Tom Gilmartin won the 30th Annual Vega-Watts Volunteer Award
Dec. 9, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee men's cross country team honored five athletes this week, as Head Coach George Watts and his Vols held their annual end-of-season banquet.
Junior Michael Spooner was chosen Most Valuable Runner, senior Mike Brodsky was selected Most Improved, sophomore Tom Gilmartin picked up the Vega-Watts Volunteer Award, and Brodsky, junior Steve Fassino and senior Chris Rapp were recognized as team captains.
Spooner paced the UT men in four of his five races in 2009, earning All-South Region and All-Southeastern Conference accolades for the second consecutive season. The product of Springfield, Va., carded career-best finishes of 11th and 17th place, respectively, at the league and region meets. He also just missed posting his first career victory by nine seconds, finishing second at the Colonial Inter-Regional Challenge.
Brodsky, who hails from West Chester, Pa., closed out his college career by contributing to the scoring tally in five of six races for Team Orange, including running fourth for UT at both the SEC and NCAA South Regional meets. His results of 34th at SECs and 39th at regionals were easily the best of his career, as was his total of scoring races for Tennessee.
Gilmartin, meanwhile, collected the 30th Vega-Watts Award, which is named for former letterman Sal Vega and current coach George Watts in honor of their contributions to the program as student-athletes. After sitting out the 2008 season to focus on a rigorous academic program in engineering, the graduate of Knoxville's Farragut High School ran in four meets this year. Along the way, Gilmartin lowered his career best for 8,000 meters to 25 minutes, 28.82 seconds at the Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, Va.
Brodsky, Fassino and Rapp captained the squad, which finished sixth at both the SEC Championships and NCAA South Regional. Fassino, from Signal Mountain, Tenn., ran in all six races for the Big Orange, scoring in four of them and charting personals bests at the 8K and 10K distances. Rapp, a native of Mason, Ohio, redshirted but was nonetheless accorded a great deal of respect in being chosen by his teammates.