May 30, 2012
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PARK RIDGE, Ill. — University of Iowa seniors Betsy Flood and Matt Gatens are two of 24 Big Ten student-athletes named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2011-12 academic year, the conference office announced Wednesday.
These individuals were chosen from a group of 300 student-athletes honored throughout the academic year who had displayed positive sportsmanship.
One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree. From each university’s list, two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected. All of the Sportsmanship Award honorees have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Flood is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Iowa track and field/cross country history. The two-time team captain is a five-time Big Ten Championships runner-up (3k, 3x5k, 10k) and ranks among Iowa’s track and field all-time top 10 performers in the 800 indoor, 1,500, mile, 3k indoor, 3k outdoor, 5k indoor, 5k outdoor and 10k outdoor. She also ranks among Iowa’s top 10 cross country performers in the 3k and 6k and is the school record holder on the 6,400-meter relay.
Flood is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and has been on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team four times. The Des Moines, Iowa, native is active in the University of Iowa Day of Caring and co-founder of Healthy Hawks, an organization of Iowa student-athletes that visits area elementary schools to promote health and nutrition. Flood also coaches on the Girls on the Run program for elementary students that teaches students about personal values and self-confidence.
Gatens was a leader on and off the court for the men’s basketball team. A second team All-Big Ten selection, he led the team in scoring (15.2), 3-pointers (75-of-183) and free throws (111-of-130), and ranked third in assists (69). The co-captain was awarded the Chris Street and Defensive Player of the Year awards at the team’s banquet. The Iowa City, Iowa, native was routinely assigned to stop one of the opposition’s top perimeter players and ranked second on the squad in steals, collecting a single-season best 48 in 2011-12. The guard ranks sixth in Iowa career scoring (1,635) and broke the school record for consecutive 3-pointers made (12).
The two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection has been a role model in the Iowa City community during his Hawkeye career. He has been involved in activities such as University of Iowa Day of Caring, visits to the Ronald McDonald House, frequent visits to the UI Hospitals & Clinics to visit children, and the VA Hospital to spend time with veterans. Gatens has enjoyed reading to children at local elementary schools multiple times a week and helped teach aspiring young basketball players fundamentals at summer youth camps. He has also taken time to interact with children with disabilities at Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa.
Both Flood and Gatens were representatives on Iowa’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which establishes guidelines and criteria for all University of Iowa student-athletes.