2024 CATSPY Awards Presented

2024 CATSPY Awards Presented

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 22nd annual CATSPY Awards were held Tuesday at the Central Bank Center to recognize athletic and academic performances during the 2023-24 year in the University of Kentucky Athletics Department. With multiple winners in some categories, 37 individuals were recognized as well as six teams. The 2024 CATSPY Awards cover accomplishments earned from April 2023 through April 2024.

Headlining the awards were the Teams of the Year – volleyball, men’s tennis, gymnastics and baseball.

Meeting and exceeding expectations was a theme for Wildcat squads during the year. Kentucky volleyball won its seventh-straight Southeastern Conference Championship, advancing out of the Lexington Regional to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Men’s tennis has established itself as an elite program in the Southeastern Conference. Cedric Kauffmann’s team has made the SEC Tournament Championship finals each of the last three years, bringing home the trophy back-to-back seasons. The 2024 championship, which was just won Sunday, capped off a historic SEC campaign that includes a perfect 12-0 record and regular-season title. The 2023 Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament after hosting the first and second rounds and Sweet 16 in front of record crowds in Lexington. The 2024 Wildcats will learn their NCAA Tournament path next week.

Gymnastics and baseball capped off the team of the year honors after record-breaking seasons. Gymnastics put together an incredible regular season in 2024, setting multiple program records, including a new school record team score of 198.100. Led by 2024 SEC Co-Coach of the Year Tim Garrison, UK earned its highest finish ever at the SEC Championships and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final. Baseball secured their second 40-win season in the past 15 seasons in 2023, hosting a NCAA Regional for just the third time. The regional was historic for the program, bringing out record attendance and helping UK advance to its second-ever NCAA Super Regional, where the Wildcats would drop two competitive games to the eventual national champion. The 2024 team is currently ranked in the top five in the nation and has a 32-7 record, including 15-3 mark in the SEC.

The Female Athlete of the Year award was shared by gymnastics’ Raena Worley and Laney Frye of women’s golf. Worley had a historic season for Kentucky, advancing to the national championships as an individual where she earned WCGA All-America honors. Frye, who earned All-America and All-SEC honors this season, finished third overall in a 70-person field at the 2024 SEC Championships. The Male Athlete of the Year award was also shared with men’s golf’s Alex Goff and men’s track and field’s Keaton Daniel getting recognized. Goff put together one of the most impressive performances of the year at the 2023 SEC Championships, finishing second overall. Daniel claimed the 2024 NCAA Indoor Pole Vault National Championship while also claiming his second SEC pole vault gold during the indoor season.

The success of the 2023 spring sports propelled UK to a 18th-place finish in the final 2023 NACDA Directors’ Cup national all-sports standings.

The Mr. And Miss Wildcat awards – dedicated in honor of the late Bruno Agostinelli, a UK men’s tennis All-American and past Mr. Wildcat winner – are presented to Wildcats who have represented all-around excellence in athletics, academics, character and service during their Kentucky careers. Eli Cox from football, Devin Burkes from baseball and Daniel from track and field were named Mr. Wildcat for 2023-24, while Miss Wildcat went to softball’s Erin Coffel, Jordyn Rhodes of women’s soccer, volleyball’s Azhani Tealer and Worley.

Men’s cross country and women’s soccer were the Academic Teams of the Year. Three Wildcats – Tori Orcutt and Sofie Davis of women’s swimming and diving and Ethan Kern of men’s track and field – earned Scholar-Athletes of the Year while maintaining impressive career grade-point averages.

Awards reflecting dedication and perseverance are the Mike Lyden Courage Award and Blue Heart Award. Kate Kaufling, a member of the UK Dance Team who passed away in March after battling a form of bone cancer, was remembered with the Mike Lyden Courage Award. Josh Kattus from football, Grant Smith from baseball and Martin Soereide from men’s soccer won the Blue Heart Award for overcoming injuries to return to action and make significant contributions to their teams.

A total of 19 Wildcats were recognized with the Elite Performance Award that highlighted outstanding plays, moments and performances of the past year. A list of those honorees is below.

Christi Thomas of the UK Sports Network was the host of this year’s event.

A complete list of awards is below:

Community Service Award
JJ Weaver, Football
Tori Orcutt, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Caroline Benda, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Lizzy Stevens, Women’s Tennis
Tanner Parks, Men’s Golf

Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Tori Orcutt, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Sofie Davis, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Ethan Kern, Men’s Track and Field

Academic Teams of the Year
Women’s Soccer
Men’s Cross Country

Bill Keightley Assist Award
Teagan Garrison, Gymnastics

Mike Lyden Courage Award
Kate Kaufling, Dance Team

Scratch Award
Logan Dorsey, Men’s Soccer
Creslyn Brose, Gymnastics

Supporting Role
JJ Mercer, Men’s Tennis
Erin Lamb, Volleyball

Female Newcomer of the Year
Brooklyn DeLeye, Volleyball

Male Newcomer of the Year
Reed Sheppard, Men’s Basketball

Blue Heart Award
Josh Kattus, Football
Grant Smith, Baseball
Martin Soereide, Men’s Soccer

Female Athlete of the Year
Raena Worley, Gymnastics
Laney Fyre, Women’s Golf

Male Athlete of the Year
Alex Goff, Men’s Golf
Keaton Daniel, Men’s Track and Field

Elite Performance Award
Jordyn Rhodes, Women’s Soccer –
Scored two goals in upset win over No. 9 Alabama to become the program’s all-time leading goal scorer with 45 career goals
Sofia Ceccarello, Rifle – First-Team All-America in combined, air rifle and smallbore; 1190 aggregate score vs. Alaska Fairbanks
Makenzie Wilson, Gymnastics – Became the first UK gymnast in decades to record a perfect 10.00, accomplishing the feat on vault on Excite Night
Raena Worley, Gymnastics – Recorded five perfect 10.0s in 2024, including four on floor exercise and one on uneven bars
Stephanie Schoonover, Softball – Incredible performance vs. No. 13 Alabama, throwing an 181 pitch complete-game victory
Erin Lamb, Volleyball – Recorded five kills in the fifth set vs. Arkansas as a substitute to help UK to a 3-2 win
Masai Russell, Women’s Track and Field – 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships Silver Medalist in 100H, 400H and 4×100 Relay
Erin Coffel, Softball – Broke the school record with her 62nd-career home run vs. UNC Wilmington
Mason Visconti, Men’s Soccer – Recorded two goals in UK’s upset victory over No. 1 Marshall
Alfred Baafi, Men’s Soccer – Recorded the game-winning goal in UK’s upset victory over No. 2 West Virginia
Ben Damge, Men’s Soccer – Scored two goals vs. Xavier in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, advancing UK to the second round for the fifth straight season
Ray Davis, Football – Four touchdowns in UK’s win over Florida with a career-high 280 yards earning national player of the week from multiple outlets
Barion Brown, Football – Broke UK’s single-season and career records for kickoff return average, including a return for a TD in UK’s victory over Louisville
Deone Walker, Football – All-America honors from multiple outlets after leading UK in tackles for loss, quarterback sacks and quarterback hurries
Braden Peiser, Rifle – Second-Team All-America in air rifle; gold medal in air rifle at GARC Championships; silver medal in air rifle at NCAA Championships
Reed Sheppard, Men’s Basketball – National Freshman of the Year scored career-high 32 points, including game-winner vs. Mississippi State
Devin Burkes, Baseball – Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 NCAA Lexington Regional, including game-winning home run vs. Ball State
Charlelie Cosnet, Men’s Tennis – Clinching point for Kentucky in 2023 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 win over Stanford at Boone Tennis Center
Keaton Daniel, Men’s Track and Field – 2023-24 NCAA Indoor National Pole Vault Champion; 2023 SEC Outdoor Pole Vault Champion; 2024 SEC Indoor Pole Vault Champion

Teams of the Year
Men’s Tennis –
2023 and 2024 SEC Tournament Champions, 2024 SEC Regular-Season Champions
Gymnastics – SEC Championship Third-Place Finish, Program-Record Score 198.100
Volleyball – SEC Championship, seventh consecutive season; NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
Baseball – 2023 NCAA Super Regional, 40-Win Season

Mr. Wildcat
Eli Cox, Football
Devin Burkes, Baseball
Keaton Daniel, Men’s Track and Field

Miss Wildcat
Azhani Tealer, Volleyball
Jordyn Rhodes, Women’s Soccer
Erin Coffel, Softball
Raena Worley, Gymnastics

Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom Kalinowski, Football

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