June 27, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colo. - New Mexico's record setting first/third baseman DJ Peterson was named the 2012-13 Mountain West Male Athlete of the Year in a league-wide vote. It marked the second time a Lobo was so honored in the four-year history of the award. Golfer Jodi Ewart won the inaugural Female Athlete of the Year Award in 2010.
San Diego State's Shanieka Thomas, a track and field athlete, was the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year in the Mountain West.
Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in May 2010, the MW Athlete of the Year Awards are bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved athletic excellence during the past academic year. In addition to superior athletic achievement, criterion for the MW Athlete of the Year Award requires that nominees be in good academic standing throughout their season of competition, and demonstrate good character and conduct on and off the playing field.
Peterson shared 2013 Mountain West Player of the Year honors with teammate Mitch Garver after helping lead New Mexico to a league-record 25 Conference wins and the MW regular-season crown. Hailing from Gilbert, Ariz., he led the Conference in eight statistical categories in 2013, including batting average (.408), home runs (18) and runs batted in (72) to capture the MW triple crown. Peterson also boasted league-highs in slugging percentage (.807), on-base percentage (.520), runs scored (68), doubles (25) and total bases (176).
Defensively, the junior first-team All-MW selection posted a .989 fielding percentage while splitting time between first and third base. A semifinalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes and Dick Howser awards, Peterson was also tabbed the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association's (NCBWA) District VIII Player of the Year. In addition, he was named to the Baseball America, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-America first teams, as well as the NCBWA second team. Peterson was selected by the Seattle Mariners as the 12th pick in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, marking the highest draft choice in Lobo baseball history.
He is currently playing for the Everett Aqua Sox of the Northwest League, hitting a pair of home runs in his first eight professional games. Peterson was the first three-time All-American in Lobo baseball history, and he was named Co-MW Player of the Year in baseball in back-to-back seasons, along with teammate Mitch Garver.
Year Male Female 2009-10 Jerry Hughes (football), TCU Jodi Ewart (golf), New Mexico 2010-11 Jimmer Fredette (basketball), BYU Danielle Minch (volleyball), Colorado State 2011-12 Kurt Felix (track and field), Boise State Whitney Gipson (track and field), TCU 2012-13 DJ Peterson (baseball), New Mexico Shanieka Thomas (track and field), San Diego State