DENVER – Idaho cross country and track and field athlete Melinda Ouwerkerk along with Hawai‘i men’s volleyball player Lauri Hakala and San Jose State baseball player Corey Cabral have been named the 2006-07 Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates Award winners. The award is named in honor of former WAC Commissioner Stan Bates. The award honors the WAC’s top male and female scholar-athletes and recognizes the recipients’ athletic and academic accomplishments. This is the first time since 1989 that there was a co-Stan Bates award winner on the men’s side.
Ouwerkerk, a senior from Abbottsford, British Columbia, is a biology and science major with a 4.0 GPA. In 2007, she earned the International Student Scholarship Endowment which is based on GPA, community service, leadership and career objectives. She earned all-WAC Academic honors in both cross country and track and field.
During 2006-07, Ouwerkerk volunteered for the Cardiac Rehab Program at Gritman Medical Center. She was also a camp counselor at Lutherhaven Camp in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.
At the 2007 WAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, the British Columbia native finished sixth in the mile and fourth in the distance medley relay. In 2006, she finished second in the 800m at the McDonald’s Open.
Hakala, a senior from Kuusamo, Finland, is a German and Communication major with a 3.72 GPA. Hakala was a three-time Hawai‘i Scholar Athlete. The outside hitter was named ESPN The Magazine District VII second-team honors in 2007 after earning first team honors in 2006. The Finland native was also a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative during the 2006-07 season.
Hakala is also highly involved in community service. He coached the Outrigger U-16 Club volleyball team and helped organize the 2006 and 2007 Relay for Life. Throughout his college career, Hakala visited elementary schools to talk about sports to children.
On the court, the senior played in a total of 70 matches and 224 games in a three-year career. He averaged 3.71 kills per game, 1.53 digs per game and 0.88 blocks per game. He ended his career hitting .306. Hakala had 45 double-digit performances, including a career-best 29 kills against Long Beach State on April 6, 2007. In 2006, he was an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American.
Cabral, a senior from West Sacramento, Calif., is a Business Administration major with a 3.376 GPA. The right-handed pitcher is a three-time Academic All-WAC honoree. During the 2006-07 season, Cabral was Co-Chair of the WAC SAAC and has been a member of the WAC SAAC since 2004.
Throughout his career at San Jose State, Cabral mentored elementary age children, helping with reading and playing sports. In 2005, he was an American Legion baseball coach in West Sacramento. In 2003, he worked children’s baseball camps and clinics along the East Coast.
In his final season, he saw time as both a starter and a reliever, helping the Spartans to a 34-26 overall record which was the best among the nine NCAA Division I programs in Northern California. San Jose State advanced to its second-straight WAC Tournament. Cabral made 17 appearances with a pair of starts.
2006-07 Stan Bates Award Nominees
Men, School, Sport
Lauri Hakala, Hawai‘i, Volleyball
John Heib, Idaho, Tennis
Corey Cabral, San Jose State
Women, School, Sport
Kanoe Kamana’o, Hawai‘i, Volleyball
Melinda Ouwerkerk, Idaho, Cross Country/Track and Field
Nina Gilbert, Louisiana Tech, Track and Field
Laura Kinneneman, Nevada, Soccer
Previous Bates Award Winners
Year Men, School, Sport Women, School, Sport
2007 Lauri Hakala, Hawai‘i Melinda Ouwerkerk, Idaho, Track & Field
Corey Cabral, San Jose State
2006 Jason Giuffre, Idaho Christine Harms, Nevada, Volleyball
2005 James Adam Davis, Track and Field, Rice Tracie Uchima, Softball, Hawai‘i
2004 William Barker, Tennis, Rice Allison Beckford, Track and Field, Rice
2003 Taylor Pullins, Baseball, Nevada Stephanie Pascucci, Volleyball, San Jose State
2002 Chad Stoloff, Tennis, Nevada Jennifer Ashcroft, Track and Field, Nevada
2001 Sebastian Iannariello, Tennis, TCU Becky Witt, Softball, Fresno State
2000 Jeffery Piper, Cross Country, Rice Jennifer Cafferty, Basketball, Rice
1999 Nate Kvamme, Football, CSU Shelly Borrman, Track and Field, Colorado State
1998 Byron Shefchik, Swimming and Diving, BYU Christina Bell, Soccer, Fresno State
1997 Obadele Thompson, Track and Field, UTEP Angelica Ljungquist, Volleyball, Hawai‘i
1996 Greg Myers, Football, Colorado State Teresa James, Basketball, Colorado State
1995 Stoney Case, Football, New Mexico Amy Burnett, Basketball, Wyoming
1994 Justin Hall, Football, New Mexico Heidi Standteiner, Skiing, Utah
1993 Jason Elam, Football, Hawai‘i Anu Kaljurand, Track and Field, Brigham Young
1992 Chris Nelson, Track and Field, Air Force Missy Marlowe, Gymnastics, Utah
1991 Robert Clayton, Swimming and Diving, Wyoming Laura Zaugg, Track and Field, Brigham Young
1990 Collin Davie, Track and Field, Utah
1989 Randy Welniak, Football, Wyoming
Chuck Cutler, Football, Brigham Young
1988 Chad Hennings, Football, Air Force
1987 Steve Bartalo, Football, Colorado State
1986 Rich Strong, Basketball, Colorado State
1985 Ed Eyestone, Track and Field, Brigham Young
1984 Jeff Kubiak, Football, Air Force
1983 David Schreck, Football, Air Force
1982 Frankie Sedillo, Football, New Mexico
1981 Blane Gaison, Football, Hawai‘i