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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Semester-end Awards

    Most valuable athlete:
    Men’s cross country senior Robert Cheseret

    Robert Cheseret

    OK, it’s more of a lifetime achievement, but still. If cross country runners wore a number on the back of their jerseys, Cheseret’s would be retired. He’s been arguably the most talented and consistent athlete at this university for the past four years, yet somehow he still manages to fly under the radar. In 24 career races, he placed in the top three overall 15 times, taking first place seven times. He was a two-time Pacific 10 Conference Athlete of the Year and also has two Pac-10 titles and a Western Regional Championship – and that’s just cross country. In track, Cheseret’s list is as follows: Three-time Pac-10 Athlete of the Year; NCAA Outdoor Champion; Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor champion in two distances; and Pac-10 Champion in three. Oh yeah, he didn’t do too bad this semester, either, placing second in the 8,000 meters at the Pac-10 Championships and 10th in the 10,000m at NCAA Championships. Wow, we’re out of breath.

    Team of the semester:

    Sure, these guys didn’t break the postseasonless streak that now stands at eight seasons, but how many people before the season, if told that football was going to finish 6-6, wouldn’t have been pleasantly surprised? After a 3-5 start, this team was dead in the water, but its three-game winning streak, including wins over two ranked opponents, re-energized the team, the student body, the campus and the city. Football was by far the best story of the semester – and the best team.

    Antoine Cason

    Play of the semester: Antoine Cason’s 39-yard interception return vs. Cal

    Football’s three-game winning streak noted above wouldn’t have been possible without Cason’s pick, which gave Arizona a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter with 12:39 to play. With then-No. 8 California’s Nate Longshore looking to his left, then back to his right, Cason left just enough space between himself and the Golden Bears’ wideout, giving the appearance that he was open. Cason broke just as Longshore released the ball, and there was nothing but open field in front of him. Said Cason after the game: “”There’s no better feeling than that.””

    Mike Stoops

    Coach of the semester: Football’s Mike Stoops

    What more can be said about the Arizona football team? Oh, that’s right, none of it would have been possible without head coach Mike Stoops roaming the sidelines in his trademark visor. In just three short seasons, the former Oklahoma defensive coordinator has taken Arizona from oops to, well, Stoooooooops, molding the Wildcats into a team on the brink of a bowl. This season, Stoops equaled his win total from the previous two seasons combined.

    Chase Budinger

    Best newcomer: Freshman forward Chase Budinger

    To burst onto the scene is to “”emerge or spring suddenly”” – at least according to Merriam-Webster. How’s leading the team in scoring in three (and rebounding in two) of the first five wins for springing suddenly? Yeah, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t think Chase would be good this season – but this good, this early? We know it might not be allowed, but if Chase grows his hair out, can he play for the volleyball team?

    Chelsea McIntyre

    Most improved athlete: Sophomore goalkeeper Chelsea McIntyre

    Yeah, it’s easy to improve when the only previous experience you boast is one game the year prior when you gave up two goals in an overtime loss, but McIntyre filled the void when starting goalie McCall Smith’s season ended before the season because of a knee injury. McIntyre finished the season playing in all 20 games for Arizona, recording the first six shutouts of her career and surrendering just 24 goals in nearly 1,900 minutes of action.

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