Athlete of the Month
Scholar-Athlete of the Month
The University of Tennessee and Edamerica have selected Leigh Smith as Edamerica Athlete of the Month, while Rob Fitzgerald received recognition as Edamerica Scholar-Athlete of the Month for April.
Smith, who is from Raleigh, N.C., is a senior on the 19th-ranked Vols track and field team. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Smith throws javelin for Tennessee and is a two-time All-America and Southeastern Conference champion. He collected high marks during April's whirlwind season.
He began the month with a third-place finish, second among collegians, in the stout competition at the Texas Relays with a regional-qualifying throw of 233-2. It was a season-best at the time for Smith.
However, he upped his lifetime mark in front of the home crowd at the 38th annual Sea Ray Relays. Smith broke his career-best mark three times in one hour and capped the display with a launch of 249-5 to finish second in the javelin - only American record holder and professional athlete Tom Pukstys threw the stick longer. Smith's throw was the third-best distance in school history and earned him SEC Field Athlete of the Week honors. Two weeks later, at the prestigious Penn Relays, Smith unleashed a throw of 244-10 to finish second in the javelin.
Fitzgerald was the recipient of the Edamerica Scholar-Athlete of the Month award. A native of New Orleans, he is a junior on the No. 15 Vols baseball team. He is majoring in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology.
On the diamond, Fitzgerald serves as a quality supporter in the outfield
and as designated hitter. His .456 on-base percentage ranks third on the team.
He's started eight games and is batting .295 with five RBIs. He's
batting .375 as a pinch hitter for the Vols. He went 3-for-5 against Carson-Newman
and had a four-game hitting streak earlier in the season.