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    April 24, 2013 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Senior women’s cross country/track & field standout Jennifer Klugh was honored today at Liberty University's Convocation, as she was named the 2013 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award winner, the University's highest athletics honor.

    The annual award was presented to Klugh by Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber and Manuel Rivera, brother of Mac Rivera.

    In 1975, the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award was established to honor the top graduating senior student-athlete at Liberty University who best exemplifies the standards and lives of both of these great Christian men. Rock Royer was Liberty's first football coach in 1973. Mac Rivera was a member of Liberty's basketball team from 1972 until 1975. Both Rock Royer and Mac Rivera tragically died at a young age, with Royer dying in a plane crash and Rivera passing away after a fall.

    This award encompasses more than just athletic ability. It recognizes the Liberty University graduating senior student-athlete who has maintained an exemplary testimony on the playing field, in the classroom and among the student body.

    “If I were asked to make a short list of athletes that I have coached over 40 years who were the best examples of what it means to be a Surrendered Christian Athlete, Jenn Klugh would most certainly make that list,” stated head cross country/track & field coach Brant Tolsma. “She exemplified Christ in her dedication, humility, love for others, joy, peace and basically all the fruits of the spirit. I truly feel blessed to have worked with Jenn and it was a great joy to have had that opportunity.”

    A native of Centerburg, Ohio, Klugh graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with teacher licensure in May 2012, maintaining a 3.40 undergraduate GPA. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in secondary education and currently owns a 4.0 GPA during her graduate studies.

    Klugh has earned numerous academic honors during her career, including six appearances on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, three Big South All-Academic Team honors and four Big South Presidential Honor Roll notations.

    Klugh was additionally voted the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2010 women’s cross country and earned a spot on the 2011 VaSID Academic All-State Team.

    During the summer of 2011, Klugh went to Zimbabwe on a missions trip with Athletes in Action. That same year, she served on the kitchen staff at Kamp Kanakuk in Branson, Mo.

    Klugh has also been active in the Lynchburg community, volunteering along with her track & field teammates at the Virginia Ten Miler and fall festivals, family reading activities and field days at local elementary schools.

    Klugh wrapped up her collegiate athletic career in style, qualifying for the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship. She became the first Lady Flame to reach the NCAA meet in cross country since Heather Sagan in 2001.

    Klugh finished as a 10-time Big South individual champion and an 18-time All-Big South honoree, including cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. She owns four school records, the cross country 5K (17:18.72) and 6K (20:35.78) and the indoor track 3K (9:44.62) and 5K (16:48.32). The indoor 5K mark is also a Big South Conference record.

    The Buckeye State native was a three-time Big South Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Year, a two-time Big South Women’s Outstanding Track Performer and a 12-time Big South Athlete of the Week.

    This award has now been presented for 39 years. Klugh is the 44th recipient of the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award and the seventh women’s track & field athlete to win the award. She is the first women’s track & field athlete to be honored since Arlene Zelinskas in 2007 and the first distance runner to do so since Heather Sagan in 2002.

    Rock Royer Award
    1975 – Sling Patterson (Football)
    1976 – David Neff (Football)
    1977 – Scott Goetz (Football)

    Mac Rivera Award
    1977- Paul Dalton (Men's Basketball)

    Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award
    1978 – Gary Avila (Wrestling)
    1979 – Dave Anderson (Football)
    1980 – Karl Hess (Men's Basketball)
    1981- David "D.J." Hertzler (Football)
    1982- Sharon Snodgrass (Women's Basketball)
    1983 – Bill Gillespie (Football/Men's Track & Field)
    1984 – Rick Seilhamer (Wrestling)
    1985 – Sue Andrew (Women's Cross Country/Track & Field) & Dave Bream (Baseball)
    1986 – Ron Starner (Men's Soccer)
    1987 – Pam Wilder (Women's Basketball)
    1989 – Kathy Guetterman (Volleyball)
    1990 – Lynn Attwood (Cross Country/Track & Field/Women's Basketball)
    1991 – Craig Holiday (Wrestling)
    1992 – Mike Coleman (Men's Basketball)
    1993 – Theresa Bream (Volleyball/Women's Basketball)
    1994 – James Downey (Football) & Matt Hildebrand (Men's Basketball)
    1995 – Todd Setsma (Men's Golf)
    1996 – Ryan Werner (Men's Track & Field)
    1997 – Michael Prettyman (Men's Track & Field)
    1998 – Ben Anderson (Football)
    1999 – Jarrod Everson (Football)
    2000 – Elena Kisseleva (Women's Basketball)
    2001 – Andrea Wildrick (Women's Track & Field) & Nathan Day (Men's Basketball)
    2002 – Heather Sagan (Women's Cross Country/Track & Field)
    2003 – Collin Mascagni (Men's Soccer)
    2004 – Tatiana Tkachuk (Volleyball)
    2005 – Sam Gado (Football) & Danielle McNaney (Women's Track & Field)
    2006 – Sonia Rodriguez (Women's Soccer) & Phillip Thompson (Baseball)
    2007 – Arlene Zelinskas (Women's Track & Field)
    2008 – Allyson Fasnacht (Women's Basketball)
    2009 – Beth Bennett (Softball)
    2010 – Chris Rocco (Football)
    2011 – Zach Duke (Football)
    2012 – Jesse Sanders (Men's Basketball)
    2013 – Jennifer Klugh (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field)