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(from left to right) Football player Kyle Riddering, baseball player Ricky Tyler Thomas, track and field athlete Annemarie Schwanz, and women’s tennis player Olivia Noble at the 10th Annual Night of Champions Gala at the Save Mart Center on May 8, 2017. (Keith Kountz/ Fresno State Athletics)

Bulldog standouts celebrated at Gala

Fresno State Athletics hosted its 10th annual “Night of Champions” Gala at the Save Mart Center on Monday to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of its student-athletes from the 2016-17 academic year.

Junior baseball player Ricky Tyler Thomas was awarded male Bulldog of the Year. A First-Team All-Mountain West selection in 2016, Thomas led the conference with 108 strikeouts and finished second with 104 innings pitched and a 2.16 ERA.

The social work major pitched over the summer for the USA Collegiate National Team where he led the team in strikeouts and helped it clinch its first-ever series win over Cuba. Thomas received the Richard “Dick” W. Case Award given every year to USA Baseball’s top player.

Senior track and field athlete Annemarie Schwanz received female Bulldog of the Year and Most Memorable Moment for a woman athlete after becoming the first Bulldog to win the women’s mile at the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Receiving her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and currently working on her master’s, Schwanz is a five-time All Mountain West honoree and has won three Mountain West championships. In 2016, she was named to the cross country NCAA all-region team.

Basketball player Jahmel Taylor was awarded the men’s Most Memorable Moment after scoring the game-winning 3-pointer to beat New Mexico in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, each of the graduating athletes received a Fresno State Student-Athlete sash to wear during the commencement ceremony on May 20.