UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University Athletic Department has selected two Cardinal student-athletes; Alycia Wright (Macomb, Mich. / Lutheran North HS) and Zach Myers (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern HS) as the 2011-12 recipients of the "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award.
The "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award is the most prestigious Cardinal athletic award. During his tenure, former SVSU president, Dr. Jack M. Ryder and his wife, Lila, were both passionate fans of Cardinal Athletics. Their support and contributions to the SVSU athletic program are recognized on an annual basis with the presentation of the "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award, which is presented to the top male and female Cardinal student-athletes.
Zach Myers – Men’s Soccer
Myers, the GLIAC "Defensive Player of the Year" and First Team All-GLIAC selection, started all 20 matches in his third season with the SVSU men's soccer program. Myers was an integral part of the defense allowed just 18 goals in 20 games, leading the Cardinal men's soccer program to their first GLIAC Men's Soccer Championship and NCAA postseason appearance in school history.
Myers tallied two goals and two assists last season on 18 shots. He was also selected to the NSCAA Midwest All-Region Team in 2011. Myers, a Business Management major, has also excelled in the classroom, achieving a 3.62 grade point average. His high academic standing landed him on the 2011-12 GLIAC Academic All-Excellence Team. Zach and his Cardinal teammates are currently in the hunt for another conference title in 2012, his senior year.
SVSU Men's Soccer head coach Cale Wassermann on Zach Myers:
"I am extremely happy for Zach with all the accomplishments he has received in the past year. The best part about Zach is that he is not satisfied easily and still wants more. He is extremely competitive both in the classroom and on the playing field and is always looking to improve, which is why he is so successful. On top of being competitive and an extremely hard-working person, Zach also shows tremendous character and spends time doing extra-curricular activities such as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, working with kids at the Saginaw Soccer Complex, and being an academic adviser on campus. Zach is a great kid and hopefully this award is just the start for him as this fall he has high hopes to reach some goals with the soccer team that we are working towards, and with Zach's help, hopefully we can reach them together."
Alycia Wright – Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Wright holds many Saginaw Valley track and field school records, including the indoor 800 meter run and distance medley relay as well as the outdoor 800 meter and 1500 meter competitions. Alycia was part of the 2011 SVSU women's cross country team that qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships for the first time in school history, finishing 13th overall in the country.
At the indoor track and field championships, Wright achieved All-American honors as part of the distance medley relay team. The squad set a new school record of 11:48.53 at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships as they finished eighth to take home All-American honors. Wright also competed in the 800-meter run timing in at 2:11.75. With the sixth place finish, Wright earned her second All-American honors at the National Championships.
In the outdoor track and field season, Wright automatically qualified to compete in the 800 and 1,500-meter runs. Wright competed in the finals of both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs, placing sixth in both events. With these top-finishes, Wright garnered two more All-American honors for Saginaw Valley.
Wright currently has a 3.5 grade point average and graduated in August with a degree in Exercise Science. She has excelled academically, earning President's List (4.0 GPA) recognition four times throughout her career as well as GLIAC All-Academic honors all four years.
SVSU Cross Country/Track & Field head coach Rod Cowan on Alycia Wright:
"Alycia had an awesome career. Her final season was inspiring to watch as she set high goals and worked hard to achieve them. Starting with the cross country season and going into the track season she got better and more confident with each race. That confidence served her well as she finished the season with four All-American honors. "
Alycia Wright and Zach Myers were recognized at halftime of the football game against Wayne State on Thursday, October 11th.