BOULDER - University of Colorado athletes Emma Coburn (track and field), Chucky Jeffery (basketball), Shalaya Kipp (track and field) and Emily Talley (golf) have all earned awards for their performances during the 2012 season from the Sportswomen of Colorado and Katie Hartman (skiing) was honored as the Comeback Athlete of the Year.
Paragraph summaries about each athlete's 2012 accolades follow:
Coburn competed unattached in preparation for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and placed fifth at the prestigious Nike Prefontaine Classic on June 3 in the steeplechase. Her time of 9:25.28 was the fastest ever ran by an American on U.S. soil and if she wasn't redshirting it would have been the collegiate record. Coburn entered the trials as the favorite and easily won in 9:32.78 to become the third current CU student-athlete with eligibility remaining to compete at an Olympic Summer Games. At the Games in London, she advanced to the finals by placing third in the second section (9:27.51). Coburn ended her year with a ninth-place finish and was the highest placing American in the finals with a personal best time of 9:23.54. She ranks second on CU's performance lists behind the American record holder and fellow Olympian, Jenny (Barringer) Simpson.
This is Coburn's third honor from the Sportswomen of Colorado so she will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.
Jeffery was Colorado's leader in nearly every major statistical category in 2012, averaging 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals. She was tabbed All-Pac-12 Conference by both the coaches and the media. The coaches also selected Jeffery to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team, a first for a CU women's basketball player in any conference. On the Pac-12 leaderboard, she ranked fourth in assists, fifth in steals, sixth in scoring and defensive rebounds (6.1 drpg), eighth in overall rebounding, 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8), 12th in field-goal percentage (.445) and 13th in free-throw percentage (.680). She became the 24th player in team history to reach 1,000 career points in the loss at Oregon (2/4) and in the process was the 10th to reach that milestone before her senior year and tied for the ninth fastest overall at 81 games (Tera Bjorklund, 2000-04).
Hartman returned to the slopes for the Buffs in 2012 after suffering a knee injury in a crash at World University Games in Turkey, one day after winning CU's first ever Gold Medal at the event. She was afforded a medical hardship and second chance at her senior season in 2012. Still not 100 percent, she returned to the slopes in record time given her injury and won the first collegiate race of the season, the giant slalom race as part of CU's home meet, the Spencer J. Nelson Memorial Invitational, extra special given that Nelson is Hartman's former teammate and roommate who died before the 2011 season and serves as Hartman's inspiration in skiing and life. In all, Hartman didn't miss a race in 2012, completing 13 of 15 races and bringing the Buffs a top 12 finish each time and capping the season with an All-American honor at the NCAA Championships despite suffering from the flu. After graduating, Hartman has turned her sites toward making the U.S. National Team ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Kipp's primary focus in 2012 was the steeplechase and she wouldn't lose a single collegiate race all season. She started the year off by running the fastest collegiate time (9:43.09) as she won the elite section at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite (4/29). Kipp became the first CU athlete to win an individual Pac-12 title on May 12 as she took home the steeplechase crown in 9:57.39. She came back the following day to score points for the Buffs in the 5k, finishing fifth in 16:23.32. Kipp went onto win the NCAA West Prelims (9:58.38) to advance to the NCAA Championships. There she easily made it past the semis and won a very close race against Florida's Genevieve LaCaze, crossing the finish in 9:49.02 to become the third Buff in seven years to win the event. (CU has won five of the last seven titles.) Her season didn't end there as she went on to compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, advancing to the finals and placing third overall with the Olympic Games 'A' Standard and lifetime best of 9:35.73. Kipp ran the semis in 9:48.33 at the Games to finish her season.
Talley set nearly every "first" in CU women's golf history and ended up re-writing the record books by the end of her senior season. She owns 43 of the 74 records in the CU book including 12 career and 11 season records. She led the Buffs to a No. 10 national ranking as a senior, the best final ranking by some 26 spots, and enabled the Buffs to compete at the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history. Her 73.6 stroke average in the spring was the second best mark in school history. She was at her best near the end of her career, posting a 3-under par 69 in the first round of the Pac-12 Championships, CU's first sub-70 score in the postseason, and topped that by shooting a 4-under par 68 in the final round of the NCAA West Regional at Colorado National Golf Course in Erie, securing CU's first trip to national's. She became the Buffs' first All-American in program history, earning honorable mention honors from both Golfstat and Golfweek.
Since graduating in May, she has been busy, winning both the Norwegian and California Amateur Championships and participating in an NCAA All-Star Trip before turning pro and completing the first two stages of LPGA Q-School, missing a full LPGA card by just three strokes in the third stage of qualification. She is fully exempt for the Symetra Tour in 2013 and will participate in some LPGA events.
Sportswomen of Colorado will be honoring Colorado's outstanding female athletes for their performance in 2012 during their 39th annual awards celebration on Sunday, March 10, at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. All award winners were chosen by a media panel from a pool of athletes of all ages nominated from throughout the state. More information can be found at sportswomenofcolorado.org.