Mountain West Announces 2012-13 Athletes of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - New Mexico's DJ Peterson (baseball) and San Diego State's Shanieka Thomas (track and field) were announced today as the recipients of the 2012-13 Mountain West Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards, respectively.

Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in May 2010, the MW Athlete of the Year Awards are bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved athletic excellence during the past academic year. In addition to superior athletic achievement, criterion for the MW Athlete of the Year Award requires that nominees be in good academic standing throughout their season of competition, and demonstrate good character and conduct on and off the playing field.

Peterson shared 2013 Mountain West Player of the Year honors with teammate Mitch Garver after helping lead New Mexico to a league-record 25 Conference wins and the MW regular-season crown. Hailing from Gilbert, Ariz., he led the Conference in eight statistical categories in 2013, including batting average (.408), home runs (18) and runs batted in (72) to capture the MW triple crown. Peterson also boasted league-highs in slugging percentage (.807), on-base percentage (.520), runs scored (68), doubles (25) and total bases (176). Defensively, the junior first-team All-MW selection posted a .989 fielding percentage while splitting time between first and third base. A semifinalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes and Dick Howser awards, Peterson was also tabbed the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association's (NCBWA) District VIII Player of the Year. In addition, he was named to the Baseball America, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-America first teams, as well as the NCBWA second team. Peterson was selected by the Seattle Mariners as the 12th pick in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, marking the highest draft choice in Lobo baseball history.

Thomas became just the fifth San Diego State student-athlete to win an individual national track and field title when she won the triple jump event with a leap of 46'-4.75" (14.14m) at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The rising senior currently boasts the nation's best outdoor triple jump mark of 2013 after posting a winning mark of 46'-5.25'' (14.15m) at the MW Outdoor Championships. That performance established new championship and all-time records in the Conference. In addition, she also won the MW long jump crown with a leap of 20'-7.25'' (6.28m) and was part of the Aztecs' winning 4x400 relay squad that clocked a time of 3:35.41. Thomas' contributions helped lead the Aztecs to their first MW outdoor team title in 10 years. The St. Andrew, Jamaica, native narrowly missed sweeping the national crowns in the triple jump, finishing second in that event at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships with a leap of 45'-4.25'' (13.82m). Thomas led the nation in the triple jump for most of the indoor season with a mark of 46'-2.50'' (14.08m), which ranks as the eighth-best distance in NCAA history. Thomas was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the 2013 MW Indoor Championships after she won the triple jump (43'-9", 13.33m), placed second in the 400-meter run (55.67) and was a member of the winning 4x400 relay team (3:42.11) as the Aztecs took home their first MW indoor team crown. An All-Conference pick in six events in 2013, she was also selected as both the 2013 MW Indoor and Outdoor Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Thomas, a two-time All-American this past season, is currently attempting to qualify as a member of the Jamaican team for the 2013 IAAF World Championships, slated for Aug. 10-18 in Moscow, Russia.


School Year Student-Athletes School Sport
2009-10 Male: Jerry Hughes
Female: Jodi Ewart
New Mexico
2010-11 Male: Jimmer Fredette
Female: Danielle Minch
Colorado State
2011-12 Male: Kurt Felix
Female: Whitney Gipson
Boise State
Track & Field
Track & Field
2012-13 Male: DJ Peterson
Female: Shanieka Thomas
New Mexico
San Diego State
Track & Field