Nick Jones and Jennie HuttÂ receivedÂ the Paul Goad award Tuesday night, an annual ACU award given to the most accomplished male and female athlete of the year.
Jones, a senior standout in the shot put and discus competition this year, is on his way to claiming a fourth and fifth NCAA national championship. Hutt, also a senior, has been instrumental in the volleyball team’s success all four years.
It’s a huge honor definitely,” Jones said. “I thought that was really was awesome, given the kind of talent we have here at ACU between football, golf, baseball, tennis, and even my other teammates on the track team.”
Although the track and field season is still under way, Jones has already left his mark on the 2012 season. After his first appearance in both the shot put and discus competition this year, Jones has held the No. 1 spot in the NCAA Division II rankings in both events. He is favored to win both in the NCAA Division II NationalÂ Championship in May.
No NCAA athlete has ever won four outdoor national championships in a row in discus, and Jones is hopeful to be the first this year.
In discus, Jones holds the top mark out of all collegiate athletes, regardless of division with his throw of 203 feet, 3 inches. It is the third-best mark in all Division II history.Â Jones also has the thirteenth-best shot put throw in all collegiate athletes this season with a mark of 62 feet, 4.5 inches.
Jones won the indoor individual national championship in shot put in March. He has won the outdoor individual national championship every year he has competed in discus, winning three times in 2008, 2009, and 2011.
Being at ACU means the world to me,” Jones said. “I’ve been here for five years and the coaches, faculty, and my teammates have been instrumental to my success in athletics. The tradition on the track team is high-level, and it’s awesome to be successful and stand up to the athletes before me.”
Hutt has had a significant impact on the volleyball team’s success the past four years, playing with outstanding numbers on the court.
“I was pretty surprised I won,” Hutt said. “It was a huge honor and blessing not only for me, but also for my team and coaches.”
Hutt is no stranger to LSC recognitions, winning Player of the Week twice this year. Hutt recorded 518 kills in her senior season, ranked sixth nationally in that category. She averaged 3.78 kills per game, 46th in the country, and third in the conference. She also recorded 32 kills in a single match this year against Incarnate Word, the second team-high in Wildcat history.Â Her 4.20 average points per game put her at 60th nationally, and second in the LSC.
Hutt also received several post-season awards. In addition to being voted the LSC All-Academic Player of the Year, she was selected as first team NCAA Division II academic all-American, and received honorable mention all-American.
“It’s a real honor to go out on, and the topping to my experience here at ACU,” Hutt said. I’m blessed to have spent four years here, and I have learned so many lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”
Jones is the first track and field athlete to win since Nicodemus Naimadu in 2007. Hutt is the fourth volleyball player to win the award since 2006.