LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Athletics celebrated its best and brightest from the 2021-22 academic year Sunday evening during the Red and Black Gala hosted by the JT and Margaret Talkington Department of Student-Athlete Development at Buddy Holly Hall.
The gala, a yearly event for Texas Tech student-athletes each May, recognizes student-athletes for not only their work in competition, but also in the classroom and through community service initiatives. The show also highlights various athletics staff and community groups for their efforts in promoting a successful student-athlete experience.
After earning its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years, Tony Graystone‘s volleyball program was a frequent recipient throughout the evening after being named the Women’s Team of the Year. Graystone, herself, was tabbed Women’s Sports Coach of the Year for her efforts revitalizing the volleyball program.
On the men’s side, the Red Raider golf and men’s basketball programs shared Team of the Year honors after Greg Sands‘team finished tied for 11th nationally at last year’s NCAA Championships. The men’s basketball program, meanwhile, went from unranked to start the season to a Sweet 16 appearance this past season, earning Mark Adams additional honors as Male Sports Coach of the Year.
Jace Jungthe reigning Big 12 Player of the Year on the diamond, and Ruth Usoro, a two-time national champion in the triple jump, were each named Red Raiders of the Year for their work in competition. They were joined on stage earlier in the evening by women’s basketball’s Bryn Gerlichwho was recognized with the prestigious Jeannine McHaney Award.
The ceremony also honored the top graduating senior for every sport, the list of student-athletes who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the fall semester and the recipients of the Big 12 Conference Dr. Gerald Lage Award. Additional winners included track and field’s Gabe Oladipo and softball’s Maddie Westmoreland with the Spirit and Sportsmanship Awards and then football’s Xavier White and soccer’s Penelope Mulenga as the Comeback Athletes of the Year.
Each award presented during the gala was determined based on academic merit in consultation with athletics staff, namely in the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes and the JT and Margaret Talkington Department of Student-Athlete Development.
A full listing of the Red and Black Gala Award winners can be found below.
RED & BLACK GALA AWARD WINNERS
Spirit & Sportsmanship Awards: Gabe Oladipo (Track and Field), Maddie Westmoreland (Softball)
Comeback Athletes of the Year: Xavier White (Football), Penelope Mulenga (Soccer)
JT & Margaret Talkington Student-Athlete Development Awards: Tony Bradford Jr. (Football), Callie Jones (Track & Field)
Top Team GPA: Men’s Golf and Women’s Golf
Red Raider Giveback Awards: Football and Women’s Golf
Jeannine McHaney Award: Bryn Gerlich (Women’s Basketball)
Athletics Administrator of the Year: Imelda GarciaAthletic Trainer (Volleyball)
Athletics Teammate Award: Night of Giving at Cardinals Sports Center
Strength & Conditioning Workhorse: Lexy Hightower (Women’s Basketball), Bryson Williams (Men’s Basketball), Riley Ehlen (Softball), Caitlin Dugan (Volleyball), Sandy Scott (Men’s Golf), Anna Dong (Women’s Golf), Isaac Arevalo (Men’s Tennis), Olivia Peet (Women’s Tennis), Konner Wood (Men’s Track & Field), Callie Jones (Women’s Track & Field), Thomas Velvin (Men’s Cross Country), Halena Rahmaan (Women’s Cross Country), Dadrion Taylor-Demerson (Football), Hannah Anderson (Soccer), Brandon Birdsell (Baseball)
Red & Black Award: Vivian Gray (Women’s Basketball), Bryson Williams (Men’s Basketball), Payton Jackson (Softball), Brooke Kansas (Volleyball), Sandy Scott (Men’s Golf), Gala Dumez (Women’s Golf), Ilgiz Valiev (Men’s Tennis), Margarita Skriabina (Women’s Tennis), Moad Zahafi (Men’s Track), Monae Nichols (Women’s Track), Edward Rush (Men’s Cross Country), Halena Rahmaan (Women’s Cross Country), Henry Teeter (Football), Hannah Anderson (Soccer), Parker Kelly (Baseball)
Fearless Champions Awards: Parker Kelly (Baseball), Vivian Gray (Women’s Basketball)
Red Raiders of the Year: Ruth Usoro (Track and Field), Jace Jung (Baseball)
Coaches of the Year: Mark Adams (Men’s Basketball), Tony Graystone (Volleyball)
Teams of the Year: Men’s Golf / Men’s Basketball and Volleyball