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Pac-12 Conference

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Oregon's Kent, Mestler honored with 2024 Pac-12 Student-Athlete Leadership awards

May 23, 2024

Oregon acrobatics & tumbling's Mallory Kent and men's track and field/cross country's Vincent Mestler and have been named the 2023-24 recipients of the annual Pac-12 Student-Athlete Leadership Awards, the conference has announced.

The Pac-12 Conference established the Pac-12 Leadership Award to recognize student-athletes who have served on their institutional Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) and demonstrated leadership. This Pac-12 Leadership Award is a $3,000 scholarship for postgraduate study awarded to two student-athletes each year.

The Pac-12 Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is composed of representatives from each member institution, selects the winners of the award each year from nominations submitted by each campus SAAC.

A junior from The Woodlands, Texas, Kent has served on Oregon's SAAC for the past two years, co-chairing the organization's O Heroes community service division during which she helped spearhead an array of initiatives including Community Resource Fair and Math Night, Walk to End Alzheimer's, Eugene Bags of Love, Annual St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving Baskets, Trunk or Treat/Oregon Human Service, and Volunteer at Boys & Girls Club of Springfield.

Kent's accolades also include:

  • Three-time NCATA Academic Honor Roll member (2022-24)
  • Recipient of Oregon's Chi Alpha Sigma Award for exceptional performance as a student-athlete in 2023
  • Member of UO's Lundquist College of Business Honors Program
  • 2024 NCATA Duo Tumbling national champion partnered with Rachel Furlong
  • Helping Oregon reach the 2023 NCATA National Championship meet and 2024 national semifinals

A junior from Eugene, Ore., Mestler began his SAAC service as a freshman, assuming roles as athlete unification division co-chair and organization co-president over the past three years. With Mestler sharing the helm, Oregon's SAAC experienced its highest average attendance with over 100 student-athletes per meeting, and accomplished initiatives related to diversity/equity/inclusion, mental health, women in sports and student-athlete unification.

Mestler's accomplishments also include:

  • Five-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll member (Fall 22-23, Winter 23-24, Spring 23)
  • Two-time Oregon Dean's List qualifier (Fall 21, Winter 23)
  • Recipient of Oregon's Chi Alpha Sigma Award for exceptional performance as a student-athlete in 2023
  • Finishing ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2023 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships
  • Launching Mestler Athletics, a youth track & field program employing multiple UO student-athletes 

Both Kent and Mestler anticipate completing their undergraduate studies in business administration in just three years this spring, with intentions to pursue master's degrees in sports business at Oregon's Lundquist School of Business.

To be eligible for the award, nominees must have completed or be in their final season of athletics eligibility, be enrolled in or plan to attend graduate school, have been a letter winner in a varsity sport, and have served a minimum of one year on the campus SAAC. Other factors which may be taken into account during the selection process include other leadership activities, community service, grade-point average, service as a SAAC officer, and level of athletic achievement.

2023-24 Vincent Mestler, Oregon, men's track & field/cross country Mallory Kent, Oregon, acrobatics & tumbling
2022-23 Malia Pivec, Oregon, track & field/cross country Darcy Rees, Washington, women's basketball
2021-22 Lane Stigall, Oregon State, wrestling Eden Hardy, Oregon, soccer
2020-21 Joel Walker, Oregon State, soccer Natalie Robinson, Washington, beach volleyball
2019-20 Winners not selected due to the suspension of competition because of COVID-19.
2018-19 Owen Leonard, Washington State, baseball Shannon Williams, Oregon, lacrosse
2017-18 Matt Salerno, Arizona, swimming Natalie Modly, Oregon, lacrosse
2016-17 Jack Anderson, Oregon State, baseball Taylor Ricci, Oregon State, gymnastics
2015-16 Patrick Woepse, UCLA, water polo Clare Wise, Colorado, skiing
2014-15 Justin Brinkley, Stanford, track & field Danielle Buchanan, Arizona, gymnastics
2013-14 Robbie Lemons, Stanford, basketball Erin Menefee, Arizona, cross country/track & field
2012-13 Gareth Gilna, Washington, track & field Stephanie McGregor, Oregon State, gymnastics
2011-12 Greg Woodburn, USC, track & field Leslie Mak, Oregon State, gymnastics
2010-11 Thomas Webber, Arizona State, track & field Monica Graf, Oregon, golf
2009-10 Sean Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, UCLA, basketball Ariane Masschelein, Arizona, tennis
2008-09 Kyson Bunthuwong, California, gymnastics D'Anna Piro, Oregon State, gymnastics
2007-08 Justin Pollard, California, swimming Ingrid Kantola, UCLA, track & field
2006-07 Caleb Kirk, California, gymnastics Whitney Myers, Arizona, swimming
2005-06 Darrell Brooks, Arizona, football Anna Chappell, Arizona, basketball
2004-05 Emerson Ward, Arizona State, swimming Molly Seaman, Washington, gymnastics
2003-04 Jason Ranne, Arizona, basketball Nikki Neuberger, Oregon State, volleyball
2002-03 Adam Chivara, Arizona State, wrestling Janell Bergstrom, Oregon, softball
2001-02 Walter Chun, California, golf Cicely Clinkenbeard, Washington State, track & field