Light the Tower: Student Athletes Win Individual Awards
The UT Tower will shine with burnt-orange lights Wednesday, September 7 to honor three student athletes who won top awards in their respective sports.
The three honorees are:
- Ivan Melendez, Texas Baseball, for receiving the 2022 Golden Spikes Award. Created in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award honors the top amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport. Melendez is the first Longhorn to win the award in the program’s heralded history. finished his redshirt-junior season leading the nation in home runs (32), RBI (94), slugging percentage (.863), and total bases (214), as well as landing in the top 10 in three other offensive categories: hits (96), on-base percentage (.508), and runs scored (75). He broke Texas’ regular-season home run record in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament after launching his 29th homer of the year. Melendez was named the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the Big 12 in six offensive categories: batting average (.421), home runs (28), RBI (85), on-base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.941), and OPS (1.472). Additionally, he earned conference Player of the Week a record five times throughout the regular season.
- Peyton Stearns, Texas Women’s Tennis, for receiving the 2022 Honda Sport Award winner for Tennis. Signifying “the best of the best in collegiate athletics,” The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) for the past 46 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Stearns becomes the first player in program history to win the Honda Sport Award for Tennis and the first Longhorn in any sport to be recognized as a Honda Sport Award recipient since Courtney Okolo (Track and Field) in 2016.
- Fran Raggi, Texas Rowing, for receiving the CRCA Athlete of the Year. This inaugural award from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association recognizes student-athletes for their successes this past season and their demonstrated leadership on and off the water. A three-time All-American, the 2022 Big 12 Rower of the Year helped guide the Longhorns to the NCAA National Championship for the second consecutive year and was a member of the Texas First Varsity Eight that captured a second-straight national title.