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Oklahoma State Football

Various Honors for Oklahoma State Athletes Includes Alex Hale Academic All-American

January 23, 2024
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STILLWATER – Lots of awards on Tuesday for Oklahoma State athletics including the men’s and women’s indoor track teams debuting with a high-ranking. The tennis team is on the move and they have a player of the week in the BIg 12, so does wrestling. The All-American award is for the academic All-American team in college football, but Alex Hale kicked well enough to be a Lou Groza Award semifinalist. 

Hale was named to the first team of the 2023 Academic All-America football team as selected by the College Sports Communicators, the organization announced Tuesday. The native of Point Frederick, New South Wales, Australia, is the 24th selection to the team in school history and the first to be selected to the first team since Britton Abbott in 2018. He also just completed his Cowboy career as a historic standout both on the field and in the classroom.

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Hale hits a field goal at Houston.

One of 27 FBS players and the only kicker named to the first team, Hale is a four-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and will likely add a fifth honor for 2023-24. He finished the last year ranked No. 1 in the FBS with 2.08 made field goals per game, and his 9.0 points per game ranked sixth among all kickers. He also tied the school record for made field goals in a game with five against Kansas State and then set the school record for made field goals in a two-game stretch with nine total against KSU and Kansas.

From an athletic department standpoint, Hale is the 115th student-athlete in OSU history to be named an Academic All-American and the 51st OSU student-athlete to be named to the first team. This also marks the 20th-straight year that OSU has had an Academic All-American, and during that span OSU has had 79 total Academic All-Americans. This also marks the eighth-consecutive year for OSU to have a first-team selection.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Plott wins 4-2 over No. 4 Munoz of Oregon State.

Oklahoma State wrestler Dustin Plott was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week for his big win over fourth-ranked Trey Munoz of Oregon State on Sunday. In the marquee matchup of the dual, Plott faced Munoz for a top-five battle at 184 pounds. The two wrestlers traded escapes and were tied, 1-1, early in the third period. Plott then secured the key takedown, which was ultimately enough to pick up the 4-2 decision.

Plott has now defeated two top-five opponents this month, the first coming against NC State’s Dylan Fishback, after entering the season with none in his career. The senior has excelled at 184 pounds this season, compiling an 18-1 record and earning bonus points in 15 matches.

Oklahoma State returns to action with a busy upcoming weekend in Gallagher-Iba Arena, hosting a pair of ranked foes in Northern Iowa on Friday, January 26, and Iowa State the very next night.

Coming off an undefeated opening weekend, Lucia Peyre of the Oklahoma State women’s tennis team was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Tuesday. The sophomore, ranked as the No. 53 singles player in the country, earned the honor for the first time in her career. This is the second week in a row a Cowgirl has earned the award as Raquel Gonzalez was recognized for the first time in her career as well last week. 

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Peyre in action against Ohio State.

Peyre went 2-0 out of the number three spot for Oklahoma State in its two top-15 wins, first defeating Jaedan Brown, 6-2, 6-2, in the Cowgirls 4-2 victory over No. 4 Michigan. She followed that by defeating Sydni Ratliff of No. 14 Ohio State, 6-3, 6-3, to help secure another ranked win for OSU. Oklahoma State’s win over No. 4 Michigan was its highest ranked win since it beat No. 3 Florida on Feb. 7, 2018. 

OSU will look to build on its impressive start to the season at ITA Kickoff Weekend, beginning with a match against No. 16 UCLA on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. The Cowgirls will also compete on Sunday against either Iowa State or Old Dominion, with their opponent determined on results of the previous day. 

Oklahoma State men’s and women’s indoor track & field each cracked the top 15 in the first U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Ratings Index. Both the Cowboys and Cowgirls each earned their highest week one rankings in program history, with the Cowboys at No. 8 and the Cowgirls at No. 13. The previous highest for the men’s team was No. 10 in 2014, with the women’s team also being ranked No. 13 in 2015.

On the men’s side, Brian Musau and Ryan Schoppe lead the charge as they currently sit second and third in the NCAA in the 3,000 Meters. Alex Maier and Denis Kipngetich make up a majority of the rest of OSU’s points in the index as they are currently ranked sixth and tenth in the 5,000 Meters, respectively. Koryee Wyatt and Laban Kipkemboi round out the points for OSU with rankings of 27th and 34th in the 60 Meters and Mile, respectively.

For the Cowgirls, Winny Bii leads the charge ranked No. 3 in the Triple Jump with her leap of 13.49 meters at the Arkansas Invitational, which broke the school and Kenyan national record. Fellow school-record holder Billah Jepkirui is currently No. 4 in the NCAA in the 3,000 Meters with her time of 8:49.08 from the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener in December. Gabija Galvydyte and Molly Born are also in the top 5 in the Mile and 5,000 Meters, respectively. Rounding out the rankings for the Cowgirls are Kaylie Politza (No. 10, 800 Meters), Sivan Auerbach (No. 16, Mile), Grace Boone (No. 19, Mile), Heidi Demeo (No. 25, Mile) and Saara Hakanen (No. 32, High Jump)

OSU returns to the track this weekend for the Razorback Invitational in Arkansas on Friday and Saturday at the Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

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Various Honors for Oklahoma State Athletes Includes Alex Hale Academic All-American

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