The Portland State Athletic Department hosted a “Salute to the Vikings” event last Thursday to honor the student-athletes of the year.
Recognized as the Team Sport Athletes of the Year were runningback Charles “Chip” Dunn (football) and leftfielder Kiauna Anderson (softball). Individual Sport Athletes of the Year were Jeremy Wilson (wrestling) and Taya Battistella (golf). Scholar-Athletes of the Year honors were given to Chris Cain (football) and Melissa Telford (cross country).
Originally from Pasadena, Calif., Dunn has racked up numerous awards over the year. He finished his PSU campaign with over 6,000 career rushing yards and set 16 school records. Dunn was named first team All-American by the Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association after leading the Vikings to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs last fall. Dunn was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and ranked second in the nation in rushing yards per game (162.9). Three times he was named National Player of the Week.
Wilson, originally from Dayton, Ore., was named individual sport Athlete of the Year after a stellar season that included a trip to the NCAA National Championship. Wilson placed second in the PAC-10 Conference Championships and had a 28-11 record for the year. He recorded 73 match wins in three seasons at PSU.
Hailing from Bend, Ore., Battistella led the struggling golf program to the Big Sky Conference. Battistella set Big Sky Conference Championship single round (69) and 54-hole records (219). The Vikings ended the tournament in third, the best finish in the four-year history of the program. Battistella also became the first Viking woman to reach the NCAA West Regional Championship.
Cain, originally from Tigard, has been awarded academic honors throughout his PSU career. He was first team Academic All-American in football. The senior defensive end had been a second team Academic All-American in 1999. Cain, a double major in Public Health Education and Business, had 47 tackles and six sacks for the 2000 season.
Telford earned Academic All-Big Sky Conference honors in cross country for the fourth consecutive year and earned the PSU Female Scholar-Athlete honor. A graduate student, Telford earned All-Conference Cross Country awards her sophomore and junior seasons and led the team this past season.