DENVER – Utah Valley cross country and track athlete Tyson Lambert and Grand Canyon softball player Bianca Boling have been named the 2017-18 Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates Award winners. Named in honor of former WAC Commissioner Stan Bates, the annual award is given to the WAC's top male and female scholar-athletes and recognizes athletic, academic and community accomplishments. The award includes a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Lambert, from Grantsville, Utah, earned his bachelor's degree in information systems in May of 2017 and is on track to earn his Master of Science in cyber security in spring of 2019. A nine-time Academic All-WAC honoree, he was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in March and was a numerous Dean's List recipient at Utah Valley.
The top male distance runner at Utah Valley for the past three years, he was the runner-up at the 2017 WAC Cross Country Championship and earned a selection to the NCAA Championship after earning All-Region honors with a 24th-place finish at the NCAA Mountain Regional. He also finished third in the 10,000-meter run at the 2018 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships and won both the 3,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run at the 2017 WAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. He earned first team All-WAC 16 times in his career, receiving the honor in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
A team captain in both cross country and track and field, Lambert is involved with his church and has volunteered at food banks in the Orem/Provo area.
"Tyson is a tremendous leader," said Utah Valley head cross country and track and field coach Scott Houle. "He has the ability to lead by example and take direction. He is a self-motivated young man that will be great in everything he does."
Boling, from Phoenix, graduated in April with a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in counseling, holding a 3.96 grade-point average. A three-time Academic All-WAC honoree, she was also a President's List Recipient and was named Honors College Student-Athlete of the Year in 2016 and GCU Outstanding Senior in 2018.
A 2018 first team All-WAC honoree, she appeared in 159 career games for the Lopes, earning starts in 121 of those games. She was also named to the 2018 All-Tournament Team after setting a new record for home runs in a tournament with four as she helped lead the Lopes to the championship game.
A member of Grand Canyon SAAC, Boling is also involved in numerous volunteer organizations, including 1Mission, Southwest Behavioral and Health Services, and AIDS Walk Arizona. She earned the 2018 Roland Beck award, which goes to the student-athlete who displays outstanding leadership, athletic and academic achievement and displays values consistent with GCU's Christian Values.
"Bianca has an underlying passion to succeed in all areas of her life," said GCU head softball coach Ann Pierson. "She encourages people around her to do their best. I relied heavily on Bianca as a natural leader to teach the younger players the philosophies of our program."