 over the spring and fall semesters of 2018.
“Dusten was an incredibly special guy, and everyone knew that, but I feel like he had some special love for the sports that maybe weren’t packing Washington-Grizzly Stadium or the Adams Center. I felt like he gave such a nice personal touch to our guys,” said Brown.
“I feel like he connected well with the smaller sports teams, and his care shone through. I’m honored we are receiving the first one and hopefully it’ the start of many more.”
The Hollist Team Award is the culmination of years of academic excellence for men’s tennis, who always seemed to be a point or two behind the women’s cross-country team, which dominated the category for nearly a decade.
“It means so much because we’ve been so close in the past. I know how hard all of us work individually on academics. Tennis is why we’re here, but academics are a priority, and I know we take it seriously,” added Korkh.
“I wanted to leave UM knowing we won that award once. It’s really rewarding. It speaks so much about the type of people the guys on our team are. They’re not just tennis players. They’re smart guys.”
In what was another banner year for the University of Montana, 203 of the over 300 athletes that participate in UM’s 15 varsity sports earned a 3.0 GPA or better.
As a group, Montana student-athletes set a new record for the highest overall GPA with a 3.13 last semester, and for the 19th-straight semester, the department’s overall GPA was above a 3.0.
Grizzly Athletics celebrated the accomplishments of those who dedicate themselves to success in the classroom as much as they do on the court or field of competition Monday at the annual Grizzly Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, 54 different scholarships were divided between 70 deserving recipients with three major awards recognizing the best of the best amongst UM’s student-athlete body.
In a room full of outstanding academic achievers, UM also honored the cream of the crop with the Grizzly Cup awards for top overall academic and athletic performers, the President’s awards for best overall GPAs in the department, and something special this year.
Montana student-athletes are performing as high as ever in the classroom, but perhaps no team is breaking as much academic ground as the Grizzly football team.
On the heels of back-to-back semesters of record-breaking overall team GPAs, redshirt-sophomore safety Michael McGinnis was presented the men’s President’s Award for the top overall GPA in the department for the first time in his career with a perfect 4.0 GPA in Management Information Systems.
Earning the women’s President’s Award for the second straight time in her storied career was cross country and track distance runner Samantha Engebretsen who also landed a 4.0 in Social Work.
This is the second straight year a Grizzly football player has taken home the President’s award, with McGinnis following in the footsteps of Colin Bingham.
The award is also a reflection of the overall success Grizzly football has had in recent years, with the team posting the top two highest GPAs in each of the last two semesters.
“First of all, congratulations to Mike. It’s tremendous he’s being recognized for all his hard work in the classroom. He follows last year’s recipient Colin Bingham, who along with most of the members of our team are working diligently to earn their degrees,” said head coach Bobby Hauck.
“These guys are evidence you can excel in the classroom and on the playing field. We anticipate our team continuing to exhibit the academic excellence they’ve shown the last two years.”
On top of two-straight semesters of record-setting GPAs, Montana landed 24 players on the Academic All-Big Sky team this year, a 20 percent increase from the team’s previous high.
Complete 2019 Scholarship Recipients
Col. Thomas M. Alison, USAF (Ret.) Memorial Scholarship
Bryson Deming, Football
Harriet Anderson Memorial Athletic Scholarship
Mariah Harvey, Women’s Track & Field
Ronald and Julia Blake Memorial Scholarship
Kylie Esh, Women’s Golf
Garrett Graves, Football
Darby Henthorn, Women’s Track & Field
Carla Nicosia, Women’s Track & Field
Matt Rensvold, Football
Bill and Phyllis Bouchee Family Football Scholarship
Jace Lewis, Football
Erika Camp Memorial Athletic Scholarship
Sammy Fatkin, Women’s Basketball
Melinda and Herb Depp Athletic Scholarship
Michaela Hood, Softball
Carrie Jacka, Women’s Track & Field
Rita Lang, Soccer
Cami Sellers, Softball
Lawrence A. (Bugs) Dwyer Memorial Scholarship
Abigail Dodge, Women’s Track & Field
Ekegren Education Scholarship
Madi Schoening, Women’s Basketball
David and Goldie Enger Athletic Scholarship
Morgan Johnson, Softball
Dean Erhard Athletic Award in Cross Country and Track
Carly Smiedala, Women’s Track & Field
Mike & Cathie Frellick Lady Griz Basketball Scholarship
Carmen Gfeller, Women’s Basketball
Julie Deming Memorial Scholarship
Emma Stockholm, Women’s Basketball
Mike & Cathie Frellick Softball Scholarship
Kylie Hayton, Softball
GSA License Plate Scholarship
Tristin Achenbach, Softball
Michael McGinnis, Football
Janet and Michelle Hainline Scholarship
Emily Pittis, Women’s Track & Field
Harrington Family Athletic Scholarship
Finn Anderson, Men’s Tennis
Anne and Warren Hill Athletic Scholarship
Bianca Bostrom, Women’s Tennis
Carol Huggins Lady Griz Scholarship
Sophia Stiles, Women’s Basketball
Sylvia Jensen Athletic Scholarship
Raye Burton, Soccer
John Kolendich Memorial Scholarship
Colin Bingham, Football
Ernest L. & Ruth A. Kradolfer Scholarship
Mariah Harvey, Women’s Track & Field
Douglas LeBrun Track and Field Scholarship
Chloe Seferos, Women’s Track & Field
Katherine Markette-John Schuler Scholarship
Gabi Harrington, Women’s Basketball
Markovich Family Athletic Scholarship
Lidia Dukic, Women’s Tennis
Maddy Stensby, Softball
Colleen Marks Athletic Scholarship
Mitch Roberts, Football
The Chawky & Helen Miller Memorial Scholarship
Eddy Egun, Men’s Basketball
Moose Miller Football Scholarship
Dalton Sneed, Football
Lefty Monson Family Men’s Basketball Scholarship
Kendal Manuel, Men’s Basketball
Bob & Adeline O’Conner Memorial Scholarship
Anne Mari Petrino, Softball
Erik Ogren Memorial Scholarship
Caitlin Rogers, Soccer
John L. Olson Family Scholarship
Dallas Hart, Football
Mike and Sandy Persha Athletic Scholarship
Samantha Engebretsen, Women’s Track & Field
Jim Powell Memorial Scholarship-Men’s Basketball
Mack Anderson, Men’s Basketball
Dr. Reynolds Lady Griz Scholarship
McKenzie Johnston, Women’s Basketball
William (Robi) Robertson Memorial Scholarship
Dante Olson, Football
Bill Ruegamer Scholarship
Teigan Avery, Golf
Robin Selvig Lady Griz Basketball Scholarship
Kylie Frohlich, Women’s Basketball
Brian and Karen Sippy Scholarship
Janna Grimsrud, Volleyball
Ken Staninger Memorial Scholarship
Marcus Welnel, Football
B. Tim Stark Memorial Track & Field Scholarship
Jane Booth, Women’s Track & Field
Larry and Kristin Stayner Family Athletic Scholarship
Gabe Sulser, Football
Stockman Bank Scholarship
Jesse Sims, Football
Max and Betty Swanson Memorial Scholarship
Alexis Urbach, Volleyball
Kole Swartz Legacy Scholarship
Jackson Pepe, Football
John Van Heuvelen Memorial Athletic Scholarship
Alexa Coyle, Soccer
Clark Wilson Memorial Scholarship
Claire Howard, Soccer