The Wildcats Jones earned LSC top male athlete recognition following a dominant track & field season, while Apo claimed the honor of top female athlete after helping the Rambelles win the softball conference championship.
Jones was the clear choice, receiving votes on all 10 ballots cast, over Midwestern State football standout Amini Silatolu and Texas A&M-Kingsville multi-sport (football/track & field) star Jonathan Woodson.
Apo received the women's award ahead of ACU tennis standout Julia Mongin and Tarleton State two-sport (volleyball/track & field) star Nikki McNorton.
Jones capped his remarkable career at the 2012 NCAA Division II outdoor championships by claiming his fifth national championship and making NCAA history in the process. Jones - who will compete in the US Olympic Trials in July - won the discus for the fourth time in his career, becoming the first male athlete in NCAA history (regardless of division) and only the second athlete in NCAA history to accomplish the feat. His best discus throw of the season - 203 feet, 3 inches at the UTEP Invitational - makes him the third-best performer in NCAA Division II history and the mark is the best collegiate mark in the country in 2012, regardless of division. At the LSC championship meet, Jones finished third in the hammer and sixth in the javelin, the first time in his career he had ever competed in those events. During the 2012 indoor season, Jones added another individual national championship to his already impressive resume when he won the shot put in March at the national indoor championship meet.
Apo was named NFCA first team All-American and the Lone Star Conference Player of the Year for 2012. She started all of ASU's 59 games this season for the softball team. Apo paced the nationally ranked Rambelles all season, as ASU (48-11) was one win away from making a trip to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The senior led the team in batting average (.424), on-base percentage (.545) and walks (40). The third baseman slugged .655 with 11 doubles and nine home runs, while finishing the season with 52 RBI.
Here's a closer look at the voting breakdown for each award, along with the honorees since 1999:
LSC MALE ATHLETE OF YEAR (Name, School, Year, Sport, Points): Nick Jones, Abilene Christian, Sr., Track and Field, 24; Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State, Sr., Football, 13; Jonathan Woodson, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Jr., Football/Track & Field, 10; Lee Neumann, Angelo State, Jr., Baseball, 5; Milton Garner, Cameron, Sr., Men's Basketball, 4; Isaiah Samoei, Eastern New Mexico, Jr., Cross Country/Track & Field, 3; Dane Hamrick, West Texas A&M, Sr., Track & Field, 1; Brad Hambrick, Texas A&M-Commerce, Sr., Men's Basketball, 0; Chris Johnson, Incarnate Word, Sr., Basketball, 0; Dashaun Phillips, Tarleton State, So., Football, 0.
LSC FEMALE ATHLETE OF YEAR (Name, School, Year, Sport, Points): Elsamartina Apo, Angelo State, Sr., Softball, 16; Julia Mongin, Abilene Christian, Jr., Women's Tennis, 12; Nikki McNorton, Tarleton State, Jr., Volleyball/Track & Field, 12; Sabelle Diata, Cameron, Sr., Women's Basketball, 8; Bailey Vrazel, Texas Woman's, So., Softball, 6; Brissia Montalvo, Midwestern State, Sr., Cross Country, Track, 6; Kim LeComte, West Texas A&M, Sr., Softball, 4; Rachel Robertson, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., Volleyball, 2; Amber Perry, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Fr., Track, 0; Flower Castillo, Incarnate Word, So., Golf, 0; Nicole Reid, Eastern New Mexico, Sr., Cross Country, 0.
LONE STAR CONFERENCE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
2012 Nick Jones, Abilene Christian, Sr., Track & Field
2011 Chase Larsson, Cameron, Jr., Baseball
2010 Cyril Bouniol, Abilene Christian, Jr., Golf
2009 Bernard Scott, Abilene Christian, Sr., Football
2008 Sam Belt, Central Oklahoma, Sr., Basketball
2007 Nicodemus Naimadu, Abilene Christian, Sr., CC/Track & Field
2006 Danieal Manning, Abilene Christian, Football
2005 Drew Beard, Southeastern Okla., Football
2004 Cole Province, Central Oklahoma, Wrestling
2003 Olan Coleman, Tarleton State, Football/Track & Field
2002 Steve Kelly, Tarleton State, Football
2001 Roberto Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Football/Track & Field
2000 Roberto Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Football/Track & Field
1999 Eddie Robinson, Central Oklahoma, Basketball
2012 Elsamartina Apo, Angelo State, Sr., Softball
2011 Carla Cooper, Tarleton State, Sr., Golf
2010 Aisha Adams, Angelo State, Sr., Track & Field
2009 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Sr., Basketball
2008 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Jr., Basketball
2007 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, So., Basketball
2006 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Fr., Basketball
2005 Celeste Stevenson, West Texas A&M, Basketball
2004 Michelle Hofmann, Angelo State, Softball
2003 LaTasha Mosley, Angelo State, Track & Field
2002 Brandi Robinson, Southeastern Okla., Basketball
2001 Precious Thibodeaux, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Basketball/Track & Field
2000 Sarah Butler, West Texas A&M, Volleyball
1999 Tracy Barnes, Abilene Christian, Track & Field