May 17, 2010
IOWA CITY, IA - - Jessica Barnett, a member of the University of Iowa field hockey team, was recently named Sport BC's female high school athlete of the year for 2009.
"When I heard I had been nominated I was shocked," said Barnett. "This award has gone to such well known people in the past. I know Steve Nash won it back in 1992, so it is really a huge honor. I never expected to win because just being nominated was such a big recognition. Winning this award is great for all multisport athletes, and it should encourage younger athletes to continue to develop themselves in different sports as long as they can."
The North Vancouver, Canada, native received the top honor for her strong performances on three different teams at Handsworth Secondary School. During her final year of high school, Barnett captained the field hockey, basketball and soccer teams, winning provincial championships in soccer and basketball. Barnett was named a North Shore first team all-star in soccer and field hockey and was a second team all-star in basketball. From 2004-07, she was named her high school's athlete of the year each year.
Barnett noted that competing in multiple sports helped her establish a competitive edge, which translated well to other sports.
"Participating in other sports allowed me to have a positive transfer from sport to sport and allowed me to develop an incredible competitiveness, which is essential no matter what sport you play," said Barnett.
The Handsworth Secondary School standout enjoyed enormous success at the high school level. Barnett was a significant contributor on the Hawkeye team this past fall and recognized the difference in competition between the high school and collegiate level.
"The biggest difference from high school to college is the level of competiveness," said Barnett. "Also, you have to prepare yourself for a faster and more physical style of play."
Despite the jump to the collegiate level, Barnett was a key contributor on Iowa's team last season. As a freshman, Barnett started all 19 games and recorded one defensive save as a main contributor on the Hawkeyes' defensive penalty corner unit.
"Jessica's success in high school did not go unnoticed," said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. "This award is very well deserved. She had an unbelievable high school career as an athlete and has not skipped a beat at the college level. Her determination and competitiveness set her apart. She started all games her freshmen year here and we anticipate gradual improvement over the next three years. She is committed to improving on a daily basis. We look forward to 2010 and what she can do during her sophomore campaign."
Barnett, one of 11 returning Hawkeye letterwinners, is also excited for the 2010 season.
"I am super excited for the upcoming season to start," added Barnett. "I know a lot of my teammates want to train with each other this summer, which shows that we are really dedicated and want to be working hard for one another. I think the overall feeling within the team right now is awesome and we are looking forward to a good season of hockey."