Multiple NCAA and Big 12 trophies were on display Wednesday night as the Longhorns held their annual women’s sports banquet at Bass Concert Hall.
It’s the one night a year when the Longhorns trade their burnt-orange sneakers for red-soled Christian Louboutins.
“It’s a really cool event, just exciting to see everyone dress up,” women’s basketball player Brady Sanders said as other athletes strolled a burnt-orange carpet for Longhorn Network cameras.
“That’s not something that happens usually with athletes on campus.
The Longhorns’ indoor track and field team was honored as the women’s team of the year after winning the Big 12 and finishing second nationally at the NCAAs. The Longhorns were just a half-point shy of winning their first NCAA indoor title since 2006.
Pole vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose, a junior from Round Rock, was named the women’s athlete of year after a dazzling 2013 in which she won Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles. Her indoor mark of 15 feet, 1 inch helped Petrillose grab the NCAA title.
The football and men’s basketball teams have their own awards banquet. Then, the entire athletic department honored academic success at an event in April at the Erwin Center.
The women’s athletic banquet is somewhat of a glitzy reminder that teams are held to high standards, women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky said. Winning is just as important in their sports as it is in football or men’s basketball.
“I do think the higher of level of school, the more you have to reinforce that it just doesn’t come with the uniform, the stature, the tradition and the territory,” Plonsky said. “We respect all those things. But what you bring personally and how you respond to coaching, critique, training, pressure and also how do you utilize all the things we give them to handle those things is what determines whether you’ll succeed or not.”
Women’s athletic banquet honors
Team of the Year: Indoor Track and Field
Outstanding Rookie Performance: Breaunna Addison, Tennis
Edith and Darrell K Royal Coca-Cola Solid Citizen Award: Samantha Tucker, Swimming
Texas Tough Award: Marielle Hall, Track/Cross Country
Jill A. Sterkel Leadership Award: Hannah Allison, Volleyball
Jamie Carey Comeback Award: Brady Sanders, Basketball
Longhorn Athlete of the Year: Kaitlin Petrillose, Track and Field
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