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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Top 5 male athletes

 Derrick Williams, Basketball

Before the basketball season began, Arizona freshman forward Derrick Williams was supposed to be raw and athletic — something to look forward to for the future. But just three games into the season in a

61-65 loss to Wisconsin on Nov.  23, 2009, Williams had a coming out party, scoring 25 points and getting to the free throw line 21 times. Williams rode the high-scoring performance to a Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year trophy and the Sporting News NCAA All-Freshman first team. Arizona fans can expect a super sophomore season as Williams works himself into an NBA draft pick next season.

— Vincent Balistreri

 

Nick Foles, Football

Nick Foles’ path to becoming a starter has been well documented, but his success despite the circumstances is nothing short of impressive. Foles was thrown into the fire after a devastating loss to Iowa and with the season already in a state of flux. Add in the season-long injury to Rob Gronkowski, the nagging injuries to running backs Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin and the wave of injuries to the offensive line, and you have a first-time starter trying to command a sinking ship. But it didn’t matter. Foles completed 63.6 percent  of his passes and was sacked just 11 times.

— Tim Kosch

 

Kurt Heyer, Baseball

The freshman right-hander out of Huntington Beach, Calif., set the tone for the youthful Arizona baseball team from the moment he stepped onto the mound. Heyer pitched his way into Arizona record books after firing a 13-strikeout performance in his collegiate debut. With the performance, Heyer showed his team, which included 17 freshmen, that age is only a number. Since his debut, Heyer has been nearly flawless. His 2.22 ERA (third in Pac-10), 6-1 record and 89 strikeouts (third in Pac-10) are almost unheard of for a freshman, but come as no surprise due to his second-to-none work ethic and uber-competitve nature.

— Mike Schmitz

 

Ricky Elmore, Football

At the start of the season, Ricky Elmore was known as the defensive end that played opposite of Brooks Reed, but by the end he was a force that everyone in the Pac-10 knew about. His 10.5 sacks were enough to lead the conference. He started all 13 games and emerged as one of the leaders of the unit.

— Tim Kosch

 

Cory Chitwood, Swim

The 2008-09 season was a tough one for Cory Chitwood.  A shoulder injury forced him to miss the season and redshirt. During the NCAAs he painfully watched the

200-yard backstroke, just wanting to be able to race.  But he came back this season stronger than ever. Chitwood fought off tough competition and an even tougher virus to become the 200y backstroke national champion. He set a pool record at the event.  Thanks to that great performance, Chitwood will be looked to as a leader for next year’s young team.

— Derek Lawrence 

 

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