Moore, Spence Honored
July 19, 2004
LAS VEGAS - Men's golf star Ryan Moore has been named the 2004 UNLV Olympic Sportsman of the Year, while women's track and field standout Christine Spence won the Olympic Sportswoman of the Year award, the UNLV athletics department announced Monday.
Moore, now a three-time recipient of the award (2002 and 2003 also), completed his junior year this past spring by winning the national championship. With the NCAA title, he became the second UNLV golfer in program history to win an individual national championship. It was the sixth individual national title in school history for all sports.
Moore, from Puyallup, Wash., made national headlines again last Saturday when he won his second U.S. Amateur Public Links title (his first was in 2002).
"You don't get any bigger than a national championship, which makes Ryan Moore a perfect choice for Sportsman of the Year," UNLV athletics director Mike Hamrick said. "He continues to pile on the accomplishments in one of the most impressive careers of any UNLV student-athlete ever."
Spence, from Lee's Summitt, Mo., finished her junior year at UNLV by earning All-America honors after finishing seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in a career-best 57.20 in the 400m hurdles, which was the second fastest time in school history. She also finished 13th in the high jump at the national championship.
Spence was outstanding at the 2004 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships, placing second in the decathlon with 5,194 points, just 16 points behind first place. It was the first time in her career she had competed in that event. She later broke the MWC record in the high jump, becoming the first woman in the conference to break six feet as she won the individual title with a jump of 6'-3/4".
"Through a spring season that saw her become a conference champion and All-American, Christine Spence brought new attention to an up-and-coming track and field program," Hamrick said. "We look forward to even bigger things from her as a senior."
The Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards were voted on by all of the head coaches from UNLV's Olympic sports programs.