– Thomas Kyanko
, a senior All-America member of the National Champion West Virginia University rifle team, is one of nine nominees for the 2013-14 Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year, announced today by the conference office.
The Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year Awards began in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who display an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and or/community service during the academic year. A male and female are honored each year. Liz Gulick was announced as WVU’s female nominee yesterday. The conference will announce the male and female winners on June 26.
Kyanko’s qualifications are many. Known for being the first student-athlete in the range and the last to leave each day, he is a constant student of the sport. A level-headed athlete, he overcame an accidental kicking by a teammate during a match this season and ended the day with a high score.
Kyanko visits the WVU Children’s Hospital and local elementary schools, where he instructs students on the safety and excitement that surround the sport of rifle.
Earlier this month, he was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Men’s At-Large Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). It was the second career honor for Kyanko, as he was named to the third team in 2013. He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science in May with a 3.90 grade point average (GPA), and he will pursue a master’s degree in computer science in 2014-15, his final season with the Mountaineers.
A three-time National Rifle Association Smallbore Second Team All-American, he helped the Mountaineers secure their second straight, and nation-best 16th, NCAA National Championship in March. Kyanko finished sixth in smallbore, his second straight appearance in the discipline finale. Additionally, he placed fourth in smallbore at the 2014 Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships. He is a two-time member of the All-GARC Smallbore Second Team and also earned All-GARC Combined Score Honorable Mention honors.
A two-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 At-Large Team, Kyanko also is a member of the WVU Honors Program, as well as the President’s and Dean’s Lists and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.