DENVER - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and world-champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin have been selected as Colorado’s Athletes of the Year for the 2013 calendar year as the pair will be honored with five other competitors from the “Centennial” state at the 2013 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame banquet on Thursday, April 17, at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame picked Manning as the men’s Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year after leading the Broncos to the franchise’s third-straight AFC West Division title and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Manning joins Alex English (1982, ‘85), Joe Sakic (1996, 2001) and teammate Champ Bailey (2005-06) as two-time Colorado Sports Hall of Fame professional AOY recipients.
Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, Manning completed 450 of 659 passes (68.3 percent) for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns for a 115.1 passing rating during the 2013 regular season. In leading the Broncos to their second-straight 13-3 record and an AFC West title, Manning’s 55 touchdown passes and 5,477 yards passing set single-season NFL records.
The 18-year old Shiffrin is being honored as Colorado’s women Athlete of the Year after she won the slalom title at the 2013 World Championships at Schladming, Austria, where she also placed sixth in the giant slalom. After winning the slalom at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Shiffrin secured the 2013 season title in the slalom discipline. During the 2013 season, she won four slalom event titles starting with podium toppers in Sweden and Croatia.
Other Athletes-of-the-Year selections were collegiate standouts Kapri Bibbs of Colorado State University (men) and Barbara Szabo of the Western State College (women), and high school honorees Christian McCaffery of Valor Christian (boys) and Elise Cranny of Niwot (girls). Cody Field with Special Olympics Colorado is the 2013 recipient of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame’s Disabled Athlete Recognition Award.
The Athletes-of-the-Year selections will be honored at the April 17 banquet along with the newest Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees Otis Armstrong, Forrest B. “Frosty” Cox, Andy Gambucci, Darian Hagan, Todd Helton and Dorothy Mauk. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014 was selected this past October.
Tickets are $195 each and Sponsor tables start at $2,500. For additional for ticket and table information, please telephone the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (www.coloradosports.org, 720/258-3535). The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is located at Gate 1 on the west side of Sports Authority Field at Mile High at 1701 Bryant Street in Denver.
Bibbs finished with a school-record 1,741 yards rushing (No. 5 nationally) this season and tied Navy’s Keenan Reynolds for the Football Bowl Subdivision leadership with 31 rushing touchdowns. He is one of just four players in FBS history to rush for 30 or more touchdowns in a season, joining Barry Sanders, Montee Ball and Reynolds. Bibbs efforts also helped CSU finish 8-6 highlighted by a New Mexico Bowl win over Washington State.
As a junior in 2013, Szabo earned titles in the women’s high jump at both the indoor and outdoor track and field national championships. She became only the eighth women’s NCAA Division II athlete to win an indoor national title in three consecutive years. Szabo’s outdoor high jump mark of 1.89-meters (6’ 2.25”) also finished as the second highest in all collegiate divisions and was the highest National Championship qualifying mark in all divisions.
A two-time Gatorade football player of the year, McCaffery led Valor Christian to another state football championship as he rushed for 1,858 yards and 27 touchdowns while catching 39 passes for 721 yards and 16 scores. Including kick/punt/defensive returns, he had 46 total TDs (which led the state). He was also a member of two relays that won state championships in 2013 track meet and played basketball on VC squad that placed second in the state.
Cranny captured the 800- 1600- and 3200-meter runs at state track and field championships last spring with record-setting performances in two of the events. A two-time 4A cross country champion, Cranny was the 2013 Gatorade cross country runner of the year. She also won the New Balance Indoor Mile National Championship in March 2013 and finished second in the Nike Cross Country National Meet in November 2013.
The 21-year-old Field represented Colorado in February 2013 as a member of Team USA at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea where he won three gold medals in snowboarding. A Special Olympian for the past eight years and a 2011 graduate from Cherry Creek High School, Field is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and is working toward earning his Eagle Scout badge.
Since its inception in 1965, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 228 individuals prior to Tuesday’s selection meeting for the Class of 2013. The first class of inductees featured Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jack Dempsey and former Supreme Court justice Byron “Whizzer” White. Steve Atwater, Don Baylor, Don Cockroft, Adam Foote, Steve Jones and Stan Williams were inducted last April as the Class of 2013.