Complete list of AAA Award and Special Award Winners
WEST POINT, N.Y. - All-America wrestler Matt Kyler and standout diver Lindsey Adao were honored with Army's highest athletic honor on Friday when they were presented with the Army Athletic Association Award at this afternoon's Awards Convocation at Eisenhower Hall.
The prestigious Army Athletic Association trophy is awarded to the male and female cadet who displays the "most valuable service to intercollegiate athletics during a career as a cadet."
Kyler, a two-time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion and four-time national qualifier, was the male winner while Adao, a two-time Patriot League Diver of the Year, was presented with the female award.
This year marks the 106th anniversary of the award that was first presented to football player Horatio Hackett in 1904.
Kyler is the tenth wrestler to be honored with the award and first since Phillip Simpson in 2005. Adao is the fourth member of the swimming and diving program and first since 2006 when Chelsea Haviland won. Adao is the first diver to win the award.
In addition, women's soccer player Elizabeth Betterbed was presented with the Army Athletic Association Special Award during the ceremony for "exhibiting outstanding achievement and exemplary leadership in athletic competition. Betterbed, the 28th athlete to receive the award, follows fellow soccer standout Sarah Goss who won it in 2009.
Unlike the annual AAA Award, the Special Award is given only in years when a worthy candidate is deemed.
A Civil Engineering major from Clearfield, Pa. (Clearfield H.S.), Kyler will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant during Saturday's commencement exercises, capping an impressive wrestling career.
A four-time EIWA finalist, Kyler established a new Academy record for career wins with 146, topping Simpson's mark of 134.
Voted a team co-captain his senior season, Kyler won at least 31 matches in each of his four varsity seasons. He began his career with a 31-12 mark and then secured All-America honors with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships as a sophomore. He posted a 43-8 record that season, won his first EIWA championship and set the Academy record for victories in a season while finishing third nationally in wins.
Kyler advanced to the EIWA finals for the third time as a junior and was ranked as high as sixth in the national polls. He concluded the season with a 40-7 mark and was unbeaten in 18 dual matches. His 40-win season is the fifth most in Academy history.
Kyler concluded his career with a 32-5 mark as a senior, again leading the team in wins. He won his second EIWA title, advanced to the national tournament for the fourth time and collected his fourth Mike Natvig award as the team's most outstanding wrestler.
For his career, Kyler posted a 146-32 mark, went 48-9 in dual matches, pinned 48 opponents, racked up three technical falls, registered 30 major decision wins and posted a 7-9 record at the NCAA Championships. He won 11 individual tournament titles: Body Bar Invitational, Southern Scuffle, Shorty Hitchcock Classic, New York State Championships (four times and Outstanding Wrestler twice), EIWA's (twice) and Service Academy Championships (twice). Earlier this month, Kyler was presented with the Mike Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sport Award.
Adao is an Engineering Management major from New City, N.Y. (Clarktown North H.S.), and will join Kyler and the rest of the Class of 2010 at commencement exercises.
Adao has made an impact on the swimming and diving program since arriving at the Academy. She began her collegiate diving career by finishing runner-up off the one- and three-meter springboards at the Patriot League Championships and then won individual championships in both boards during her final two campaigns.
A three-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selection, Adao has competed in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships each of her four seasons. She is a two-time Patriot League Diver of the Year and a 16-time selection as Patriot League Female Diver of the Week.
Betterbed was named the Special Award winner after a phenomenal career that included success on the pitch, in the classroom and with her military duties.
A Mechanical Engineering major from Fox Island, Wash. (Gig Harbor H.S.), Betterbed is a two-time Academic All-America and a Rhodes Scholar.
Betterbed, a 2009 and 2008 First Team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship earlier this semester and was a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-American.
Ranked No. 1 in her class (academic, physical and military disciplines) and second academically, Betterbed holds the second highest leadership position among the 4,400 Corps of Cadets as the Deputy Brigade Commander. A four-year letterwinner and starter on the pitch since her freshman year, Betterbed led the team in scoring this past fall with three goals and four assists for 10 points along with a pair of game winners after being switched to midfield. She was named a second team league defender in 2008 and all-tournament selection after leading the Black Knights to the conference title and first NCAA bid in school history.