ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio volleyball senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and Ohio football redshirt senior linebacker Quentin Poling (Gomer, Ohio) have earned Ohio strength & conditioning's prestigious Ultimate Elite Athlete Award.
Kosiorek and Poling became Ohio's 13th and 14th student-athletes to achieve the award in the last 17 years.
The Ultimate Elite Athlete Award dates back to 2001 and has been awarded to 12 Ohio student-athletes. Each program in Ohio Intercollegiate Athletics has a testing criteria and point scale, and the student-athlete who scores over 90 percent on all events (strength, speed, agility and jump) earns the title of Ultimate Elite Athlete.
"It wasn't even super hard work for me because I wanted to do it," said Kosiorek. "People always say it's work, but I enjoyed doing it. I loved every second of being in the super hot weight room in the summer when there's no air conditioning and it's 90 degrees and I'm doing pull ups. I'm super happy I accomplished that because that's something that I've wanted for two years now. I'm really proud of myself, and I couldn't have done it without all my teammates pushing me and believing in me that I could do it."
"It's a very high honor," said Poling. "It's based strictly on athletic and agility numbers, so it was something that I wanted to work on through this offseason. I had good strength before, but to really just hone in and improve my athleticism and be able to run and jump as fast and as high as I could."
Kosiorek was inspired to go after the Ultimae Elite Athlete Award after watching former outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis achieve the feat in 2016. She garnered All-Mid-American Conference Honorable Mention in 2016 after leading the team with 31 service aces (0.28 per set) and ranking second with a career-high 360 kills (3.21 per set). She ranked fourth in the MAC in both service aces (38; 83rd in the NCAA) and service aces per set (0.33; 120th in the NCAA; tied for ninth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era of the program) as a sophomore in 2015. Kosiorek garnered MAC All-Freshman Team selection in 2014 after leading the MAC and ranking 13th in NCAA Division I with 0.44 service aces per set (second-best in a single season in program rally scoring history) and leading the MAC and ranking 24th in NCAA Division I with a career-high 46 service aces (fourth-most in a single season in program rally scoring history). Her 991 career kills rank ninth in the rally scoring era in program history while her 115 service aces are tied for ninth overall in program history and tied for third in the rally scoring era.
"Jaime is an extremely competitive athlete with relentless work ethic," said assistant athletic director for strength & conditioning Sonny Sano. "When Mallory Salis earned her Ultimate Elite Athlete status last year and when Jaime saw Mallory's name went up on the board in the weight room, she decided that she would accomplish the same feat as well and nothing would be stopping her. Her effort and determination has been contagious and her drive to improve herself acts as a catalyst to motivate her teammates as well. I cannot be more proud of her accomplishment."
The volleyball team is tested on power clean, back squat, push up, pull up, vertical jump, approach jump, 10-yard sprint and 5-10-5 pro agility. During the testing period, Kosiorek recorded a power clean of 167 pounds for nine points, a back squat of 257 pounds for nine points, 24 pull ups for 10 points, 41 push ups for nine points, a 28.0-inch standing vertical jump for 10 points, a 31.5-inch approach jump for 10 points, a 1.78-second 10-yard sprint and a 4.52-second pro agility for eight points.
"Jaime has spent a great deal of time and effort working to achieve this level of success physically," said fourth-year Ohio volleyball head coach Deane Webb. "When you look at the board in the weight room and see how few people have earned Ultimate Elite Athlete, it leads to a greater appreciation of the accomplishment. One thing I appreciate about Jaime is she directly correlates it with our team's success on the court. She isn't there to break records just for the sake of breaking weight room records. She has paid this price so her team can achieve greater things on the court."
Poling's work in the weight room as turned him into a big playmaker on defense for the Bobcats. He was named First Team All-MAC in 2016 after ranking second on the team with 110 tackles -- including 67 solo stops. Poling had 13.5 tackles for 64 yards lost and four sacks for 41 yards lost, five pass breakups and four quarterback hurries and had three forced fumbles.
"Quentin has a tenacity and drive to win that is unmatched, a competitor to the end," said director of strength & conditioning Dak Notestine. "Whether it's a tough team run or lift, a fourth down stop, or big play he is the one that will step up, unwavering, every single time. He welcomes challenge and meets it with relentless vigor. In every sense of the word he hates to lose. His determination has payed off throughout his career and was put on display this summer. When others may lighten up and coast to be as 'safe' heading into their final campaign, he has prepared as hard as anyone to put himself in position to have a stellar season. Quentin has set a standard in accordance with what we preach on a daily basis that your best players need to be your hardest workers, setting no limits. He is as deserving of the Ultimate Elite Athlete Award as any athlete that we have worked with, and his numbers are proof of that work."
The football team is tested on bench, squat, power clean, vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard sprint, 10-yard sprint and pro agility. During the testing period, Poling recorded a bench of 352 pounds for 90 points, 484 pounds for 85 points, a power clean of 323 pounds for 93 points, a vertical jump of 36 inches for 90 points, a broad jump of 119 inches for 95 points, a 4.57-second 40-yard sprint for 95 points, a 1.57-second 10-yard sprint for 95 points and a 4.07-second pro agility for 95 points.
"Quentin is a high level athlete and dedicated to being a leader on the football field and in the weight room," said 13th-year head football coach Frank Solich. "I have been impressed by his ability and work ethic and that shows in the results he has achieved athletically."
The volleyball team opens the 2017 regular season this weekend in Birmingham, Ala., at the Courtyard By Marriott Invitational at Pete Hanna Center. Ohio opens the new year with an 11 a.m. ET matchup against Murray State on Friday (Aug. 25) and will then take on host Samford at 8 p.m. ET that evening in a match that will be streamed on the SoCon Digital Network. The Bobcats wrap up the opening weekend of play Saturday (Aug. 26), squaring off against Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. ET.
The football team begins the 2017 regular season at home next Saturday (Sept. 2) with a 7 p.m. ET matchup at Peden Stadium.