April 23, 2009
For the fourth straight year, USC student-athletes and athletic department staff have combined forces to hold the annual Tommy Athletic Awards. The event, which is planned by the members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C.), honors Trojan student-athletes for their many accomplishments in the past year. The 2008 edition of the Tommy Awards extended the growing tradition of the event, with Trojan Olympic medalists Rebecca Soni (swimming) and J.W. Krumpholz (water polo) earning Athlete of the Year honors. Team of the Year accolades went to 2008 NCAA Champions women's golf and men's water polo.
All told, eight different teams were represented among the honorees picking up Tommy Awards on the night. Soni added to her Best Female Athlete honor by picking up the Female Record-Breaking Performance award. Men's water polo hauled in the Male Record-Breaking Performance award thanks to its historic undefeated 2008 season, going along with its Team of the Year selection, Krumpholz's pick as Best Male Athlete and the Coach of the Year nod to water polo head coach Jovan Vavic.
For their exceptional outings in games during 2008, quarterback Mark Sanchez earned the Male Individual Day Performances for his Rose Bowl effort, and another 2008 Olympic gold-medalist Amy Rodriguez was awarded the Female Individual Day Performance honor for her first career three-goal game scored as a Trojan in USC's 2008 season. The 2008 Best Comeback went to track and field's Corey White for his return from injury to a powerful season in the javelin events.
Another high honor on the night went to deserving student-athletes named Trojans of the Year. The male recipient of the all-around award was track and field's Stenn Parton, while soccer's Amy Massey won the honor on the women's side for the second straight year. The complete list of winners and their achievements are listed below.
2008 Tommy Athletic Award Winners
Male - Individual Day Performance
Mark Sanchez, Football
Rose Bowl vs. Penn St.
- Completed 4 touchdown throws and had 1 touchdown run in the win
- Had a career high completion percentage of 80% (tied the Rose Bowl record)
- Career high total yardage of 413 yards
Female - Individual Day Performance
Amy Rodriguez, Soccer
Cal St. Bakersfield Game
- Scored 3 goals in one game
- First hat trick of her career
- First hat trick by a USC player since 1997
Corey White, Track & Field
- Following a serious knee injury and a year of rehab, returned and won the Pac-10 Championship in the Javelin
- Placed 2nd at the 2008 NCAA Championships in the Javelin
- Broke USC record by more than 23 ft with a throw of 267'-10" at Mt. SAC
- Pac-10 & West Region Male Field Athlete of the Year
Female Record-Breaking Performance
Rebecca Soni, Swimming
- Won her 3rd consecutive NCAA title in the 200 yard breast stroke in a time of 2:06.32; a NCAA record
Male Record-Breaking Performance
- 1st undefeated season (29-0) in school history since water polo became an NCAA sport
Best Athlete - Female
Rebecca Soni, Swimming
- In her first Olympic appearance, she won 3 medals; 1 gold and 2 silvers
- Won two individual titles in the 100 and 200-yd breaststroke at the Pac-10 Championships
- Won her 3rd consecutive NCAA title and set a new NCAA record in the 200-yd breaststroke in a time of 2:06.32
- Captured her first NCAA title in the 100 breaststroke and took All-American honors in the 400 medley relay
- 2008 Honda Award Finalist for swimming (Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year)
Best Athlete - Male
J.W. Krumpholz, Water Polo
- Won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics
- Won the NCAA National Championship just months after the Olympics
- USC's top scorer
- MPSF Player of the Year
- Named MVP of the 2008 NCAA Championships & National Player of the Year
Female Team of the Year
- 2008 National Champions
- 2008 Pac-10 Champions
- Set USC record by winning four consecutive tournaments
Boasts 5 All-Americans for the first time in school history
Male Team of the Year
- NCAA National Champions
- Top Defensive team in the nation
- Undefeated Season (29-0) - 1st team in the nation to go undefeated in 16 years
- Outscored opponents 340-138
- Seven All-Americans and Player of the Year honors
Male - Trojan of the Year
Stenn Parton, Track & Field
Stenn is the captain of the Men's Track and Field Team and an executive member of SAAC. This past year Stenn has worked to create opportunities for USC student-athletes. In spring 2008 Stenn invited Real Estate Developer, Rick Carusso, to speak with USC student-athletes about networking and marketing their skills in the job search process. In fall 2008 Stenn worked with USC staff to help create the S.C.O.R.E. initiative, a community service program reaching out to local elementary school children to educate them on the importance of health and education. In addition, Stenn has been dedicated to his company, Apolis Activism, a clothing company that partners with activist groups like Invisible Children and Citta to "create opportunities for developing economies by connecting them to the global marketplace."
Female - Trojan of the Year
Amy Massey, Soccer
Massey transferred to USC and made an impact on the USC athletic department while also helping the Trojans win the 2007 National Championship. She mobilized a department effort to raise money for a global outreach program, organizing a recycling program on campus in support of Water Wells for Africa. Each week, Massey made the rounds to recycling bins around campus and gathered bottles from teammates and hauled them to a local recycling center to collect the refund. All the money earned went directly to Water Wells for Africa. Massey raised the $5,000 necessary to install a well in Malawi and save the lives of hundreds of Africans who would otherwise be subjected to the diseases borne in unclean water.
Coach of the Year
Jovan Vavic, Water Polo
- Guided both men and women to the NCAA Championship games
- Men won their 4th NCAA National Championship in an undefeated season (29-0)
- MPSF Men's Coach of the Year (7th time winning this award)
- Earned 6th career National Coach of the Year accolades.
- Women's 11th straight 20-win season
Zara Lukens, Women's Track & Field
Zara had a 4.0 both semesters.
Ryan Philyaw, Men's Track & Field
Ryan had a 3.92 last spring and a 4.0 for the fall.