Athletics News

Adam and Gerken Win Rice's Highest Athletic Honors

April 17, 2011

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Houston -- Rice University men's track and field athlete Philip Adam and swimmer Karen Gerken have received Rice's highest athletic honors at the annual Night of the Owl athletic awards ceremony held Sunday evening inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

Adam, an All-America decathlete, is this year's winner of the Bob Quin Award, which is given to Rice's most outstanding all-around senior male athlete. It is given in memory of Bob Quin, a well-respected Rice student-athlete who passed away during an Atlantic voyage in 1930. Adam becomes the 81st recipient of the Bob Quin Award and he is the 19th track and field student-athlete to be so honored.

Gerken receives the 36th Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, which honors long-time Rice supporter Joyce Pounds Hardy and is presented to the top overall female student-athlete for her efforts in athletics, in the classroom, and in the community.

A native of Santa Maria, Calif., Adam earned All-America status at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He is a three-time Conference USA champion, twice in the decathlon (2009 and 2010) and in the heptathlon (2008) and he is the Rice indoor record holder for the heptathlon. Adam has also placed second three times, once in the decathlon (2008) and twice in the heptathlon (2007 and 2010).

Scholastically, Adam sports a 3.95 grade point average with a double-major in economics and policy studies. The senior is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, three-time Rice Scholar Athlete, and a two-time C-USA Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Philip is the son of George and Deborah Adam and is a member of Jones College.

Senior Karen Gerken, from Cedar Park, Texas, is the fourth Owl swimmer to be bestowed the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award. Her mother, Kay (Snell) Gerken won the award in 1981, and was also as a member of the Rice swimming team.

Karen became a team captain her junior year and she was the swim team's "True Blue Spirit" award winner for 2010, as the Owls' swimmer with the best enthusiasm and positive attitude at meets and during daily practice. She also won the C-USA 500 freestyle event to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championship, and she helped led the Owls to their first-ever C-USA team title in 2011.

These swimming accolades are even more impressive considering that Gerken made into Rice on her own merits and was a walk-on to the swimming team. She eventually earned scholarship aid along the way, as she made great improvements in every year.

She has been actively involved in Hanzen College's student government and leadership. She has been involved in O-Week, peer mentoring, and has truly integrated and embraced Rice student culture during her four years at Rice. Karen has been a student volunteer on campus and off. She has helped coach elementary school age kids with the Rice Aquatics swim program, has been involved in SAAC community volunteer efforts, and she has participated in Hanzen College volunteer activities.

A Rice Scholar Athlete, Karen led the team in grade point average at 3.85, majoring in sociology and has been accepted into the University of North Carolina's PhD program in sociology. She is the daughter of Chris and Kay Gerken and she is a member of Hanszen College.

Winning Rice's highest athletic academic award were track and field athlete Matt Carey and Sophie Peeters, also a track and field athlete. Carey earned the 2011 Hubert E. Bray Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Peeters garnered the 2011 Margie E. Sass Scholar Athlete of the Year honor.

2011 Bob Quin Award: Philip Adam, track and field
2011 Joyce Pounds Hardy Award: Karen Gerken, swimming

Sport MVP Awards
Baseball - 2010 Dell Morgan Award - Anthony Rendon
Women's basketball - Gene Hackerman Award - Jessica Kuster
Men's basketball - Billy Wohn Award - Arsalan Kazemi, Tamir Jackson
Women's cross country and track & field - 2010 Eva Jean Lee Award - Shakera Reece
Men's cross country and track & field - 2010 Emmett Brunson Award - Jason Colwick
Football - George Martin Award - Travis Bradshaw, Cheta Ozougwu
Golf - Vic Cameron Award - Michael Whitehead
Women's Soccer - Amy Beger
Swimming - Catherine Hannah Award - Chelsea Fong, Shelby Bottoms
Women's Tennis - 2010 Kay Pearson Keating Award - Jessica Jackson, Rebecca Lin
Men's Tennis - 2010 Sammy Giammalva Award - Bruno Rosa
Volleyball - Hally Beth Poindexter Award - Tracey Lam
Freshman of the Year - Jessica Kuster, women's basketball
Athletic Training - Vanessa Martinez, Samuel Wu
Carl Isgren Iron Owl Awards - Jessica Goswitz (women's basketball), Tanner Shuck (football)
Spirit Award - Dr. Rick Schell
Community Service Award - Volleyball Team



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