ROME, GA – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is happy to announce the selections of Jordan Theron (Sewanee: The University of the South) and Sylwia Mikos (University of Chicago) as the 2023 ITA Cup James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award winners.
Awarded each year at the conclusion of the ITA Cup, the James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award recognizes two student-athletes who exemplify the spirt of college tennis and show great sportsmanship throughout the tournament. To be eligible for this award, student-athletes must have reached the finals of the singles main draw.
As the men’s recipient, Jordan Theron demonstrated great class and respect for all of his opponents throughout his matches at the 2023 ITA Cup. Now in his senior season, Theron has consistently improved during his collegiate career, joining the Tigers last season after beginning his career at Methodist University.
After reaching the semifinals at the 2021 ITA Cup and the quarterfinals at the 2022 ITA Cup, Theron made the most of his appearance this year, winning all four of his matches in straight sets en route to the championship. For Theron, this title is confirmation to the years of work he has poured into his game, as he continues to write his legacy at Sewanee this season.
“Tennis is a game of treating all stakeholders with respect,” proclaimed Theron. “I want to thank everyone involved, including officials, coaches, and players who contributed to making the ITA Cup such a world-class event.”
Theron and the entire Sewanee team will look to roll this success over into the spring season, where the Tigers will have high expectations after going 21-5 in dual-matches during the 2022-23 season. The Tigers made the third round of the NCAA Championship this past season and will be hosting the ITA Division III Men’s and Women’s National Team Indoor Championships this spring.
“Jordan represents what Sewanee, and Sewanee tennis, is all about,” stated Sewanee men’s tennis head coach, Felix Mann. “He plays the game with rigorous honesty, self-accountability, and high standards. Jordan is one of the most mature young men I’ve ever met and I know how much receiving this ITA sportsmanship award means to him.”
The women’s ITA Cup James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award winner has been awarded to UChicago’s standout junior, Sylwia Mikos. As one of the top players in all of Division III women’s tennis over the past two seasons, Mikos has not only carried herself at a championship level with her play, but with her attitude as well, gaining a reputation of respect from opponents and coaches across the nation.
At the 2023 ITA Cup, Mikos won her second consecutive women’s singles title, taking down Lindsay Eisenman (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) 6-1, 6-2 in the championship match. Over the entire draw, Mikos only dropped one set and looked ready to reclaim the top spot in the Division III Singles Rankings this season.
“I’m incredibly thankful for being honored with the Sportsmanship Award and for securing the singles title at the ITA Cup,” said Mikos. “The Sportsmanship Award plays a vital role in promoting a culture of positivity and respect in the world of athletics, and I am dedicated to upholding these values both on and off the court. Securing the singles title is another achievement in my athletic career, and I aspire to build upon this success as we head into the upcoming season.”
This championship will help bring more momentum to the UChicago team who has continually reached new heights over the past two seasons. The Maroons are back-to-back ITA Division III Women’s National Team Indoor Champions and have reached the NCAA National Championship match each of the past two seasons, coming up just short in both appearances.
“Throughout her career at UChicago, Sylwia has earned a reputation across the country not only as a fierce competitor and a champion but also as a sportswoman and an all-around good person,” notes UChicago women’s tennis head coach, Jay Tee. “She possesses a rare combination of humility, kindness, and compassion that is prevalent in all areas of her life, but especially the tennis court. I’m thrilled that the other coaches from DII, DIII, NAIA, and JUCO also took notice of what we already knew: Sylwia is a champion in every sense of the word and is uniquely deserving of this honor. UChicago is truly fortunate to have a person like Sylwia Mikos representing it so well on a national stage.”
The James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award is given in memory of Jim Sargent, former Media Manager for Rolex Watch, USA, who was not only a great friend of college tennis, but an ITA All-American who competed with outstanding success and sportsmanship at Lynchburg College and afterwards, a special partner to the ITA and all of college tennis in his role with Rolex.