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Updated Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 06:15 PM

Marshawn Lynch, Felix Hernandez take top honors at Seattle Sports Star banquet

By Joshua Mayers
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seahawks, after whipping Seattle into frenzy with a thrilling playoff run, added another honor at the 78th annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet Friday as running back Marshawn Lynch was named Professional Sports Star of the Year.

In other top awards presented at Benaroya Hall, Olympic gold-medal swimmer Nathan Adrian was named Male Amateur Sports Star of the Year, Olympic gold-medal rower Mary Whipple was named Female Amateur Sports Star of the Year and Mariners ace Felix Hernandez won Story of the Year for his Aug. 15 perfect game against Tampa Bay.

The winners were determined through on online public vote.

Lynch was unable to accept his award in person because he's getting ready for Sunday's Pro Bowl, but receiver Doug Baldwin did in his place.

"(Lynch) really doesn't wish he could be here," joked Baldwin in the acceptance speech. "He's in Hawaii."

He added: "I texted Marshawn to see what he wanted me to say. He hasn't texted me back."

Adrian, a Bremerton native, was also not in attendance, but his parents, Jim and Cecilia, accepted the award. They thanked his coaches, in particular, for having "a huge influence in his life."

Whipple, who rowed at UW, called her win a surprise.

"I'm honored; this is awesome," she said. "I can't believe I get to be in a room with so many amazing athletes."

Hernandez's award was accepted by a proud Mariners manager in Eric Wedge, who called his star pitcher "a special guy, on and off the field."

Sonics legend Donald "Slick" Watts was one of the presenters of Hernandez's award and had a prediction for the for 2013 version of the award.

"Next year, the top story will be: the Supersonics are back, baby!" he exclaimed.

Every reference to the potential reincarnation of the Sonics — and there were many Friday night — drew a loud cheer from the crowd.

Five awards, selected by the Seattle Sports Commission, were announced earlier in the week and given out Friday:

Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer was named Sports Executive of the Year.

Bob Rondeau, broadcaster for UW football and men's basketball, won the Keith Jackson Award for excellence in media.

Josh Dickerson, who continued to play baseball for O'Dea High School with a rare form of cancer and later died at age 18, won the Seattle Children's Inspirational Youth Award. His father, Kiyo, accepted the award and finished an emotional speech by thanking his son "for giving us the best 18 years of our lives."

Former Sonics coach Lenny Wilkens won the Paul Allen Award for contributions to the local community, having given more than $3 million to provide health care and education to children over the past decade.

Mariners icon Edgar Martinez won the Royal Brougham Legend Award for spirit that exemplifies the state and lifetime achievement in sports.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @joshuamayers.


DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Former Mariner great Edgar Martinez walks up to accept the Royal Brougham Legend Award for spirit and lifetime sports achievement at Benaroya Hall.




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