Idaho distance runner Hannah Kiser and men’s basketball standout Kyle Barone are the 2012-13 Western Athletic Conference Joe Kearney Award winners. Named in honor of former WAC commissioner Joe Kearney, the awards are given annually to the top male and female student-athletes in the WAC.
This marks the second consecutive year a student-athlete from Idaho has received the award. Kiser becomes the first Vandal woman to earn the honor. Barone is only the second Vandal male student-athlete to be honored. Kiser concluded her junior year with record-setting marks. She set conference marks in the indoor mile (4 minutes, 37.55 seconds), indoor 3,000 meters (9:04.74) and the outdoor 5,000 (15:44.06).
Barone was recognized as the WAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year this past season. He led the conference with 17.2 points per game, matched with 9.7 rebounds per game. His field-goal percentage (59.7) and free-throw percentage (78.2) also were among the tops in the WAC. Barone had 16 double-doubles on the season, helping him to be given AP All-American honorable mention.
In 2012, Idaho track and field athlete Andrew Blaser became the first Vandal athlete to earn the Joe Kearney Award.
Former Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball player Mike Hart is headed to Germany.
Hart, who graduated this year, will leave on Aug. 3 for Oldenburg, Germany.
He will play for Baskets Akademie Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB. The team is a member of the Bundesliga league of the Pro B, or third division, in Germany. The team won the Regionalliga in 2012 to move up to the Bundesliga this past season.
Also on the team is Michael Taylor, a 2011 graduate of Whitworth University. Taylor just completed his second season with the club.
Hart has been playing for his hometown Portland Chinooks of the International Basketball League, averaging 6.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
Hart capped his career at Gonzaga this past season by being named the West Coast Conference Defender of the Year.
• Former Central Valley standout Sydney Emory has transferred to The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Emory signed with Humboldt State out of high school but received a medical redshirt in 2012-13. She will have four years of eligibility at The Master’s College.
Emory will join former University standout Zoe Scott at The Master’s College. They will travel with the team on a trip to Brazil on July 15 for three weeks.
Laura Jackson, a former soccer player at Iona College and Syracuse University, will join Idaho head soccer coach Pete Showler ’s staff as an assistant coach, Showler announced Thursday. Jackson will work primarily with Idaho’s goalkeepers.
Jackson earned her degree from Iona in May, 2013 and worked with the Iona coaching staff in the spring of 2013 after exhausting her eligibility in the fall of 2012. She has also served as assistant coach in training for the Rhode Island Olympic Development Program.
In her two years at Iona, Jackson was team captain, a two-time all-MAAC selection and a MAAC all-tournament team pick.
Track and field
Conner Johnsen, a Washington state champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and compete for Washington State University starting in the fall of 2013
Johnsen is a 2013 graduate of Sehome High School in Bellingham where he earned seven varsity letters competing in cross country and track. He won the 2013 2A state track championship in the 1,600 with a lifetime-best time of 4:11.85, and also won the 3,200 title with a PR and 2A state-record time of 8:59.76.
Drew Turbin, a Coeur d’Alene High graduate, is playing with Athletes in Action’s Chugiak-Eagle River baseball team this summer in the Alaska Baseball League.
Turbin played initially out of high school at Yavapai College. He recently transferred to Dallas Baptist University.