COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Air Force Track & Field standout Sam Gilman and New Mexico long-distance runner Amelia Mazza-Downie were honored today as the recipients of the 2022-23 Mountain West Athletes of the Year.

Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in May 2010, the MW Athlete of the Year Awards are bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete who has achieved athletic excellence during the past academic year. In addition to superior athletic achievement, MW Athlete of the Year Award criterion requires that nominees be in good academic standing throughout their season of competition, and demonstrate good character and conduct on and off the playing field.

Gilman is the first Air Force cadet-athlete to receive the Mountain West Male Athlete of the Year award since 2015-16 (Patrick Corona) and the third Falcon overall, male or female, to earn the distinction since the award’s inception in 2009-2010. This season, the native of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, was named the MW Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row after earning his fourth All-America honor of his career.

The senior closed out the indoor season with an 11th-place finish in the 3000-meter run at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship. Gilman opened the MW championship by anchoring the distance medley relay to the title for the second-straight year, clocking the fastest mile time in qualifying the next day, and closed the meet by posting the fourth-fastest time in MW championship history to successfully defend his conference championship in the mile – becoming just the third Conference runner ever to win back-to-back titles in that event.

At the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, Gilman earned second-team All-America status following a 15th-place time of 14:19.91 in a tightly contested 5000-meter final, marking his fifth All-America honor. With a time of 13:58.00, Gilman captured his fourth MW individual title (sixth overall, with relays), as he cruised to Air Force’s first 5000-meter title in eight years.

Mazza-Downie is the fourth Lobo to earn MW Female Athlete of the Year honors, joining Weini Kelati (2019-20), Courtney Frerichs (2015-16), and Jodi Ewart (2009-10). A native of Melbourne, Australia, Mazza-Downie earned first-team All-America honors in the 10,000-meter run and second-team All-America honors in the 5,000-meter run at the 2023 NCAA championship. Mazza-Downie coasted to a fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters, running a time of 32:51.90. The Lobo also crossed the finish line in ninth place in the 5,000-meter race, clocking a time of 15:56.35. At the 2023 MW championship, Mazza-Downie collected her fourth overall Conference title after finishing the 5,000-meter race in 15:44.37.

At the 2022 NCAA Cross Country NCAA Championship, Mazza-Downie was the first Mountain West runner to cross the finish line in the women’s 6k race, placing 22nd and earning All-American honors with a time of 20:02.8, helping New Mexico finish as the national runner-up. The junior seized the individual crown at the 2022 MW Cross Country Championship, clocking in at 19:39.3 and earning her second MW individual title. Her time was two seconds shy of tying the second-fastest mark in MW championship history.


Sam Gilman, Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Air Force
Amelia Mazza-Downie, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, New Mexico

Trey McBride, Football, Colorado State
Kristie Schoffield, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Boise State

Avery Williams, Football, Boise State
Mahala Norris, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Air Force

Malachi Flynn, Men’s Basketball, San Diego State
Weini Kelati, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, New Mexico

Ryan Jensen, Baseball, Fresno State
Allie Ostrander, Women’s Outdoor Track and Field, Boise State

Rashaad Penny, Football, San Diego State
Allie Ostrander, Women’s Outdoor Track and Field, Boise State

Josh Kerr, Men’s Track and Field, New Mexico
Allie Ostrander, Women’s Track and Field, Boise State

Patrick Corona, Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field, Air Force
Courtney Frerichs, Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field, New Mexico

Garrett Grayson, Football, Colorado State
Emma Bates, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Boise State

Derek Carr, Football, Fresno State
Emma Bates, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Boise State

DJ Peterson, Baseball, New Mexico
Shanieka Thomas, Women’s Track & Field, San Diego State

Kurt Felix, Men’s Track & Field, Boise State
Whitney Gipson, Women’s Track & Field, TCU

Jimmer Fredette, Men’s Basketball, BYU
Danielle Minch, Women’s Volleyball, Colorado State

Jerry Hughes, Football, TCU
Jodi Ewart, Women’s Golf, New Mexico