Athlete of the Week: Miles, Shoaf pull ahead in contentious week of voting
Emily DeFazio | Monday, February 7, 2022
This is the fourth week that The Observer sports staff selected top performers of the tri-campus athletic programs. Several teams shared the spotlight this week, allowing a wide variety of candidates to be nominated.
Men’s Athlete of the Week: Michael Shoaf, Notre Dame Track & Field
Sophomore Michael Shoaf just barely pulled ahead in the most contentious week of voting for this award. Shoaf has been a consistent name in this category, having been nominated or won in three out of the four weeks of the series.
In the Meyo Invitational, Shoaf improved with each round in the men’s shot put, increasing his mark by over a quarter of a meter each turn to throw 18.91m during his final go. Though it was not enough to take home the win (Shoaf placed fourth on the day), he claimed the Notre Dame record in the event. The previous record stood since 1972 at 18.56 meters.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Bischel, Notre Dame Hockey
Junior goaltender Ryan Bischel had a career performance Saturday night against PSU. He denied all 35 shots against the Irish, giving the team an undefeated weekend and a 3-0 win to end the series. This was his second shutout of the season and of his career. Ultimately, he deflected all but two shots this weekend (67/69).
Women’s Athlete of the Week: Olivia Miles, Notre Dame Women’s Basketball
For the second week in a row, freshman Olivia Miles leads the way for female athletes in the tri-campus. In her three showings, she posted a combined 54 points, 13 rebounds and another 13 assists, making herself a dominant force on the court. Her efforts led the Irish to a 2-1 week including a top-5 upset. As the Irish continue to climb the rankings and knock off tough opponents, Miles’s contributions this week became invaluable for the program.
Miles showed some flair in her show-stopping performance against No. 3 NC State, mixing in a couple of behind-the-back passes to switch things up for spectators. In Tallahassee on Sunday, Miles went on a nine-point fourth quarter run against the Seminoles in a last-ditch effort to put the Irish back on top. It was not enough for the team to take home a win, but the final run punctuated another strong week from the freshman sensation and secured her position as Women’s Athlete of the Week.
Honorable Mention: Jadin O’Brien, Notre Dame Track & Field
Another previous winner of this award, freshman Jadin O’Brien had another stellar weekend competing at the Meyo Invitational on Notre Dame’s campus Friday. During this go-around, she completed the pentathlon (consisting of the 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m) in which she won each of the five events. She demonstrated her skill in every aspect of the sport to land this week’s Honorable Mention slot.
Team of the Week: Notre Dame Hockey
It was truly a team effort this weekend for Notre Dame in their series against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Graduate students Adam Karashik, Chase Blackmun and freshman Tyler Carpenter posted their first goals as Irish players (for Carpenter this was also his first career goal), and each of the ten goals scored this weekend was from different members of the roster. The Irish swept Penn State by scores of 7-2 and 3-0. This makes the team 13-5-0 at Compton Ice Arena on the season.
Athlete of the Week Nominations
Miles (ND WBB, 3rd nomination), O’Brien (ND XC/TF, 2nd), Grace Adams (HC WBB, 2nd) and Maggie Rzepka (SMC BB, 1st)
Shoaf (ND XC/TF, 4th nomination), Bischel (ND Hockey, 1st), Paul Atkinson Jr. (ND MBB, 1st) and Tyler Carpenter (ND Hockey, 1st)