Two of the top student-athletes in University of Evansville history have been honored for their achievements as Kyle Freeland and Kelby Jenkins were the recipients of the William V. Slyker and Ida M. Stieler Awards as the top student-athletes at UE.
For the second year in a row, Kelby Jenkins was named the Stieler Award winner. Jenkins completed her career as one of, if not the top runners in program history. In 2013, she earned her second-consecutive MVC All-Conference award and Scholar-Athlete Team award. In the final 5K race of her career, Jenkins set the program mark as she ran a 17:27.27 at the UE Invitational.
As a senior, Jenkins was victorious on four occasions while recording two runner-up finishes. She began her final campaign at UE with a victory at the Mid-America Opener as she posted a time of 14:49.75. At the Indiana Intercollegiate, Jenkins came home second out of 201 participants before pacing the 329 runners at the Greater Louisville Classic. Her record-breaking run at the UE Invitational in October marked her fourth home win in a row. She followed that up with an 8th at the MVC Championships before completing her career with a 22:21 at the NCAA’s. Jenkins finished her college career with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Junior Kyle Freeland was the winner of the Slyker Award. The southpaw from Denver, Colo. had one of the best seasons for a pitcher in program history. Those efforts culminated in him being chosen 8th overall in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by his hometown Colorado Rockies.
He became the third player in program history to be selected in the first round, joining Andy Benes (1988) and Steve Obenchain (2002) and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and selected to the Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team.
Kyle posted a 10-2 record and 1.90 ERA in 2014 en route to Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. He racked up 128 strikeouts, a mark that ranks second in school history, against just 13 walks and limited opponents to a .214 batting average. Freeland struck out a career-high 15 batters on two occasions this season, which came in back-to-back starts against Charlotte (April 4) and Wichita State (April 11).