GU Athletics Celebrates Senior Student-Athletes
Gonzaga's Chi Alpha Sigma honorees pose for a photo at the 2017 Evening of Excellence. (Photo by Torrey Vail)

May 5, 2017

 SPOKANE, Wash. -- Men's basketball player Przemek was named the Male Senior Athlete of the Year and women's golfer Ciera Min was named the Female Senior Athlete of the Year, respectively, as the sixth annual Evening of Excellence honored the Bulldog seniors and recognized all Gonzaga student-athletes for another great year in competition, in the classroom and in the community.

Women's cross country and track student-athlete Jessica Mildes was named the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, while men's golfer Ryan Gaske was the Male Scholar-Athlete of the year. Men's Rowing student-athlete Cole Garcia was presented the Leadership Award.

In addition, 25 student-athletes were inducted into Gonzaga University's chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national college athlete honor society. Chi Alpha Sigma exists to encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited colleges and universities, to recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity letter winners and to encourage good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics. Founded in 1996, and comprised of members from all levels within the NCAA and the NAIA, Chi Alpha Sigma has grown to over 280 University chapters nationwide. The seniors inducted today have maintained a minimum 3.4 cumulative GPA while earning varsity letters in their respective sports. This year's inductees are: Emily Anderson (Women's Cross Country/Track), Sydney Anderson (Women's Soccer), Karley Baggerly (Women's Soccer), Mitchell Beard (Men's Cross Country/Track), Kelly Bieraugel (Women's Soccer), Sam Brown (Baseball), Sarah Carter (Women's Soccer),Emily Coic (Women's Cross Country/Track), Katy Culver (Women's Cross Country/Track), Morgan Douglass (Volleyball), McKayla Ferris (Volleyball), Cole Garcia (Men's Rowing), Ryan Gaske (Men's Golf),Ian Goldizen (Men's Cross Country/Track), Jakob Granlund (Men's Soccer), Kiara Kudron (Women's Basketball), Julie Henling (Women's Cross Country/Track), Lauren Luke (Women's Soccer), Olivia Marsh (Women's Rowing), Jessica Mildes (Women's Cross Country/Track), Ciera Min (Women's Golf), Meg Rapp (Women's Soccer), Lauren Saunders (Women's Cross Country/Track), Forest Tarbath (Men's Cross Country/Track), and Kate Wagner (Women's Cross Country/Track).

The following is a look at this year's individual award winners.

Male Senior Athlete of the Year
Przemek, Men's Basketball
Przemek Karnowski left his mark all over the men's basketball program. Since arriving on campus in 2012, he has been a towering presence on and off of the court. He was named to the Senior CLASS All-American team, which honors not only outstanding performance on the court, but in the classroom and in the community as well. A multiple academic all-conference selection, he has a 3.43 GPA while working on his MBA. This season, he became only the ninth player in program history to score 1,000 points and grab 600 rebounds in a career. His 1,495 points ranks 15th in program history, while his 819 rebounds is sixth in GU history. He won this season's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award which goes to the nation's top center. He leaves Gonzaga with 137 career wins, the most by a player in NCAA Division I history, and he led GU to its first-ever Final Four.

Female Senior Athlete of the Year
Ciera Min, Women's Golf
Ciera Min was the first in program history to be named All-West Coast Conference in all four of her seasons. She won the 2016 WCC championship and appeared in the NCAA Regionals twice with her team. This season she had three top-five finishes and two runner-up finishes, and shot below par seven times, twice in the 60s. She tied a then-school record with a 66 in her 2016 WCC title chase and recorded 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10 finishes in her career. Her career scoring average of 74.21 is second all-time in program history and her 54-hole score of 211 is third-best all time. In her 114 career rounds, she shot par or below in 30 of them with four rounds in the 60s. She is a three-time WCC All-Academic selection, two-time preseason All-WCC honoree, won a US amateur qualifier and was named WCC Golfer of the Month in April last year.

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Ryan Gaske, Men's Golf
Ryan Gaske joined the Gonzaga family in the Fall of 2015 as a transfer student and in his two short years, he has been named to the President's List and WCC All-Academic First Team twice, carries a 3.71 cumulative GPA and will graduate this May with his Bachelor of Education in Sport Management. Throughout his time at GU, he has been a leader on his team academically, athletically, and in the community. Gaske has been a member of GU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, participated in various community outreach opportunities such as Trunk-or-Treat, Leaf Raking Blitz, and annual food drive for Catholic Charities.

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
Jessica Mildes, Women's Cross Country and Track
Jessica Mildes joined the Gonzaga family as a transfer student in the Fall of 2014 and immediately displayed incredible passion and commitment to academic excellence through the pursuit of an Accounting degree, one of the most rigorous on Gonzaga's campus. This past summer, she gained admission into GU's Master of Science in Taxation program and began to pursue her graduate degree while finishing up her undergraduate requirements this past fall. Over her career as a Zag, she earned a perfect 4.0 in her undergraduate work and a perfect 4.0 in her graduate work. Mildes was named to the WCC All-Academic team twice and last season accomplished the incredible feat of being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Leadership Award
Cole Garcia, Men's Rowing
As a natural leader both on and off the water, Cole Garcia demonstrated what it means to be a Zag in several ways: He will graduate in May, holding a degree in Business Administration and Accounting. He holds a 3.50 GPA, is a member of the men's rowing team and a leader in the varsity eight boat. He displayed leadership amongst his peers by being elected as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President and WCC SAAC Co-Chair for the 2016-17 year. He has been essential to SAAC during his time on the Committee. Not only this, he has led his team in countless community initiatives. Garcia is known to always goes above and beyond and is a selfless leader, always thinking of the best interest of his peers.

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