Oregon Tech senior Mitchell Fink has added to his laurels by becoming the fourth two-time winner of the Oregon Sports Awards Ad Rutschman Award as the state’s outstanding small-college male athlete.
Fink, the first player to win Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball Player of the Year honors three times, shared this year’s Rutschman Award with Linfield College baseball/football player Wyatt Smith.
Southern Oregon University volleyball player Taylor Ristvedt was named female winner of the Rutschman Award, which is given annually to the top athletes among Oregon’s NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA schools.
University of Oregon basketball players Sabrina Ionescu and Payton Pritchard were named winners of the Bill Hayward Award, which goes to an athlete from the state’s NCAA Division I schools.
Fink joins Linfield’s Brett Elliott, Willamette’s Nick Symnonds and Southern Oregon’s Mitch Lofstedt as a two-time winner of the award. Elliott and Symnonds shared the 2005 award, the second time there had been a tie for the men’s award.
Fink brings the number of times an OIT athlete has won the Rutschman Award to eight.
He helped Tech to a 26-7 record this past season, and a No. 7 national ranking. He averaged 16.7 points a game, and 7.3 assists per game. Fink finished his OIT career as the all-time No. 1 scorer and assist leader in men’s basketball history.
OIT, which had finished second in the NAIA Division II national tournament in Fink’s junior year, saw his season, along with his teammates, cut short when the 2020 national tournament was cancelled before the first round could be completed.
“It’s an honor to be named the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year again, along with Wyatt Smith,” Fink said in a press release.
“I think this award speaks volumes to the success of our team this year, and all of the hard work we put in. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without the support of my coaches, teammates and family.”
A year ago, when he won the award for the first time, Fink said: “It’s something I’m proud of. I’m honored to win the award.”
Other OIT winners of a Rutschman Award are Meagan Webber (2002, softball), Kelsi Haylett (2007, women’s basketball, softball and track and field), Ryan Fiegi (2008, men’s basketball), Bryant Sentman (2011, men’s basketball, track and field), Jackie Imhoff (2011, softball), and Tara Moates (2017, softball).
Fink and Ristvedt bring to 18 the number of Cascade Collegiate Conference athletes to win the award, which is voted upon by a panel of sports experts from around the state.