Cal Poly baseball junior shortstop Peter Van Gansen and women’s soccer junior forward Elise Krieghoff have been selected as Cal Poly’s male and female athletes of the year.
The awards were presented at the annual Night of the Mustang late Saturday night.
Van Gansen was the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year this season and a first team all-conference selection. He committed the fewest errors of any shortstop in the Big West and led the conference with 43 runs. He also hit .314 with 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs and had 28 RBI. Van Gansen is the first baseball player in Cal Poly’s 21-year Division I history to earn the award.
Krieghoff is the first soccer player to win the female athlete of the year honor since Sharon Day in 2008, although Day was largely honored for her track and field accomplishments.
Krieghoff, the Big West Conference's leading goal-scorer for the third straight season, has earned first-team all-Big West honors three times.
The 2012 Big West freshman of the year and 2013 Big West offensive player of the year has scored 46 career goals and will enter her senior season tied for the third-highest figure among active Division I players.
Midway through the 2014 season, Krieghoff was added to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy candidate pool, becoming one of 43 players eligible for the national player of the year award. She earned NSCAA All-West Region honors for the second year in a row last fall.
Krieghoff has earned Big West player of the week accolades eight times in her Cal Poly career, breaking the all-time conference record. She will enter her final season with 99 career points, 15 shy of the Cal Poly record.
Other male athletes nominated for the Athlete of the Year award were basketball junior forward Brian Bennett, cross country sophomore Clayton Hutchins, football senior linebacker Nick Dzubnar, golf sophomore Justin De Los Santos, soccer junior midfielder Chase Minter, swimming and diving senior Jimmy Deiparine, tennis sophomore Ben Donovan, track and field distance runner Nick Wolff and wrestling senior 174-pounder Dominic Kastl.
Female athletes nominated for the award were basketball senior guard Ariana Elegado, cross country and track and field junior distance runner Ashley Windsor, golf junior Madison Hirsch, swimming and diving freshman breaststroker Sage Speak, tennis sophomore Louise Oxnevad and softball sophomore pitcher Sierra Hyland.
Last year’s winners were men’s basketball forward Chris Eversley and Hyland.