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Happy Birthday - June 20

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On June 20 we wish a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Taylor Anton!

Taylor  Anton

Anton is a rising sophomore out of Memphis who competed as part of the third varsity eight that finished sixth in the grand finals at the Big 12 Championships. An economics major, Anton turns 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Taylor!




Happy Birthday - June 13

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On June 13 we're celebrating the birthdays of men's swimmer Ben Miller and rowing's Kahala Schneider!



A freestyle specialist, Miller recently concluded his junior season at Tennessee. He set two new PRs in 2014-15, including a new career-best in the 50 free (21.73) and the 400 IM (3:54.57). The Raleigh, North Carolina, native finished the year as a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Born this day in 1994, Miller is 21 years old today.



Schneider is a junior from Honolulu, Hawai'i, and has spent all three of her collegiate seasons on the varsity rowing squad. She was a member of the Academic All-Big 12 Rowing Team in 2015 and was a part of the second varsity four that finished third (7:53.85) in the grand finals of the Big 12 Championships. Today is Schneider's 21st birthday. 

Happy birthday, Ben and Kahala!




Happy Birthday - May 9

We've got a trio of Tennessee birthdays to celebrate on May 9 as we wish happy birthday to Lauren Higdon of rowing and Jordan Rodgers of baseball, as well as VFL and current Major Leaguer Chase Headley

Higdon competed as a true freshman this last season for the Tennessee rowing squad, appearing initially as a member of the novice squad before rowing with the varsity. She rowed the one seat in the Varsity Four at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational that placed third in two races and fourth in another. She picked up a win as a member of the Varsity Four at the Petite Final in a time of 8 minutes, 8.16 seconds at the 42nd Annual San Diego Crew Classic. Born this day in 1996, Higdon is 18 years old today.

Lauren  Higdon

Infielder Rodgers is in the midst of his sophomore season for the Diamond Vols and has appeared in 32 games this season. He is hitting .260 on the year with 11 RBIs and three doubles. Rodgers is a native of Memphis and attended Memphis University School during his prep years. He is 20 years old today. 



Currently the third baseman for the New York Yankees, Headley played baseball at Tennessee from 2004-05 after transferring from Pacific. He batted .357 during his two seasons on Rocky Top, including a .387 average during a junior season that also featured 14 home runs and 65 RBIs. He also earned Academic All-America status while at UT. Headley was drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres and made his big league debut in 2007. He remained with San Diego through the 2013 season and was traded to the New York Yankees last summer. He is hitting .229 through 29 games with New York so far this season.



Happy birthday, Lauren, Jordan, and Chase!




Happy Birthday - May 2

On May 2 we've got a trio of birthdays to celebrate as we wish a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Stephanie Grozio, former women's swimming and diving standout Tori Lamp, and baseball VFL Luke Hudson!

Grozio is a true freshman out of East Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a member of Tennessee's novice squad in the rowing program. She attended East Brunsiwck High School where she played basketball, softball, and volleyball. Born this day in 1996, Grozio is 19 years old today.

Stephanie Grozio

A 2014 graduate, Lamp is considered to be one of the best divers in Tennessee's swimming and diving program history. She was a three-time SEC champion on the platform, winning in back-to-back-to-back years from 2012-14. She also earned a silver medal in the 1-meter springboard in 2013 as well as a silver and a bronze in the 3-meter springboard in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Lamp earned seven All-America certificates during her time on Rocky Top and was the 2013 CSCAA National Diver of the Year. She currently holds the UT record in both the platform and 3-meter springboard categories.



Hudson was a pitcher for the Volunteers from 1996-98, recording a record of 15-5 during his three seasons in the Orange and White. He went on to be drafted by Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 1998 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002. In 2004, he went 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in nine starts with the Reds before spending the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He retired from professional baseball in 2009.



Happy birthday, Stephanie, Tori, and Luke!


Happy Birthday - April 25

On April 25 we're wishing a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Victoria Florence as well as softball legend Ellen Renfroe!

A sophomore from Madison, Alabama, Florence is a member of the varsity rowing squad at UT. This season she rowed in the Women's 8+ shell that earned gold in a time of 18 minutes, 4.7 seconds at the Secret City Head Race. Florence is a computer engineering major and turns 20 years old today.

Victoria  Florence

Renfroe was a force to be reckoned with in the circle during her four years as a member of the Tennessee softball team. The Jackson, Tennessee, native was a three-time All-American, a three-time All-SEC performer, and a two-time national player of the year. As a senior in 2014, she logged a 30-win season, going 30-8. She finished out her career with a 102-25 record, 1,005 strikeouts, and a 1.65 ERA while in the circle for Tennessee. She is 23 years old today.



Happy birthday Victoria and Ellen!




Happy Birthday - April 2

On April 2 we are wishing a very happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Kaitlan Aries

KaitlinAries

A senior from Chuluota, Florida, Aries is in the midst of her third season with the varsity squad. She has competed in five races this season, including a spot in the first varsity eight that narrowly finished in fourth in 6:58.38 at the 42nd Annual San Diego Crew Classic. She also rowed in the bow seat in the varsity eight at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational that placed third in three races. Last year, Aries picked up a handful of academic awards. She was named to the 2014 SEC Spring Honor Roll, the 2013-14 C-USA Honor Roll, and received the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal -- an honor given to student-athletes maintaining a 3.75 GPA or better. Aries is a kinesiology major.

Happy birthday, Kaitlan!


Happy Birthday - March 22

On March 22 we're celebrating the birthdays of soccer's Christine Creighton, rowing's Nikole Metz, and men's tennis legend Rhyne Williams

Creighton is a native of Haverhill, Florida, and recently completed her true freshman season with the Tennessee women's soccer program in 2014. She appeared in 16 matches on the season, logging three goals and one assist. Her first career goal came in the 40th minute of a home match against Mississippi State in late September. She is an elementary education major and turns 18 years old today.

Christine Creighton

Metz is a junior coxswain with the rowing program and is a native of Fayetteville, New York. This season she placed fourth at the Chattanooga Head Race in Women's College 4+ with a time of 18:52.3. The political science major began her collegiate rowing career at SMU before transferring to Rocky Top. She is 21 years old today.

Nikole Metz

Williams played varsity tennis for his hometown University of Tennessee from 2009-11, piecing together two of the best seasons in program history in 2010 and 2011. During those years, he captured consecutive All-America honors and earned the ITA's No. 1 ranking in 2011 en route to reaching the NCAA Singles Championships. He finished his career with a singles record of 83-17 and a doubles mark of 66-14. Williams now competes on the ATP World Tour. 



Happy birthday, Christine, Nikole, and Rhyne!


Happy Birthday - March 16

On March 16 we're wishing a happy birthday to freshman rower Katherine Pearson

Katherine Pearson

A native of Garden City, New York, Pearson is a member of the novice squad. At Pomfret School, she was a member of the varsity rowing team, squash team, and cross country team. She is majoring in business at UT and turns 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Katherine!


Happy Birthday - March 15

On the heels of this weekend's NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships -- and on the brink of the 2015 outdoor season, which begins on Thursday -- we have a quartet of Tennessee track and field birthdays to report on this day. Today we're celebrating the birthdays of junior thrower Cameron Brown, junior pole vaulter Jake Blankenship, freshman cross country and middle distance runner Drew Kelley, and VFL from the throws Aslynn Halvorson. Today is also the birthday of rowing's Natalie Tavares

Brown is the 2015 SEC Indoor Champion in the men's weight throw after turning in a winning effort of 74 feet, 1.75 inches (22.60 meters) two weeks ago in Lexington. He was just the second Volunteer in the conference's history to win the event. He is also the current school record-holder in the men's weight throw, having broken Garland Porter's 11-year-old record with a throw of 76 feet, 8.50 inches (23.38) back in February. 

Cameron  Brown

Blankenship is blowing out the candles just two days removed from a silver-medal performance in the men's pole vault at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships. He set a new lifetime-best in the event with a vault of 19 feet, 0.25 inches (5.80 meters). That mark is the second-best in program history and also stands as the second-best mark for a runner-up finisher in NCAA history. He has earned indoor first team All-America honors for the second time in his career on Rocky Top. 

Jake  Blankenship

Kelley is in the midst of his first season with the Tennessee track and field program, hailing from Roswell, Georgia. Just two weekend's ago, he set a new personal best in the mile at the 2015 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 4:21.12. 

Drew  Kelley

Halvorson competed in the throws for UT from 2010-14, notching marks in the indoor shot put and weight throw as well as the outdoor shot put, hammer throw, and discus. She ranks seventh all-time at UT in the outdoor shot put (52-5.5/15.99) and is ninth in the discus (169-9/51.75). She owns a degree in kinesiology from Tennessee.

Aslynn Halvorson

A sophomore from Fonthill, Ontario, Tavares has logged two seasons with the varsity rowing squad. This season, she was part of the shell that placed fourth in Women's Cup 8+ at the Head of the Hooch race with a time of 16 minutes, 26.4 seconds. She earned gold during the women's 2- with partner Thomson behind a time of 21 minutes, 20.9 seconds. She is an accounting major at UT.

Natalie Tavares

Happy birthday Cameron, Jake, Aslynn, and Natalie! 


Happy Birthday - March 13

On this Friday the 13th of March we've got five, count 'em, five birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top. Current student athletes Candace Flemmings (rowing), Molly Hannis (women's swimming and diving), and Gustav Aberg Lejdstrom (men's swimming and diving) will each be blowing out the candles today, as will VFLs Tonya Edwards (women's basketball) and David Martin (football). 

Flemmings is a true freshman from Cary, North Carolina, and is a member of UT's novice squad. She attended Green Hope High School where she played basketball and ran track. She is 19 years old today.

Candace Flemmings

One of the senior leaders on the women's swimming and diving squad, Hannis has qualified for this month's NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. She has clocked a pair of top-three times nationally this season after earning two silver medals at the 2015 SEC Championships in late February. She ranks first in the country in the 100 breaststroke (58.42) after winning the gold medal in Greensboro last December at USA Swimming Winter Nationals and ranks third in the women's 200 breaststroke (2:06.98) after earning second place i the same pool the next night. She has collected 13 SEC medals over her storied career. Hannis is 23 years old today.

Molly Hannis

Aberg Lejdstrom is a junior from Helsinborg, Sweden. During this last season, he picked up a win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:44.24 to open the year at UNCW. At that same meet, he anchored the 200-yard medley relay team to a first-place finish. He earned three A final appearances at the Nike Cup in the 100 free, 200 free, and 100 fly. He turns 23 years old today. 

Gustav  Aberg Lejdstrom

Edwards played basketball for the Lady Vols from 1986-1990 under head coach Pat Summitt. She was a two-time national champion, helping the squad to national title in 1987 and 1989 and scored 1,309 points in her career. After her playing career, she went on to play professionally in Spain, Turkey, and Israel before returning to America to play in the American Basketball League. When the ABL folded, she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the 1999 WNBA draft. She also played with the Charlotte Sting and Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. 

Tonya Edwards

Martin, a football VFL, played wide receiver at Tennessee from 1998-2000 before being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2001 NFL Draft. He would play 11 seasons in the league, including stops with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, and amassed 152 catches for 1,519 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He returned to Knoxville in 2012 to accept his diploma from the University of Tennessee. 



Happy birthday, Candace, Molly, Gustav, Tonya, and David!


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