ORANGE, Calif. – Chapman University Athletics announced its annual senior departmental awards at the jog-a-thon on Friday afternoon. The Panthers awarded male and female Scholar-Athletes of the Year awards as well as male and female Leadership Awards.
The department also recognized the men's and women's programs with the top GPAs over the 2017-18 season. The men's golf team posted the highest team GPA of all 10 male teams with a 3.39 team GPA and the women's tennis team was the top women's team with a 3.60 team GPA.
Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year: Jared Love, Baseball
Senior baseball star Jared Love earns the Senior Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award after leading the Panthers on the field and in the classroom. The four-year starter set the career record with 22 home runs this season. He was a member of the SCIAC All-Academic team and the Academic All-District Team while also being selected to the Academic All-American Third Team in 2017. Love was also a three-time All-SCIAC Selection and an All-West Region Second Team Selection in his impressive career, all while earning a dual degree in Physics and Mathematics.
Female Senior Student-Athlete of the Year: Jaime Hum-Nishikado, Women's Basketball
Senior Jaime Hum Nishikado etched her name in Chapman history, becoming the eighth women's basketball player to score 1,000 points in her career since the program joined the ranks of Division III in 1994. The two-year starter also holds the career record at Chapman University with 262 three-pointers. She was a two-time SCIAC All-Academic Team member and a two-time All-SCIAC selection while earning a degree in Kinesiology.
Don Perkins Male Leadership Award: Wilson Parnell, Men's Water Polo
Wilson Parnell helped lead the men's water polo team to their highest SCIAC finish in program history this past year. As the first amputee to ever play collegiate water polo, he is paving the way for others after him. Parnell was a member of the All-SCIAC Sportsmanship team and was a two-time SCIAC All-Academic selection while earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master's in Leadership. Coach Eric Ploessel said, "He has helped raise money for other amputees. He's been an inspiration to so many people, we have named our Coaches Award after him."
Jack Duddy Female Leadership Award: Mary Welton, Women's Water Polo and Swimming & Diving
Senior Mary Welton has had a momentous impact on two programs at Chapman University in her four years. A member of both women's water polo and swimming and diving teams, Welton served as captain of both the squads. She was awarded the Chris Knorr Leadership Award at the Cal Lutheran Invite this year and was a SCIAC All-Academic selection in both sports while earning a degree in Health Sciences. Welton also holds the Chapman record with eight assists in a single game. Coach Dennis Ploessel said, "[She is a] major influence on leading our program to the highest (third place) finish in school history. [She] supports her teammates emotionally and academically and believes in the Chapman family."
The Jog-A-Thon and Sports Appreciation Day is a tradition spanning the decades for Chapman University Athletics. Family, friends and loved ones sponsor a Chapman student athlete to jog 10 laps around the Holly and David Wilson Field at a choice of levels ranging from $100 per lap to $.50 per lap.
These funds are utilized throughout the year to support important equipment, programs and events for the Donald P. Kennedy Intercollegiate Athletics Program at Chapman University.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant