FHSU Sports Information Department
Jon Inman (wrestling) and Crystal Whitten (volleyball) are Fort Hays State’s 2017 nominees for the MIAA Ken B. Jones Award, the conference’s honor for both its male and female student-athletes of the year. The award, now in its 24th year, is named in honor of the man who served as the MIAA’s first full-time commissioner for 16 years. Jones retired in 1997 and passed away in May 2004. He was inducted into the MIAA Hall of Fame in the inaugural Class of 2010.
The nominees (13 women, 11 men) will be paired down to three male and three female finalists that will be invited to Kansas City for the MIAA Awards Ceremony which will be held June 5 at the Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch. At the event, one male and one female will be announced as the winners of the Ken B. Jones Award.
A 15-member panel of athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors – including a representative from each member institution – select the finalists. Each nominee is judged in four areas: 2016-17 athletic accomplishments; career academic accomplishments; 2016-17 campus/community service; and career athletic and service achievements. To be nominated, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average as of February 1 and must have completed at least their junior season of eligibility in the 2016-17 academic year.
Inman was one of the three men’s finalists for the Ken B. Jones Award last year. He put together another tremendous season on the mat, finishing as the national runner-up at 197 pounds with a record of 28-4 for the season. He earned All-America honors for the second straight season after a fifth-place finish in 2015-16 at 184 pounds. Inman closed out his career with the school record in win percentage, going 141-28 in his career for a percentage of .834. Inman carries a 3.83 GPA as a Justice Studies major and is a four-time Division II Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic First Team selection. He also has CoSIDA Academic All-America honors to his credit.
Whitten had an outstanding final year of her collegiate career on the volleyball court. She earned AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors, leading the MIAA in both kills (491) and kills per set (4.13). A unanimous All-MIAA First Team selection, Whitten reached double figures in kills in 30 of 34 matches, while also reaching double figures in digs 19 times. She had 18 double-doubles in kills and digs for the season, leading the team in kills, digs, and service aces for the second straight year. Whitten produced 38 double-doubles in her two seasons on the court at FHSU. She averaged 3.76 kills and 3.44 digs per set in her career as a Tiger. For her entire collegiate career, which included two years at Pittsburg State, Whitten finished with 1,507 kills and 1,266 digs. Whitten is a Marketing major at FHSU with a 3.36 GPA.
The 2017 nominees are listed below.
Alex Springer, Central Missouri (Golf)
Jarrett Statsney, Emporia State (Football)
Jon Inman, Fort Hays State (Wrestling)
Sedeekie Edie, Lincoln (Track and Field)
Ryan Dyck, Lindenwood (Golf)
Tyler Sutherland, Missouri Southern (Baseball)
David Gaunt, Missouri Western (Baseball)
Tyke Kozeal, Nebraska-Kearney (Football)
Kyle Zimmerman, Northwest Missouri (Football)
Deron Washington, Pittsburg State (Football)
Cody Heiman, Washburn (Football)
Brittany Kallenberger, Central Missouri (Track and Field)
Tori Collett, Central Oklahoma (Softball)
Kathryn Flott, Emporia State (Basketball)
Crystal Whitten, Fort Hays State (Volleyball)
Kendra Smith, Lindenwood (Track and Field)
Abi Corbett, Missouri Southern (Softball)
Morgan Rathmann, Missouri Western (Softball)
Annie Wolfe, Nebraska-Kearney (Volleyball)
Baylee Price, Northeastern State (Golf)
Torri Blythe, Northwest Missouri (Softball)
Emilyn Dearman, Pittsburg State (Track and Field)
Natalie O’Keefe, Southwest Baptist (Track and Field)
Sarah Vicory, Washburn (Volleyball)