June 14, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Two juniors that propelled their respective teams into the national spotlight in 2009-10 have been selected as the University of Michigan's Athletes of the Year, gymnast Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and volleyball setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington).
Cameron won the NCAA all-around title while leading the Wolverines to the national championship, while Zimmerman guided Michigan to an NCAA Regional final and became the program's initial first-team All-American. The pair has been nominated for the Big Ten Conference Suzy Favor Female and Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year awards, which will be announced Wednesday, June 23, at 7 p.m. EDT on the Big Ten Network.
Cameron captured Michigan's first NCAA all-around crown since 1963 and helped the Wolverines win the program's fourth national title in 2010. He also was an All-American on still rings and parallel bars with top-eight finishes, and he twice earned National Gymnast of the Week honors.
The Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, Cameron captured the conference all-around and floor exercise titles and finished runner-up on rings. He qualified for the U.S. senior national team for the third consecutive year with a record showing at the Winter Cup Invitational in February.
Cameron is the third men's gymnast to earn U-M Athlete of the Year honors, joining 1999 winner Justin Toman and 2000 co-recipient Scott Vetere.
The first volleyball player to earn the school's Athlete of the Year honor, Zimmerman led the Maize and Blue to its first-ever NCAA Elite Eight appearance and a 27-10 overall record in 2009. She was awarded one of 14 spots on the AVCA All-America first team and received her second consecutive All-Big Ten first team honor.
Zimmerman led Big Ten setters in total assists (1,516) and ranked third in the conference with 11.04 assists per set. She was named to four all-tournament teams and earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after posting a triple-double (11 kills, 17 digs and 42 assists) against Tennessee on Sept. 4, 2009.
A three-time AVCA All-Mideast Region honoree and a second team All-American as a sophomore, Zimmerman has started all 107 matches in her Michigan career and will head into her senior season needing only 462 assists to become the school's career leader.