RENO — Diving star Krysta Palmer of Carson City and men’s basketball standout Tyron Criswell have won the 2015-16 Ruth I. Russell and Doc Martie Awards, respectively, as the University of Nevada’s most outstanding senior athletes, athletics director Doug Knuth announced today.
The men’s award is named for J.E. “Doc” Martie, a former Nevada men’s basketball coach and administrator, while the women’s honor is named for Ruth I. Russell, a former director of women’s athletics. Student-athletes are nominated by their head coaches and must be in their final year of eligibility and in good academic standing. The award winners are selected in a vote by the athletics department staff.
“Krysta and Tyron led their respective teams to new heights this season and capped their Wolf Pack careers with championships,” Knuth said. “They have both left a legacy at Nevada and have proven to be worthy recipients of these prestigious awards. Congratulations to them both.”
Palmer leaves Nevada as one of the top divers in Wolf Pack and Mountain West history. She was a two-time Mountain West Diver of the Year and earned NCAA All-American honorable mention honors as a junior and senior. She holds three all-time program records and three Mountain West records. She won a staggering 18 regular season diving events, four Mountain West event titles, two NCAA Zone Regional titles and tallied three top 10 NCAA finishes in her collegiate career. A three-time All-Mountain West honoree, she also is a two-time Academic All-Mountain West selection.
An Olympic hopeful, Palmer will be competing in the USA Diving Olympic Trials this summer in hopes of advancing to the Summer Games in Brazil.
Criswell capped his Wolf Pack career by being named the Most Valuable Player of the College Basketball Invitational. He led the Wolf Pack to the school’s, and Mountain West Conference’s first-ever postseason basketball championship as Nevada took the CBI title, beating Morehead State in a three-game series. With Nevada trailing Morehead State 82-81 in overtime of the deciding game, Criswell made the go ahead shot in CBI Championship game with 13 seconds to play that put the Pack up to stay 83-82 and they went on to win 85-82.