Greater Wichita Sports
Recognized as one of three finalists for the college male and female athletes of the year, Cowley College’s Daniel Maina and Ashly Bright were honored at the ninth annual Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission Banquet held June 28 at Wichita’s Hyatt Regency.
The event featured Johnny Bench, former Cincinnati Reds catcher and Hall of Famer, as he presented the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award to East Carolina University catcher, Jake Smith. Danni Boatwright, winner of Survivor: Guatemala, was the featured speaker of the event, which recognizes excellence in sports in southcentral Kansas. Over 400 people attended the banquet. “The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission would like to congratulate all of the award finalists,” Bob Hanson, President and CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission said. “They represent their teams and universities in a remarkable manner.”
Bright became just the softball program’s second two-time All-American as she set 13 pitching and seven hitting records during her two years at the school. This was the second year in a row she was up for the College Female Athlete of the Year award. Wichita State University senior track athlete Desiraye Osburn ended up winning the award. “Even though she did not win the award it was a great honor for Ashly and our program,” Cowley head coach Ed Hargrove said. Former Cowley College softball all-American Lindsey Davis was the recipient of the College Female Athlete of the Year award in 2001.
Maina, a freshman, was the indoor track national champion in four events, while also being named the outdoor national champion in the 5,000-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase. Paul Miller, who recently completed his career playing basketball for Wichita State, was the winner of the College Male Athlete of the Year award. Although he did not win, Cowley track and field head coach Mark Phillips was proud to see Maina recognized. “We know how good Daniel is, but it is nice to see other people recognize that as well,” said Phillips, who coached Boatwright’s brother, Drew, at Kansas City Community College. “It was quite an honor for him to be nominated.”