2015-16 In Review: Athletes of the Year
July 15, 2016 Boise State recently completed another successful year of intercollegiate athletics, highlighted by team and individual conference championships as well as postseason appearances and All-America honors. The department finished the year No. 70 in the Learfield Directors' Cup, the third consecutive top-75 year-end ranking and the school's 10th in the 23-year history of the award. This week BroncoSports.com takes a look back at the year that was. The series continues today with the announcement of our 2015-16 male and female athletes of the year.
Male Student-Athlete of the Year: Darian Thompson (Football)Darian Thompson concluded his illustrious Bronco career this past season, setting the Mountain West career interception record on his way to being selected in the third round of the National Football League Draft by the New York Giants.
Thompson, a two-time team defensive most valuable player who racked up All-America honors in both 2014 and 2015, hauled in 19 interceptions during his four seasons, passing Utah’s Eric Weddle for the Mountain West all-time lead. Also one of Boise State’s team captains, Thompson was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in each of his final two seasons.
He was a four-year starter and part of 40 Boise State victories, finishing his career with 242 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles and nine pass break-ups - in addition to his 19 interceptions.
Thompson appeared in each of the Broncos’ 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2012, starting the final six – including Boise State’s 28-26 victory over Washington in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. In 2013, Thompson started every game, ranking fourth on the team in tackles and helping to lead the Broncos to another bowl game – the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
He picked up his first of two-straight All-Mountain West First Team honors as a junior, ranking second on the team and leading the Bronco secondary with 71 tackles. His seven interceptions ranked tied for third nationally, as Boise State captured its first outright Mountain West Championship and defeated Arizona (38-30) in the 2014 VIZIO Fiesta Bowl. For his efforts, Thompson picked up the first All-America accolade of his career, second-team honors from CBSSports.com.
In his final campaign, Thompson was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back, and picked up All-America credentials from four separate outlets. He again ranked second on the team and paced the secondary with 65 tackles, led the team with five interceptions and also ranked second with 8.5 TFLs. He capped his career by helping lead the Bronco defense to one of the most dominant performances in bowl history, holding Northern Illinois to 33 total yards. The team’s margin of victory in the 55-7 thrashing of the Huskies is the sixth-largest in bowl history.
Thompson, now pursuing his career in the NFL, graduated from Boise State this past December with a degree in health science.
Female Student-Athlete of the Year: Allie Ostrander (Cross Country and Track)Allie Ostrander came to Boise State last fall as one of the most sought after prep stars in the nation, and her freshman campaign exceeded all expectations as she enjoyed one of the most successful cross country and track and field seasons in school history.
Ostrander, a native of Kenai, Alaska, began her Bronco career by helping the women’s cross country team capture the Roy Griak Invitational team title last September thanks to a team-best second place individual finish (21:09.4). Just two weeks later, Ostrander captured the individual title at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational with a 6-kilometer course record time of 19:19.5. The time broke the previous record by 12 seconds, held by seven-time national champion and soon-to-be Olympian, Abbey D’Agostino.
She went on to win the Mountain West Championship, becoming just the second freshman in conference history to win the individual title on the women’s side. She carried that momentum into the NCAA West Region Championship and won the individual title thanks to a 20:10.9, 22 seconds clear of the second-place competitor. Ostrander was named the Mountain West Cross Country Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA West Region Cross Country Women’s Athlete of the Year.
The freshman put the cherry on top of her cross country season with a second-place finish at the NCAA National Championships (19:33.6), earning All-America honors in the process and tying for the best individual finish at nationals in school history, joining Emma Bates’ runner-up effort in 2013.
The indoor track and field season saw her wild success continue, as she was once again named the USTFCCCA West Region Indoor Track Women’s Athlete of the Year and Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year.
She shattered the Mountain West indoor records in the 3,000m (8:54.27) and 5,000m (15:21.85) at the Husky Classic and UW Invitational, respectively. Ostrander also helped the distance medley relay team capture a conference title, running a school record time of 11:16.41.
After sitting out the outdoor season with an injury, Ostrander returned to the track in July and competed in the 5,000m at the United States Track and Field Olympic Team Trials. Running as the only collegian in the field, Ostrander sent shockwaves through Eugene, Ore., after taking eighth place thanks to a Mountain West outdoor record time of 15:24.74.
Ostrander carries a 4.0 GPA and is working towards a degree in kinesiology.
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