Acosta, Clark Named 2011-12 Diehm/Self Award Winners
Dec. 5, 2012
The winner of the L.F. "Tow" Diehm Inspirational Award for 2011-12 is Chris Acosta (men's skiing), while Jael Clark (the former Jael Fanning, women's soccer) is the recipient of the Leslie Self Inspirational Award.
Started in 1997-98, this is the 15th year the awards have been presented to a UNM male and female student-athlete based on leadership, character, determination and commitment to team.
This year's recipients will be recognized at halftime of an upcoming men's basketball game. Presenting the awards will be Tow's daughter, Teresa Austin, and Randy Self.
A native of Ashland, Wis., Chris Acosta overcame personal tragedy to become a three-time All-American downhill skier for the Lobos.
In the summer of 2010, Acosta and his closest friend, Spencer Nelson, a member of the University of Colorado Alpine ski team, were hiking near Aspen, Colo. Nelson was struck by a falling rock and fell to his death as Acosta and other friends looked on.
A former walk-on, Acosta is now in his senior season at UNM and captain of the men's Alpine team. He has earned All-America honors each of the past three seasons in the giant slalom and slalom, including a third-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Jael Clark (Albuquerque / La Cueva HS), the former Jael Fanning, logged phenomenal achievements - on and off the soccer pitch - during her time at UNM.
Clark was a four-year letterwinner (2008-11) who played in 80 career matches for head coach Kit Vela, leading the Lobos to Mountain West championships in 2010 and 2011, and their first appearances in the NCAA College Cup.
Clark was a four-time recipient of the Mountain West academic all-conference award and a three-time MW Scholar-Athlete award winner. She graduated from UNM in May with a degree in Nutrition and a sparkling 4.08 cumulative grade-point-average. Clark was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship earlier this year. Clark logged more than 300 hours of community service, including Toys for Tots, UNICEF, Special Olympics, Race for the Cure for breast cancer, collecting shoes for victims of the Haiti earthquake and providing physical therapy at several hospitals and clinics locally. Clark is currently in graduate school at UNM, studying Physical Therapy. She married former UNM hurdler Chad Clark in July.
About Tow Diehm
About Leslie Self
Previous Award Winners
Tow Diehm Award
Leslie Self Award