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May 1, 2012

2011 Season - Skeens earns Chapman Award from CCIW

Senior volleyball and basketball standout Brianna Skeens was selected to be Augustana's female recipient of the Merle Chapman Award in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the 2011-12 school year.

Senior volleyball and basketball standout Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Libertyville, Ill.) was selected to be Augustana's recipient of the Merle Chapman Leadership Award in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) for the 2011-12 school year. Skeens won the award for females while senior wrestler Albert Quiros (Morton HS, Berwyn, Ill.) was the Vikings' male winner of the honor, which was presented to them at the CCIW year-end Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) luncheon in Naperville, Illinois.

The Merle Chapman Leadership Award, which began during the 2002-03 academic year, is named after the longtime football coach/director of athletics at Millikin University who served as the second commissioner of the CCIW. Chapman was the CCIW commissioner from 1997 through 2002. The award identifies the student-athletes from the eight member institutions who best exemplify the traits that Chapman displayed and encouraged during his three-plus decades of service as teacher, coach and mentor.

His influence among athletes, coaches and administrators in the CCIW is still being felt to this day. Those traits include loyalty, enthusiasm, and commitment to academic, athletic and personal excellence, leadership and sportsmanship.

Skeens was a four year member of both the Viking basketball and volleyball team. She was a captain during her senior volleyball season, in which she competed as a middle blocker. Her last season was her best, as she was named the team's Most Valuable Player. She led the team in total kills with 331 and her kills-per-game average of 2.98 (331 kills in 111 games) was also tops for the Vikings. In addition, her kill percentage of .220 (331 kills with 137 errors in 881 total attempts) was the highest on the Augustana team. For good measure she had the second-highest block-per-game average of 0.68 with 76 total blocks (24 solo & 52 assists) in 111 games.

Skeens was also the recipient of the basketball team's "Best Defensive Player" award her junior year and was a four year letter winner for Augustana. She was a finalist for the prestigious Shooting Touch Sabbatical program, which grants graduating college seniors the opportunity to partake in a ten month international work program using the platform of basketball to help foster education and influence positive social change in third world communities. She is currently the president of the Augustana chapter of S.A.A.C. and participates frequently in Athletes-Giving-Back (A.G.B.). Skeens is the daughter of Bill and Sue Ellen Skeens of Libertyville, Illinois and will graduate this May with a degree in psychology.

Quiros was a four year member of the Augustana wrestling team, which experienced a rebirth during his years at the college. His yearly record progressed each year under head coach Eric Juergens' tutelage, eventually culminating his senior year. Quiros claimed the Most Outstanding Wrestler title at the CCIW tournament, where he won the conference title at the 149 pound weight class. Spurred by Quiros' victory, the Viking's nabbed second place in the conference, the best finish for the Viking men since 2004. Quiros was one of three Augustana wrestlers to compete at the NCAA national meet, where the Vikings finished 36th. 

Quiros has been very active in both A.G.B. as well as the S.A.A.C organization over his four years at Augustana. The son of Sandra Quiros of Berwyn, Illinois, he will graduate this spring with a degree in psychology.