Greg Jones wins second straight Male Athlete of the Year honor

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EAST LANSING – Six Michigan State University student-athletes have been recognized for excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom as they have earned the school’s highest athletic awards for 2010-11.

The awards include the George Alderton Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the Big Ten Conference Medals of Honor, the Chester Brewer Leadership Award and Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award. A panel of administrators and head coaches selected the winners.

For the second straight year, senior linebacker Greg Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio) was named the George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year, while senior runner Emily MacLeod (Loveland, Ohio) and sophomore women’s golfer Caroline Powers (Bowling Green, Ohio) earned George Alderton Female Co-Athlete of the Year honors. It marks the second time that two female athletes have won the Alderton in the same year (2003-Michelle Carson and Jamie Krzyminski).

Jones is the first back-to-back Alderton male winner since Jeff Lerg (2007-08) and just the fourth since the inception of the award in 1982 (Lerg, Mateen Cleaves and Ron Scott). After leading the team in tackles for the fourth consecutive year in 2010 with 106, Jones became only the fourth two-time consensus first-team All-American in program history. Elected a captain for the second straight year, his leadership helped propel MSU to its first Big Ten title since 1990. Jones, a three-time All-Big Ten first-team honoree, closed out his career third all-time at Michigan State in tackles with 465.

A two-time All-American, MacLeod has earned Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year in each of the past two cross country seasons while leading the team in each race. MacLeod adds to her resume five All-Big Ten and two All-Region honors, as well as four USTFCCCA All-Academic and eight Academic All-Big Ten selections.

Powers set an MSU record with her 73.53 scoring average in 2010-11 and her sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships was the highest in school history. A first-team All-Big Ten and National Golf Coaches Association honorable mention All-America selection, Powers finished in the Top 10 at seven tournaments, including her first collegiate tournament victory at the Lady Buckeye Invitational.

Center fielder and Academic All-American Brandon Eckerle (Durand) received the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor along with women’s golfer Aimee Neff (Carmel, Ind.). The Medal of Honor is presented to a male and female senior student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement.

Eckerle was also named the recipient of the Chester Brewer Leadership Award, while volleyball junior Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant) received the Dr. James Feurig Service and Achievement Award.

In addition, Eckerle and senior gymnast Kathryn Mahoney (Western Springs, Ill.) were named the recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Michigan State. One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by the institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree and from each university’s list, two outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected.

Award winners

George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year – Greg Jones (Football)

George Alderton Female Co-Athletes of the Year – Emily MacLeod (Cross Country/Track) and Caroline Powers (Golf)

Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor (Male) – Brandon Eckerle (Baseball)

Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor (Female) – Aimee Neff (Golf)

Chester Brewer Leadership Award – Brandon Eckerle (Baseball)

Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award – Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (Male) – Brandon Eckerle (Baseball)

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (Female) – Kathryn Mahoney (Gymnastics)