Whether it was on the gridiron or in the classroom, Jake Fischer was a leader for the Arizona football program.
Fischer, who is from the Tucson area and prepped at Ironwood Ridge High School, played in every game in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. He graduated in December with a 3.382 GPA and a degree in marketing.
Fischer let the Wildcats’ defense from the middle linebacker position and was first on the team in tackles in his junior and senior season. Last month, he was named to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society.
Fischer helped improve the Arizona defense from 11th in scoring defense in 2012 in the Pac-12 Conference to sixth. He also returned a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Fischer went out with a bang, matching a career in tackles (14) in Arizona’s 42-19 win over Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
Fischer was a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree, was twice named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and athletically was an All-Pac-12 performer twice.
— Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520
Arizona track and field high jumper Nick Ross announced he was back by rewriting the record books.
Due to an ankle injury, Ross was forced to redshirt the entire 2013 season. However, Ross turned his initial devastation into an aggressive determination to be the best he could be. After missing last year, Ross is having his best season ever.
Ross set a new school record in the outdoor men’s high jump competition. With a clearance of 7-6.5 (2.30m), Ross beat a school record from 1980. His mark of 7-7 (2.31m) is No. 1 in the country and is No. 5 in the world this year.
As of May 11, Ross has been named Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete of the Week twice. Ross owns the No. 5 long jump in the Pac-12 Conference through early May. He also holds the No. 3 triple jump mark in the Pac-12 though the first week of May.
Ross will look to win another national championship at the Men’s Outdoor Track and Field NCAA Championships in June. Ross has already distinguished himself as a champion by winning the 2012 Indoor NCAA Championship in the high jump.
— Follow Zoe Wolkowitz @zowolko
The 2012 Summer Olympian backed up her London trip with what has so far been an excellent senior season. Senior Julie Labonté has been honored with the Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Week twice this season. During the ASU Invitational on March 29, Labonté came in first place in the shot put by posting a national-best 17.24 meters.
She also won the women’s shot put at the 2014 Double Dual Meet against ASU and NAU with a throw of 56-feet‑3 inches. She competes in the discus as well, where she also has been successful.
Labonté won the discus toss on April 19 at the LSU Alumni Gold in Baton Rouge, La., with a throw of 172 feet, 5 inches. She also won the shot put that weekend.
The Canadian holds her nation’s record in the shot put at 18m31. Though Labonté didn’t medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics she is hopeful that she will be a member of the Canadian national team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella
Even though he played on a club sports team, Wildcat hockey center Andrew Murmes was undoubtedly one of Arizona’s standout seniors this year. For the third consecutive season, he was named Arizona’s MVP by head coach Sean Hogan.
In his senior campaign, Murmes earned career highs with 59 points, 24 goals and 35 assists, which lead the team for the third year in a row as well.
Murmes’ 59 points also ranked him tied for eighth in the ACHA Division I with Buffalo’s Michael Schalberg, Oklahoma’s Bryce Johnson and Christopher Cimoch of Robert Morris. The last player in the Wildcat hockey program to have recorded that many points in a season was in Robbie Nowinski’s 60-point 2008-09 campaign.
In the national tournament this year, Murmes also assisted all three Wildcat goals scored against Illinois in the 4-3 first round loss. The trio of assists would add to his 197 regular season total points, tallying 200 career points. Murmes is the 13th player in Arizona history to accomplish such a feat.
— Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo
Jazmin Ponce finished the 2013 season with 10 goals on 92 shot attempts and was named to the 2013 Pac-12 First-Team All-Conference. It was the midfielder/forward’s second selection in as many seasons. She was also named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week during October after a two-goal performance against USC. In the end, she helped lead her Wildcats team to a 9-7-4 overall record.
Ponce is a California native but was invited to attend tryouts for the Mexican National team this past January. While trying out for the national team, Ponce played in the Yongchuan Cup in China where her Mexican squad played against North Korea, China and New Zealand. Ponce was also became eligible for the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft.
— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella
With three national championships and more than 20 All-American nods, Margo Geer is one of the fastest sprint-swimmers in the world.
And in the classroom, she’s no fish out of water. She sports an impressive 3.55 GPA.
As a junior, Geer claimed national titles in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. Geer defended her title in the 100y freestyle in her final collegiate race, edging out Lia Neal of Stanford and Olympic medalist Missy Franklin of California. Geer’s time of 47.10 was good for first place and her third national championship. In a preliminary race held that morning, Geer touched the wall in 47 seconds flat, making her the third-fastest woman ever in the 100y freestyle.
The daughter of two teachers, Geer was named Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year for her excellence in both the academic and athletic arenas.
— Follow Mark Armao @MarkArmao