COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Air Force's William Kent, a junior thrower on the Air Force track and field team, was selected as the 2012-13 recipient of the Mountain West Hal Rothman Sportsmanship Award, the conference office announced this afternoon.
At the New Mexico Collegiate Class in February, Kent was competing in the weight throw. After registering a throw of 17.99 meters on his first attempt, Kent fouled on his next three tries. During his fifth attempt, he made a successful throw that was recorded by the official as 19.55 meters (approximately 64 feet). Upon hearing the official's report, Kent was certain he had not achieved that distance ... a mark that would have been a new Academy record and most likely earned him a place at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Kent approached the official to explain that the tape must have been misread, as he wanted to ensure the correct distance was recorded. Kent knew he had exceeded the 60-foot mark (approximately 18.3 meters), but not to the extent originally announced. Initially, the official was certain the distance he had recorded was accurate; however, upon further discussion with Kent, the officials agreed to lower the mark to 18.55 meters.
While his throw was still good enough to win the competition, his integrity prevailed over accepting an Academy record and NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
Established in 2005-06, the conference's sportsmanship award is presented to a student-athlete in a NCAA-sponsored sport who has distinguished him or herself through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The award was renamed by the MW Joint Council to honor of the late UNLV faculty athletic representative and noted historian Hal Rothman, who passed away in February 2007 following a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
A native of Marietta, Ga., Kent is the fourth Air Force student-athlete to earn the MW Hal Rothman Sportsmanship award, joining former fencers Dalton Boatright (2011-12), Daniel Trapani (2010-11) and Peter French (2007-08).