RACHEL GARCIA, SOFTBALLRachel Garcia had a tremendous 2018 with UCLA and Team USA softball. After redshirting due to injury in 2016 and being named National Freshman of the Year in 2017, Garcia was recognized as the USA Softball, NFCA and ESPNW National Player of the Year, as well as the Honda Sport Award winner for softball, in 2018. She was also named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, NFCA First Team All-American, NFCA First Team All-Region and All-Pac-12 First Team. Garcia was fourth nationally in strikeouts (315), tied for fourth in wins (29) and 16th in ERA (1.31). She was named a four-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, two-time NFCA National Pitcher of the Week, two-time USA Softball National Player of the Week, one-time NFCA National Player of the Week and one-time Pac-12 Player of the Week. Garcia was a dual threat, also ranking second on the team with 11 home runs and 54 runs batted in, boasting a .339 batting average. She was a force at the Women's College World Series, earning All-WCWS Team honors after striking out 42 in 23 innings with two victories. Garcia was 8-2 in the postseason with a 1.82 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings. Along with all of her recognitions with UCLA, she was a member of the 2018 USA Softball National Team World Championship roster. Garcia had a 1.05 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings at the 2018 WBSC Women's World Championship, helping the U.S. win gold and qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She also won gold at the International Cup, posting a 1.31 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
TOWNLEY HAAS, SWIMMINGAs Haas prepares for his final NCAA Championship as a senior leader of the 4x defending National Champion Longhorns, he earns his 2nd Big-12 Conference Men's Swimmer of the Year honor. A 15-time Big 12 Champion and 13-time All-American, Haas has earned NCAA National Championships in the last three seasons. In 2018, he took home the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle gold. In 2019, he's already nabbed gold in the Big 12 in the 200 and 500 again, the fourth straight year in the 200. Haas was also a member of the winning 800 free and 200 free relay teams. In the 200 free, he holds the NCAA, American, US Open, NCAA Championship meet and school records with a time of 1:29.50. A member of the USA Swimming National Team, Haas is also a 2x gold medalist at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. He looks to repeat his Olympic gold from Rio again in 2020 in Tokyo. Out of the pool, he volunteered time in Texas' community service program with the Longhorn Halloween event and Orange Santa being among the events.
ALEIA HOBBS, TRACK & FIELDThe first female collegiate athlete to win the 100 meter dash at the USATF Championships, Hobbs also won three NCAA titles in 2018 in the 60 meter dash (indoors), 100 meter dash (outdoors) and 4x100 meter relay (outdoors). She held the five fastest U.S. marks in the 100 meter dash in 2018 and did not lose a race during outdoors in her primary events (100m dash/4x100m relay) en route to a perfect 16-0 record. Hobbs ran four of the eight fastest 100 meter dash times in collegiate history in 2018 with a season best of 10.90 and set the collegiate record in the 60 meter dash (7.07) at the NCAA Indoor Championships to claim her first-career national title. The 2018 Corbett Award Winner (awarded to most outstanding amateur athlete in Louisiana each year), Hobbs anchored the collegiate record setting 4x100 meter relay team to a SEC title with a time of 42.05 and anchored three of the top six collegiate 4x100 meter relay times in 2018 (42.05, 42.09, 42.25). The Bowerman semifinalist, she won a combined 19 races between indoor and outdoor collegiate season. The 2018 USTFCCCA Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, she owns seventh-fastest 60 meter dash in world for 2019 (7.13).
MORGAN HURD, GYMNASTICSMorgan Hurd was born in China and adopted as a child by her mother, Sherri Hurd. She is known for her big smile and competing in glasses, which was inspiring to many bespectacled kids after Morgan won the World all-around title in 2017. Morgan is also an avid reader and hearing from her favorite author, JK Rowling, after that title was a moment of excitement. In 2018, Morgan began the competitive year by winning the women's title at the American Cup, the USA's most prestigious international event, and ended the year with the World team gold medal and the floor exercise silver and all-around bronze. Morgan has been ranked in the top three in the World for both 2017-18, which are the two years she has competed on the senior level. 2018 finishes: 2018 American Cup, Hoffman Estates, Ill. - 1st-AA 2018 Pacific Rim Championships, Medellin, Colombia - 1st-Team; 2nd-AA 2018 GK U.S. Classic, Columbus, Ohio - 3rd-AA, UB, FX; 7th-BB(T) 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Boston, Mass. - 2nd-AA; 3rd-UB, FX; 4th-BB 2018 World Championships, Doha, Qatar - 1st-Team; 2nd-FX; 3rd-AA; 6th-UB AA=all-around; VT=vault; UB=uneven bars; BB=balance beam; FX=floor exercise
LUKE MAYE, BASKETBALLThe team captain, he is averaging a double-double at 14.9 pts and a team-high 10.0 rebounds per game. Last year, he started every game and earned All-ACC and All-ACC Tournament honors. He was named the ACC's Most Improved Player and claimed third-team All-America honors. As a senior, he headed into the season as the Preseason ACC POY, now a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year and the Karl Malone Award as the nation's top power forward. He recently led the Tar Heels to a win at No.1 Duke, becoming the first in UNC history to score 30 pts on the home courts of both Duke and NC State. With 15 rebounds in the win, he became just the second player in NCAA Division I history to have at least 30 pts and 15 rebounds in a win over a team ranked No.1. He's just the second in program history to have a 30/15 game against Duke and is one of three players with 1,200 pts, 700 rebounds and 85 3-pointers and is the ACC leader among active players in career double-doubles. He carries a 3.468 gpa in UNC's prestigious Kenan-Flagler Business School. He was the 2018 winner of the Skip Prosser Award as the top scholar-athlete in ACC men's basketball. Those awards are still pending for this year, but was named to the 2019 Academic All-District team. He has earned Dean's List honors twice and ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition each year. He is a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic team, which takes into account both athletic and academic performance. Last summer, he studied abroad in South Africa. He is a recipient of the ACC's Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship and plans eventually to attend business school. In 2018 he was a recipient of the ACC Top Six for Service Award, recognizing him for his community service impact, making many school and hospital visits and other events. A finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, he also represents the basketball team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
MCKENZIE MILTON, FOOTBALLThe American Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row, Milton’s horrific leg injury suffered late in the 2018 season sparked talk amongst the world of college football. Coming off an already undefeated season in 2017, Milton was poised to continue to lead the charge and continued perfect record for UCF into the postseason again, before his season ending injury in the regular season finale. Milton finished 8th in Heisman Trophy voting in 2017 and then 6th in 2018, despite the injury. The reaction around the nation showed how much he is revered, appreciated, and supported, with fans across the nation plastering 10hana everywhere – a mix of #10, his jersey number, and ohana, the Hawaiian word for family. Extensive nerve and artery damage in his knee led to many surgeries, including reconstructive knee surgery. While this type of injury leads to amputation for many, not for Milton. His road to recovery, while long and full of many steps, is underway with Milton in the highest of spirits.
KATHRYN PLUMMER, VOLLEYBALLOn top of winning a NCAA National Championship, Plummer was also named the AVCA Player of the Year, ESPNW Player of the Year, Volleyball.Mag Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year, AVCA Pacific North Region Player of the Year and The Honda Sport Award Winner for Volleyball. She was named to the AVCA All-America Frst Team, VolleyballMag.com All-America First Team, AVCA All-Pacific North Region First Team, All-Pac-12 Conference First Team, and the NCAA All-Tournament Team, along with being named the Co-MVP of the NCAA Tournament. The Stanford Regional Most Oustanding Player, Plummer was named AVCA Player of the Week and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (3x) during the season. “Kathryn had such an incredible year. We played as difficult a schedule as we could put together and every team's games plan was to try and stop her," said head coach Kevin Hambly. "She, of course, responded by dominating as only she can. Volleyball is only a small part of what makes Kathryn special. She is a great student, she is heavily involved in the community and campus. She is also one of the humblest and hardest working athletes I have ever been around. She represents volleyball in the most respectful, classiest way possible. It is truly my honor to coach her!"