IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa Department of Athletics recognized academic and athletic accomplishments of its student-athletes at the second annual Golden Herkys on Wednesday evening at Englert Theater in downtown Iowa City.
The event was an opportunity for student-athletes to socialize with their peers, while also celebrating the past year with the announcement of awards.
The event was highlighted by the announcement of seniors Peter Jok (men’s basketball) and Ally Disterhoft (women’s basketball) being recognized as “UI Athletes of the Year”. Jok and Lindsay Herra (women’s track and field) were named “Hawkeyes of the Year”, which encompasses athletic and academic achievement, as well as community service engagement.
Jok became the fifth player in school history, and first in 10 years, to lead the Big Ten in scoring. Jok was recognized as an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten and All-District, named the team’s Chris Street Award winner and won the College 3-Point Championships event following his senior year. He established new school free throw accuracy records for a single-season and career, while also breaking the school’s 55-year-old single game free throws made record, previously held by Don Nelson. Jok finished his career 15th in Iowa career scoring and fourth in 3-pointers.
Disterhoft etched her name into the Iowa women’s basketball history books this season, scoring 560 points in her senior campaign to break Iowa’s 37-year-old, all-time career scoring record. This accomplishment also earned her the “Record Breaking Performance” Golden Herky. Her 2,102 career points are the second most by any Hawkeye – male or female – in Iowa basketball history. The Iowa City, Iowa, native became just the fifth scholar-athlete to ever be named the CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year in back-to-back seasons. She ended her career ranked among the top-15 in Hawkeye history in five categories, including career points, 3-point field goals, blocks, rebounds, and assists. She is now one of four Hawkeyes to be named Female Athlete of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Herra is a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and two-time academic All-Big Ten honoree. A thrower on the Hawkeye women’s track and field team, she was invited to participate in the 2016 NCAA Career in Sports Forum.
“The Golden Herkys is an awesome event put on by student-athletes, for student-athletes to celebrate a year full of hard work and success,” said Herra. “It’s a fun opportunity to come together to support each other and build relationships. It’s events like this that remind me how great it actually is to be a Hawkeye!”
The Hawkeye wrestling and women’s gymnastics teams were named “Most Outstanding Teams”.
NCAA Champion Cory Clark, who took home two Golden Herkys – “Outstanding Postseason Performance” and “Best Reaction to a Play” led the Hawkeye wrestlers s to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Crowning five All-Americans at the national tournament, Iowa posted a 13-2 dual meet record and placed third at the Big Ten Championships.
The women’s gymnastics team finished the season ranked in the top 20 nationally. The GymHawks finished third at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Regional, sending two qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. Head coach Larissa Libby was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while seniors Mollie Drenth and Angel Metcalf were named to the Big Ten All-Championship team.
“I’ve loved seeing the Golden Herkys take shape this year,” said Hawkeye softball player Sarah Kurtz, whose team earned the “Community Service Award”. “There were a lot of hours put into writing the script by student-athletes and (UI Student-Athlete Academic Services Senior Associate Director of Operations and Events) Kara Park to really make it unique this year. As a presenter, it was cool to see student-athletes from different sports get to know each other through the production of the Golden Herkys and writing scripts together. It will be fun to see the event continue to grow!”
Freshman women’s tennis player Elise van Heuvelen played from start to finish at the Hawkeyes’ No. 1 singles and doubles positions, earning the “Outstanding Newcomer” award. She won a team-high 13 singles matches at the top spot, and teamed with Zoe Douglas to put together a 10-2 doubles record, reaching as high as No. 80 in the ITA Doubles rankings.
Senior Alexis Hernandez (women’s track and field) and freshman Jordan Bohannon (men’s basketball) won the Golden Herky awards for “Breakthrough Athlete”. Hernandez is a three-time second team All-American and has run on 18 relays that rank in the top 10 all-time best performances in Hawkeye history. Bohannon had a tremendous rookie campaign as Iowa’s point guard, becoming one of only two freshmen in the entire country over the last 25 years to total 175 assists and make 85 3-pointers in a season.
The Golden Herkys for “Best Upset” and “Best Play” were awarded to the Hawkeye football team for its 14-13 victory over #2 Michigan at Kinnick Stadium. Freshman kicker Keith Duncan sealed the win by converting a 33-yard field goal as time expired.
2017 GOLDEN HERKY AWARD WINNERS
OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER — Elise Van Heuvelen (Women’s Tennis)
OUTSTANDING POSTSEASON PERFORMANCE — Cory Clark (Wrestling)
MALE BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE — Jordan Bohannon (Men’s Basketball)
FEMALE BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE — Alexis Hernandez (Women’s Track & Field)
BEST UPSET — Football vs. Michigan
MALE MOST OUSTANDING TEAM — Wrestling
FEMALE MOST OUSTANDING TEAM — Gymnastics
BEST PLAY — Field goal by Keith Duncan vs. Michigan (Football)
RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCE — Ally Disterhoft (Women’s Basketball)
BEST REACTION TO A PLAY — Cory Clark/Terry Brands Mat Throw at NCAA Championships (Wrestling)
STAFF-LETE — Paula Jantz (Senior Associate Athletics Director) and Chris Idler (Assistant Equipment Manager)
LIP SYNC VIDEOS — Men’s & Women’s Track & Field
MALE HAWKEYE OF THE YEAR — Peter Jok (Men’s Basketball)
FEMALE HAWKEYE OF THE YEAR — Lindsay Herra (Women’s Track & Field)
TEAM GPA AWARDS — Men’s Cross Country (Fall 2016), Soccer (Fall 2016), Men’s Gymnastics (Spring 2016), Women’s Cross Country (Spring 2016)
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD — Softball
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — Peter Jok (Men’s Basketball)
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — Ally Disterhoft (Women’s Basketball)