Portis and Somerville Offer Words of Gratitude at Cross Country/Track and Field Banquet|
May 21, 2013
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati cross country and track and field teams celebrated their 16th annual awards banquet Sunday afternoon inside of Fifth Third Arena. Seniors Shanay Portis and Terrence Somerville spoke to the crowd of 158 as sixteen awards were handed out Sunday.
The event reflected on the 2012 cross country and 2012-13 track and field seasons that saw numerous personal bests achieved, school records set and BIG EAST Conference titles won.
Somerville, who took home two awards, including the program’s highest honor, the Gettler Spirit of Track and Field award, shared his unique story of how he longed to celebrate a championship, but the dream was seemingly denied after scholarships for the men’s track and field program were cut in 2009. At that time head coach Bill Schnier released everyone on the team to transfer and national champion Florida State offered Somerville a full scholarship. Somerville, however, opted for loyalty and stayed at UC. His career flourished and he recently won the 2013 BIG EAST Conference title in the 110-meter hurdles, setting the school record with a time of 13.41.
“That loyalty best describes our school and our team,” said Schnier.
Portis’ story is just as inspiring, and she expressed deep appreciation of her teammates and coaches for the opportunity to study and compete at UC. A Springfield, Ohio native, Portis came to UC as an at-risk student. She recently graduated with a degree in criminal justice and a cumulative GPA over 3.2. Her marked improvement earned her a spot on the Scholar Baller First Team, an award that recognizes the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum on each nominee and his or her peers. For her leadership, Portis was given the Bearcat Award.
Josh Dangel and Mackenzie Fields received the most valuable field awards for their impressive seasons. Dangel set the Gettler Stadium record (17'6.25" ) and was crowned 2013 BIG EAST Champion in the outdoor pole vault, while Fields swept the indoor and outdoor Conference titles, while setting the Gettler Stadium and school records in the outdoor pole vault with a mark of 14'1.25".
Emelie Larsson, who set the school record with a toss of 173'2" to win the javelin throw at this year’s BIG EAST Track and Field Championships, also received one of this year’s Bearcat Award.
“The banquet is always nice,” said Schnier. “It is nice to have everyone together in one place on the same day. Everyone always leaves happy.”
"Celebrating our highest achievers, honoring our seniors and sharing the stories of the past season at our banquet is always a fun occasion," said women's head coach Susan Seaton. "This one was special because it was men's head coach Bill Schnier's last banquet and it gave us a chance to again honor a great man and his many achievements."
2013 Cross Country – Track and Field Award Winners