The Horizon League’s highest individual honor, the Coleman Award is presented annually to the League’s top male and female student-athletes who best exemplify the dignity and high purpose of the League and its membership. The individuals demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. Candidates must be seniors who have exhausted their eligibility and were participants on the varsity level in a League-sponsored sport. In addition, nominees must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or its equivalent.
Milwaukee swimmer Jeremy Waldhart was the male recipient of
this year’s honor.
“We are exceptionally proud of what Jeremy and Jackie have accomplished in their collegiate careers as individuals and as members of successful teams,” said LeCrone. “While student-athletes so often get praised for their work on the court or on the field, the Coleman Award also recognizes athletes for their character and tireless efforts in the classroom and community. These two individuals exemplify what our four platforms are all about, and we wish them well in their future endeavors.”
Kondratko becomes the first Crusader to earn the Coleman Award since Valpo’s inception into the Horizon League in 2007. The senior led Valpo in goals scored in 2008 and 2009 and finished her career as the seventh-highest scorer in school history. The 2009 team captain tied a single-season record for match-winning goals with four while piloting her squad to the Horizon League Championship game.
“I am excited for Jackie being presented the Coleman Award,” said Valparaiso women’s soccer coach John Marovich. “Our women’s soccer program’s mission through our University is to develop strong, confident and powerful women ready to accomplish amazing things. Ms. Kondratko is a fantastic example of this by her commitment to being a champion in the classroom, in competition and in the community. The respect given to her from her coaches, administrators, professors, teammates, opponents and peers has been earned from her consistent display of character, leadership and outgoing personality over her career. Today, I am pleased she is being recognized for these actions and I am honored she is a Valparaiso University alumnus.”
Off the field, Kondratko shined just as bright, if not brighter. She was named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American First Team, the only Horizon League senior to receive first-team honors this past season. On campus she earned several honors including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Female Athlete of the Year, the Rebecca D. Carter Memorial Award and the 2010 Alumni Association Distinguished Student Award for the College of Engineering, among many other honors and distinctions. The mechanical engineering graduate even had a paper published in the 2010 International Symposium on Bio- and Medical Informatics and Cybernetics titled “A Point Vibration Therapy Device for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum”.
“Jackie represents the very
best attributes of a Valpo engineer,” Kraig
Olejniczak, dean of the College
of Engineering said. “She
demonstrates excellence in her profession while also giving back to her
community, and most importantly, she has accomplished all of this with a great
deal of selfless humility.”
The October 2009 Horizon League Scholar Athlete of the Month took part in numerous extracurricular activities during her tenure at Valpo. She served two years with SAAC and one year as the senior class gift chair for the Senior Planning Council. Her time with Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society) was spent as vice president as she planned the College of Engineering banquet. Kondratko also served as treasurer and vice president (scholarship chair) for Chi Omega and tutored an elementary school student when she was home from school.
“Jackie epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete,” said Valparaiso Athletic Director Mark LaBarbera. “She has excelled on the soccer field and in her engineering classes. She is a leader on campus and in the community. We are very proud of all her accomplishments.”