Student-Athletes Showcase Talents, Recognize Success at Oskis
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  05/08/2013

May 8, 2013

BERKELEY - Student-athletes from across all 29 sports set aside team alliances for the evening as players took an evening to recognize each other and the many accomplishments of Cal Athletics at the third annual Oskis ceremony in Haas Pavilion on May 7.

Organized by the Golden Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the part Oscars, part ESPYs event recognizes the athletic accomplishments and community involvement of Cal student-athletes. Additionally, student-athletes acknowledge the people that help them succeed both academically and athletically throughout the year. Award winners were selected by a text-to-vote poll following the announcement of the nominees at the ceremony.

Before the show, student-athletes paraded down the blue carpet in front of the arena with the opportunity to be interviewed and photographed with Oski. Throughout the night, student-athletes showcased talents ranging from singing to step dancing and interacted with their peers over dinner.

Football's Maggie Simpson on bass began the evening with an acoustic performance of "Wagon Wheel." Softball's Khala Taylor followed with a solo of "Out Here On My Own" from the movie and musical "Fame," and women's gymnastics' Alicia Asturias presented her version of "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele. Women's crew's Sarah Goldman, Vanessa Gerber and Greer Uu teamed up to rock the audience with a step performance, matched in hype only by baseball's Jordan Talbot and women's water polo's Kathleen Menz duet of Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child" mixed with LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It." Last year's "Best Talent" winner Grace Leer paired up with Cal spirit's Matt Ha for a heartfelt performance of Rihanna's "Stay." Leer made it a repeat win as she was voted "Best Talent" once again.

"I was honored to have the chance to perform in front of all the student-athletes, and express my own talent in front of so many other people with hidden talents. It's great to be able celebrate off the field, and I am so proud I was able to represent softball," Taylor said.

The swimming and diving teams swept the Athlete of the Year awards as Caitlin Leverenz earned the female nod and Tom Shields was the male winner. Swimmer Elizabeth Pelton also garnered an award for her team as the "Female Newcomer of the Year." Track & field's Ethan Cochran was named "Male Newcomer of the Year."

For its run to the Final Four, women's basketball was voted the "Women's Team of the Year," while the No. 1 Men's Golf team in the country took home the honors among the men's sports.

Student-athletes also took the time to recognize their support staff. Women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb received her first Oski for "Coach of the Year," and "Professor of the Year" went to the Athletic Study Center/Education department's Derek Van Rheenen for the second year in a row. Sports medicine's Ryan Cobb is the "Staff Member of the Year."

Among the other awards were "Most Inspirational Student-Athlete" (women's basketball's Tierra Rogers), "Best Team Video" (men's track & field), "Golden Couple" (lacrosse's Grace Parente and women's soccer's Genessee Daughetee), "Target Team Community Outreach Award" (women's gymnastics) and best action photo (volleyball).

"When people look at us, they see us in uniforms. But aside from us being athletes, we are very successful in our lives as students and in other areas," Taylor said. "It's not just athletics all the time. We are multi-faceted people who compete with passion in all that we do."

2013 Oskis Award Winners

Men's Team of the Year

Men's Golf

Women's Team of the Year

Women's Basketball 

Male Athlete of the Year

Tom Shields (Men's Swimming)

Female Athlete of the Year

Caitlin Leverenz (Women's Swimming)

Male Newcomer of the Year

Ethan Cochran (Track & Field)

Female Newcomer of the Year

Elizabeth Pelton (Women's Swimming)

Professor of the Year

Derek Van Rheeean

Staff Member of the Year

Ryan Cobb

Coach of the Year

Lindsay Gottlieb (Women's Basketball)

Most Inspirational Student-Athlete

Tierra Rogers (Women's Basketball)

Target Team Community Outreach Award

Women's Gymnastics

Best Talent

Grace Leer and Matt Ha

Best Action Shot


Team Video of the Year

Men's Track & Field