The second Ashland University ASHPY's awards took place on Sunday (April 30) night at the Upper Convocation Center.
Track and field earned five ASHPY's to lead all programs - 2017 Best Play of the Year (Myles Pringle anchor leg of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference indoor 4x400 relay), 2017 Male Freshman of the Year (Paul Murray), 2016 Spring Female Athlete (Jamie Sindelar), 2016 Spring Male Athlete (Pringle) and 2016 Spring Moment (Lauren Ellsworth earning All-American honors in her final collegiate event).
Ashland's women's basketball team, which won its second national championship in 2016-17, earned four ASHPY awards – 2017 Female Athlete of the Year (Laina Snyder), 2017 Female Freshman of the Year (Jodi Johnson), 2017 Record-Breaking Performance (first NCAA Division II women's basketball team to finish 37-0) and 2017 Best Championship Performance.
Three programs – swimming and diving, men's basketball and wrestling – all earned a pair of ASHPY's:
- Swimming and diving – 2017 Community Service Award and 2017 GPA Award (Grace Reichard).
- Men's basketball – 2017 Best Comeback (Michael Cain) and 2017 Best Upset (GLIAC Tournament semifinal win over Findlay).
- Wrestling – 2017 Best Moment (Michael Labry winning program's first national title in 21 years) and 2017 Coach of the Year (Josh Hutchens).
Retiring head softball coach Sheilah Gulas was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Gulas has been at Ashland for 21 seasons, and will go into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame in December.
"It just really puts things into perspective," Gulas said. "It's hard to think of your career when you are in the middle of your season. There have been so many moments this season that make you reflect back. It's just been so heart-warming the entire season.
"This team is just a special team, this group of seniors is a great group to go out with. But this team has been special."
Tight end Adam Shaheen, who was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2017 National Football League Draft on Friday (April 28) night, is the 2017 Male Athlete of the Year.
Rounding out the ASHPY's evening:
- Volleyball comeback in GLIAC Tournament semifinals vs. Lake Erie (2017 Best Game of the Year)
- Meghann Fitzpatrick, women's tennis (2017 Most Influential Team Captain)
- Derek Wood, WRDL-FM (2017 Eagle of the Year)
In addition, Make-A-Wish recipient Delaney Streby was given the 2017 Perseverance and Courage Award. Streby and her family were on hand Sunday night, and they will be going to the island of Moorea for her wish.
"That was awesome," said Zach Bernhard, Ashland University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President. "We don't want to lose sight of why we do this. To actually see that happen, I hope she has a great time. We all are ecstatic."
The second ASHPY's were presented by Ashland University SAAC. All proceeds from the ASHPY's went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.