Sorenson Receives Four Awards at Annual Banquet
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State wrestling team gathered Sunday at Johnny's in Hilton Coliseum for the annual awards banquet honoring the three seniors, supporters of the Cyclone wrestling team and student-athletes who have achieved highly in academics.
Seven Cyclones received the Academic Award for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Boaz Beard, Connor Clarke, Mikey England, Brandon Jones, Kyle Simonson, Andrew Sorenson and Chris Spangler each received the accolade. Clarke and Sorenson tied for the highest cumulative GPA on the team and received the Outstanding Academic Award as well.
The Most Improved award was given to redshirt junior Matt Gibson, who took a third-place finish at the 2011 Midlands Championships and was crowned heavyweight champion at the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo., on March 3.
The Dr. Wise Burroughs Leadership Award is given each year to the senior demonstrating leadership of his team and of himself. Former Cyclone wrestler and two-time NCAA Champion Eric Voelker presented the awards Sunday and spoke about the risks associated with stepping into a leadership role. Sorenson was given the honor because of his ability to lead the squad on and off the mat.
NCAA qualifiers Ryak Finch and Luke Goettl each earned the Freshman of the Year Award for outstanding campaigns in their initial seasons of competition. Finch finished with a record of 15-10 and was the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open champion at 125 pounds. Goettl's season was highlighted by an upset over No. 1 Kendric Maple of Oklahoma and a sixth-place finish at Midlands in the 141-pound bracket.
The Total Commitment Award was given to Beard as a result of his return to the Cyclone wrestling program after a season off to play baseball at Emporia State. Beard compiled a record of 10-7 for the 2011-12 season and was runner-up at 184 pounds at the Big 12 Championships.
Sorenson's fourth award of the evening was the Outstanding Wrestler award given to the member of the team who has consistently performed in all aspects of life including the classroom, off the mat and in competition. The Woden, Iowa native led Iowa State in victories with a final record of 28-4 overall, 17-0 in dual competition and earned a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championships.
To conclude the awards ceremony, the Cyclone Wrestling Club honored the three seniors: Kyle Simonson, Sorenson and Jerome Ward with a one-year membership to the club, along with a t-shirt. Simonson, Sorenson and Ward each gave a speech thanking fans, friends and family members for support over the years.