OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University women’s swimming and diving’s Laura Krueger (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) and men’s swimming and diving’s Ian Joyce (Hampden, Mass./Albemarle [Va.]) are the 2013 recipients of the seventh annual Spirit of Miami Award, presented to both a female and male senior student-athlete for each of their exceptional enthusiastic commitments to their teams.
The awards were presented Monday night (April 22) at the athletic department's annual Senior Dessert at Miami’s Shriver Center.
The Spirit of Miami Award is presented annually to the seniors who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication to their team. They were the "spirit" of the team, the team members who strived without recognition, achieved humbly for the benefit of the team and passionately contributed behind-the-scenes for the sheer privilege of experience, loyalty and investment in academic and athletic opportunity.
The winners personify the Miami University motto...
"Prodesse quam conspici" - to accomplish without being conspicuous.
Krueger, a biochemistry major, owns a 3.54 cumulative grade-point average and is the first women’s swimming and diving athlete to earn this honor. She was a three-time Honorable Mention Academic All-MAC honoree. A butterfly and individual medley specialist, Krueger was a part of a program that won a 17th Mid-American Conference title this season. Krueger placed first in the 200 butterfly in a dual meet against MAC foe Ball State and finished second in the same event against Ohio. She is noted by her coaches for her selflessness and leadership. Prior to the selection of who would be swimming in the MAC Championship meet or at the Ohio Senior Swimming Championships, Krueger asked her coaches to place her at the meet that would best help the team despite the possibility of not swimming at the MAC Championships.
“This was a small example of how she lived her career here at Miami,” said women’s swimming head coach Dave Jennings. “It was always team first, and she was always at the front leading the way for the team. Laura Krueger was the spirit of our program in her dedication and loyalty to Miami University Women’s Swimming and Diving. The leadership she provided both throughout the year and at the end of the season was unbelievable. During the Ohio Senior Swimming Championships, which was the meet for our athletes not swimming at the MAC Championships, Laura’s leadership, caring and attitude helped the group of 14 athletes have a tremendous weekend of swimming performances and a lot of fun."
Joyce, a double major in journalism and international studies, owns a 3.27 grade-point average and was a First-Team Academic All-MAC selection as a senior. A walk-on as a freshman, Joyce—a backstroke specialist—assumed the challenge of also competing in the 200 freestyle to make himself a more viable swimmer for the RedHawks, a difficult double-event combination. Following his sophomore season, Joyce sustained a significant shoulder injury that kept him from competition for an entire semester. During that time, he never missed a practice, kicking all of the sets and perfecting a one-armed dive that allowed him to continue to train while rehabilitating the shoulder. His positive attitude and dedicated work ethic, not only through this injury, but throughout his entire career served as a shining example for his teammates.
"It was not surprising to see Ian elected as a team captain by his peers for the 2012-2013 season with his optimistic outlook, persistence, and the ability to see the positive in everyone,” said men’s swimming head coach Pete Lindsay. “The senior class reinforced a culture of equality of opportunity and accountability that was a key factor in the excellent performances this year. Ian dropped significant time in his events over his career and placed 14th in the 200 backstroke at the MAC meet in 2013. Ian Joyce personified the teammate that we all wish to compete with and for. He has been an outstanding example of a Miami student-athlete, scholar and gentleman."
John and Lois Cocanougher, a Miami merger, created an endowment and named the award in honor of John's father--John E. Cocanougher, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Cocanougher were present for Monday night's ceremony.
Spirit of Miami Award Winners:
2012 -- Brian Gallagher, men’s cross country/track and field; Martha Buckley, synchronized skating
2011 -- Sean Mock, men’s basketball; Rachelle Boff, soccer
2010 -- Andrew Mock, golf; Lindsay Randall, softball
2009 -- Rion Robinson, football; Stephanie Wilson, soccer
2008 -- Charlie Effinger, hockey; Sarah Fletcher, women’s track and field
2007 -- Dan Leonard, baseball; Jamie Morris, men’s swimming; Shannon Chew, soccer; Laura Vlasek, tennis