May 16, 2013
The University of Montana's Mathias Ward and Olivia Weber were recognized as the school's 2013 Grizzly Cup recipients tonight (Thursday, May 16), at UM's annual Senior Student-Athlete Honors Reception held in the Washington-Grizzly Stadium Canyon Club.
Following the 2008- 2009 athletic season, the Grizzly Cup has been awarded to two student-athletes. One is awarded to UM's "Male Student-Athlete of the Year," while the another is presented to the school's "Female Student-Athlete of the Year." The 2012 recipients were Katrina Drennen, from the cross country and track squads, and Bryan Waldhauser from football.
Established in 1921, the award was originally presented annually to one Montana senior (male) student-athlete who excelled athletically on the field/court/track, as well as in academics, and who also represented the University well in the community.
The first Grizzly Cup was presented to three-sport participant Larry Higbee in 1921, while the last one was given to Scott Zanon, also a three-sport letterman, in 1987. The award was initiated by Dr. W. E. Schreiber, who served as the head of UM's physical education department for several years. The award was reinstated in its current form, recognizing the top male and female athlete at UM in 2009.
A 6-7 senior forward from Gig Harbor, Wash., Ward was the Grizzlies' leading scorer this past season, averaging 14.8 points a game. He started the first 24 games of the season, but unfortunately he was lost for the season after undergoing surgery on March 6.
He was ranked sixth in the Big Sky in scoring, sixth in free throw percentage (81.8%), and seventh in field goal percentage (51.0%). Ward was a second team all-conference pick and also named to the USBWA's All-District team. He was recently presented two team awards: the Naseby Rhinehart Award (Most Inspirational Player) and the Allan Nielsen Award (Best Represents Grizzly Basketball).
He was also named to the 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men's Basketball third team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He was the first Grizzly basketball player in 13 seasons to be named to the Academic All-America basketball squad, as forward Matt Williams was selected to the team in 2000.
Ward was an integral part of Montana's 93 wins and consecutive 20-win seasons over the past four seasons during his career, and he played in 116 career games.
Weber, from Idaho Falls, Idaho, was a four-year member of the Griz golf team. She was a second-team All-Big Sky Conference selection as a junior and senior, and named the Big Sky Golfer of the Week twice.
She finished her career with a stroke average of 77.8 - the second-lowest in program history. She started her season with her first collegiate tournament win at the Montana State Invitational. She capped her career with a three-round score of 217 to tie for fifth in the Big Sky championship and earned all-tournament honors.
Weber will be a four-time Academic All-Big Sky selection when the spring teams are released next month. She is a recipient of the Montana Campus Compact's 2012 Montana Athletes in Service Award. She spent three months last summer working in Nairobi, Kenya, for Equality Now, an organization working to end violence and discrimination against girls and women.
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