Jun 01, 2019
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly women’s volleyball standout Torrey Van Winden, who led the Mustangs to their second straight Big West Conference championship, and Joe Protheroe, a record-breaking fullback on the football team, have been selected as Cal Poly’s female and male athletes of the year for the 2018-19 academic year.
The awards were presented at the annual Night of the Mustang presented by Block P, Cal Poly’s letterman’s club, on Friday night in Mott Athletics Center.
Named Big West Player of the Year last fall, Van Winden also was placed on the All-Big West first team as well as the Big West All-Academic Team. The junior from Napa, Calif., and a graduate of Vintage High School majors in recreation, parks and tourism administration.
Other postseason honors for Van Winden include AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and a spot on the AVCA Pacific North All-Region Team.
Van Winden averaged 5.07 kills per set, good for third-highest average in the nation and the second most in a single season in program history. She was the Big West leader in hitting percentage at .365, which was also good for the ninth-best single-season hitting percentage in Cal Poly volleyball history, and recorded 12 double-doubles, finishing with 20 or more kills in nine matches.
As a sophomore in 2017, Van Winden was named to the Pacific North AVCA All-Region first team and All-Big West first team and also landed on the Big West Commissioners Honor Roll. She played her freshman season at UCLA in 2016, earning first-team All-Pac-12, All-Pac-12 Freshman and Pacific South All-Region honors.
Protheroe, the first Mustang football player to earn Cal Poly’s male athlete of the year award since Ramses Barden in 2009, earned seven All-American honors in the Football Championship Subdivision last fall, rushing for school records of 1,810 yards in his senior season and 4,271 yards in his Mustang career.
The Clayton Valley Charter High School (Concord, Calif.) graduate earned first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors three times, was named Cal Poly’s most valuable player by his teammates and finished fourth in balloting for the 2018 Walter Payton Award.
Protheroe surpassed the 200-yard mark in rushing three consecutive times late in the 2018 season, four for the year and five times in his Mustang career, all school records. He compiled 23 career 100-yard performances, another school record, accomplishing the feat in the final nine games of the 2018 season, and his 35 career touchdowns were three shy of the school record.
Protheroe tallied 128 or more yards in his last nine games of the 2018 season and 215 or more yards in three of his last four contests, including a career high of 260 yards against Idaho State.
He also was a two-time All-American following the 2016 season when he rushed for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns. STATS Inc. also named Protheroe a third-team All-American in 2015. Protheroe missed the final nine games of the 2017 campaign due to a knee injury.
Other female athletes nominated for the Athlete of the Year award were soccer midfielder Sydney Knauer, swimming and diving’s Amelia Feick, cross country standout Miranda Daschian, track and field jumper Abibat Rahman-Davies, beach volleyball star Tiadora Miric, golfer Caroline Cantlay and softball catcher Makenna Young.
Male athletes nominated for the award included baseball pitcher Michael Clark, golfer Tanner Podres, basketball point guard Donovan Fields, soccer goalkeeper Simon Boehme, wrestler Tom Lane, cross country standout Jake Ritter, track and field distance runner Alex Merder and swimming and diving’s Zack Allen.
Cal Poly's Male Scholar-Athlete for the 2018-19 school year is football offensive lineman Sam Ogee while the women’s award went to track and field triple jumper Abibat Rahman-Davies.
Named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 2019 Hampshire Honor Society in March, Ogee is a three-time Big Sky Conference Fall All-Academic Team member. He graduated in December with a degree in business administration.
Ogee started the first seven games of the 2018 season at left tackle before he was sidelined the final four contests due to injury. He played in eight games with six starts as a junior, played in all 12 games as a sophomore in 2016 and played in the final three games of the 2015 campaign as a redshirt freshman.
Ogee was a standout on both the offensive and defensive lines at Livermore High School.
A graduate of Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Rahman-Davies won her second straight Big West triple jump title three weeks ago with a mark of 41 feet, 8.75 inches, becoming the conference’s third woman in its 36-year history to repeat as triple jump champion and the first in 14 years.
A political science major with a concentration in global politics and a minor in French, Rahman-Davies went on to lead the Mustangs at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, placing 14th in the triple jump with a new career-best performance of 41 feet, 11.5 inches and finishing only two spots back of advancing to the NCAA Division I National Championships.
Rahman-Davies is a two-time Big West All-Academic Team selection and also has been a USTFCCCA Scholar honoree twice.
Seniors Miranda Daschian and Michael Giguere were announced as the Mustangs' Big West Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year in March.
Daschian won the 2018 Big West individual cross country championship and qualified for the NCAA National Championships. A psychology major from Atascadero, Calif., Daschian also won both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the 2019 Big West track and field finals.
Giguere, a business administration major from Westlake Village, Calif., won three consecutive cross country conference championship rings (2016-18) in addition to winning the 2017 Big West track and field 5,000-meter title. Winner of seven Big West All-Academic awards, he will complete the Master's in Accounting Program at Cal Poly in June.
Dom Dalpiaz, a wine and viticulture major from Martinez, Calif., and a graduate of De La Salle High School who helped break numerous school records in swimming relay events over the last two years, has served as President of Block P, Cal Poly’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the past year. Caroline Williams was vice-president and the Mustang wrestling team planned the majority of the Night of the Mustang event.
Kenny Higgins, a junior midfielder with the Mustang men’s soccer team and a graduate of San Clemente High School, attended the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in April at Orlando, Florida.
During the Fall Quarter, women’s cross country posted the top grade-point average of 3.380 while the top men’s team was men’s tennis with a 3.163 GPA. During the Winter Quarter, top honors went to women’s beach volleyball (3.333) and men’s cross country (3.187).
The top teams for cumulative grade-point averages are women’s tennis (3.293) and men’s cross country (3.104).
Cal Poly student-athletes are represented in 59 of the 66 majors offered on campus. During the Winter Quarter, 52 percent of Mustang student-athletes compiled GPAs above 3.0 and 10 of the 21 teams earned GPAs of 3.0 or above.
The combined grade-point average for all Cal Poly student-athletes in the Winter Quarter was 2.880.