Phillip Lindsay named Professional Athlete of the Year by Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Colorado natives Phillip Lindsay, a Denver Broncos rookie running back standout, and Jennifer Kupcho, the reigning women's NCAA golf individual national champion, will be among those honored at the 55th annual Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 3 at the Hilton Denver City Center (1701 California St.).
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame named Lindsay the Professional Athlete of the Year for 2018 and Kupcho the Amateur Athlete of the Year. The Selection Committee also picked Colorado collegiate stars Trevor Baptiste (University of Denver lacrosse) and Dani Jones (University of Colorado cross country), along with high school honorees Jalen Lyon (Fountain-Fort Carson track & field) and Zoe Bartel (Fossil Ridge swimming) as Athletes of the Year. Kelley Fox, a two-time silver medalist for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team at the 1994 Paralympics, is the recipient of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame’s 2018 Athlete with Disabilities Award.
Lindsay, Kupcho and the other 2018 Athletes of the Year will be honored at the banquet along with the newest Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees: Missy Franklin, Daniel Graham, Todd Lodwick, Bob Smith, Marvin Kay and Tom Southall. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was selected this past October.
In his debut season in the NFL, Lindsay became the first undrafted offensive rookie in league history to be selected for the Pro Bowl. Lindsay, a product of South High School in Denver and the University of Colorado, set a Broncos franchise record for rushing yards by an undrafted rookie with 1,037. Lindsay, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry, finished third in the AFC in rushing and tallied nine touchdowns on the ground. He also racked up 241 yards and one TD receiving. He's one of five players nominated for the NFL Rookie of the Year honor.
Kupcho, a Littleton native who now lives in Westminster, in 2018 became the first resident of the Centennial State to win the individual title in the women's NCAA Division I golf championship, giving her three top-six finishes in three tries at the national tournament. The now-Wake Forest senior was recently named the world's female Amateur of the Year by the Global Golf Post digital magazine. And last summer, she became the first American woman to be awarded the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top women’s player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings at the time. In the fall, the Jefferson Academy graduate earned an LPGA Tour card by finishing second in the eight-round qualifying tourney, though she plans to defer taking membership until after concluding her senior season of college golf in May. In 2018 in her final summer as an amateur, Kupcho represented winning U.S. teams in the Curtis Cup, Arnold Palmer Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship, and she placed second individually in the World Amateur Team event.
Baptiste, who wrapped up his lacrosse career at DU last spring, earned first-team USILA All-America honors four straight years, becoming just the sixth player since 1922 to manage that feat -- and the first since 2004. Baptiste set an NCAA career record for faceoff wins with 1,158. He recorded 30 goals and 12 assists for his four college seasons.
Baptiste now plays professional lacrosse for the Boston Cannons after being selected first overall in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse draft.
Jones finished her college cross country career in high style as she won the women's NCAA individual title and CU claimed its first women's team championship in 14 years. In posting her 2.5-second victory in the national championships, Jones became CU's second women's NCAA individual champion in cross country, joining Kara Grgas-Wheeler (now Goucher, in 2000). Jones was the Pac-12 Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year as both a junior and a senior, earned All-America honors three times, and capped things off as the Honda Sports Award winner for cross country, becoming just the third athlete in program history to land that honor, the others being Grgas-Wheeler and Jenny Barringer (now Simpson, in 2009).
Similarly, Lyon ended his high school career on a stellar note as he won four events in the 5A state track & field championships and led Fountain-Fort Carson to its second consecutive team title. Lyon prevailed in all four events in which he participated at state as a senior -- the 100 and 200 sprints and as anchorman in the 4x400 and 4x200 relays. In the latter race, Lyon rallied from a 10-plus-meter deficit and overtook the leader as his team took home the gold medal. For his career, Lyon won five individual state titles as Fountain-Fort Carson earned three team championships. Lyon now competes at the University of Northern Colorado.
Bartel likewise won four events at state in her senior season, as a swimmer at Fossil Ridge. She claimed the top spot in the 200 individual medley and 100 breastroke for the second consecutive season to go with two relay victories. Fossil Ridge, which went on to win its second straight team title, broke the national high school record in the 200 medley relay, with Bartel providing a spark. The National High School Coaches Association named Bartel the 2017-2018 National High School Senior Girls’ Swimming Athlete of the Year. Bartel now swims at Stanford.
Fox, one of the top three women sit skiers in the world when she competed, finished second in the downhill and in the slalom during the 1994 Paralympics in Lillehammer, Norway. She also claimed a gold medal during the 1996 World Championships in Austria. Fox represents the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
Tickets for the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Banquet are $200 each and Sponsor tables start at $2,500. For additional ticket and table information, please phone the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (www.coloradosports.org, 720-258-3536). The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is located at Gate 1 on the west side of Broncos Stadium at Mile High at 1701 Bryant Street in Denver.
Since its inception in 1964, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 258 individuals. The first Class of 1965 featured Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jack Dempsey and former Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White. Peyton Manning, Alex Burl, Joe Glenn, Tracy Hill, Sam Pagano and Rashaan Salaam were inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame this past April.