Oct. 9, 2011
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee men's and women's track & field and cross country teams recognized the top performers from the 2010-11 seasons Sunday evening, holding the second-annual combined Vol and Lady Vol Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn World's Fair Park.
Two-sport athlete Justin Hunter picked up the most awards from the track & field teams. The rookie All-America long jumper was named Indoor Most Valuable Field Athlete and Indoor Freshman of the Year, and is the recipient of the Ed Murphey Most Outstanding Performance award. He earned it by virtue of opening the indoor campaign with three straight wins in the long jump, setting a UT freshman record and posting the No. 3 all-time school indoor mark of 26-1 ½ after coming to the squad following a standout season on the gridiron.
Junior Ellen Wortham picked up two big women's recognitions for her efforts on the oval. The All-America multi-event athlete was selected as the women's Indoor Most Valuable Field Athlete and was the recipient of the Ilrey Oliver Sparks Most Competitive Award. Wortham won an SEC championship in the 400m hurdles outdoors, was third in the pentathlon indoors and placed eighth nationally in the pentathlon.
Other Track & field most valuable awards went to Michael Spooner (Vol Most Valuable Outdoor Track Athlete), Chanelle Price (Lady Vol Most Valuable Outdoor Track Athlete), Joe Berry (Vol Most Valuable Outdoor Field Athlete), Annie Alexander (Lady Vol Most Valuable Outdoor Field Athlete), Peter Sigilai (Vol Most Valuable Indoor Track Athlete) and Jackie Areson (Lady Vol Most Valuable Indoor Track Athlete),
Additional Freshman of the Year track & field awards went to Jake Rainey (Vol Outdoor Freshman of the Year) and Kianna Ruff (Lady Vol Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year), while Most Improved honors on the oval went to Chase Brannon (Vol Outdoor Most Improved Athlete), Liz Costello (Lady Vol Outdoor and Indoor Most Improved Athlete) and Joe Berry (Vol Indoor Most Improved Athlete).
For the cross country teams, the Most Valuable Athlete awards went to Vol senior Michael Spooner and Lady Vol freshman Amber Zimmerman. Zimmerman also picked up Freshman of the Year on the women's side, while Jake Rainey earned that distinction for the men, and juniors Chris Bodary (Vols) and Elizabeth Tiller (Lady Vols) were chosen for the Most Improved Athlete awards.
Lady Vol Scholar Award - Holly Kane/Jená Murphy
Both winners had 3.82 grade point averages.
Both were members of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Holly was a Capital One Academic All-District IV Second Team honoree.
Vol Scholar Award - Chris Rapp
Produced a 3.40 GPA during his college career.
Was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010-11.
James Snow Award: Outstanding Academic Vol Freshman - Alex McCandless
Accumulated a 3.55 grade point average.
Made the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
James Snow Award: Outstanding Academic Lady Vol Freshman - Linda Hadfield
Made it through her first year with a 4.00 GPA.
Earned a spot on the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
Dr. Jack Chesney Award: Outstanding Community Service (Vol) - Steve Fassino
Two-time member of SEC Track & Field Community Service Team.
Participated in at least five community service projects last season.
Recipient of this award for the second straight season.
Dr. Jack Chesney Award: Outstanding Community Service (Lady Vol) - Elizabeth Tiller
First-time member of SEC Track & Field Community Service Team in 2011.
Participated in at least eight service projects last season.
At least two of her outreach projects involved work with the homeless in our community.
Lady Vol Spirit Award - Ashley Harris / Vol Spirit Award - Kevin Carney
These individuals live, breathe and bleed orange.
They always support other teammates and all events during training and competition.
They have a positive influence on the entire program.
Will Pritchett Award: Most Dedicated Lady Vol Senior - Liz Costello
Won three SEC individual titles and added a runner-up finish in her only season as a Lady Vol.
Earned All-America honors in the 5000 and 3000 meters at the NCAA Indoor meet.
Set a school record in the 10K and ranks among the top five outdoors in the 5K and indoors at 3K and 5K.
Will Pritchett Award: Most Dedicated Vol Senior - Nathan Grace
Returned from an injury redshirt season to compete for Tennessee during the outdoor campaign only, qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet.
Placed fifth for UT in a career-best 400m time of 21.65 at the dual vs. UCLA.
Ran the second leg for UT's seventh-place 4x400m relay unit at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
Jon Young Captain's Award
Herb Neff Award: Lady Vol Walk-On - Bianca Blair
Placed third in both hurdles events at the UCLA-UT Dual, contributing to Tennessee's one-point victory over the Bruins.
Helped Tennessee win the shuttle hurdle relay at the Sea Ray Relays for the first time since 1994.
Herb Neff Award: Vol Walk-On - Chase Brannon
Scored for Tennessee in the pole vault at both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor meets.
Posted personal-best clearances in seven of 12 meets as a rookie.
Qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet as a freshman.
Lady Vol Lifter of the Year - Liz Costello
Top Lady Vol performer in the weight room.
Vol Lifter of the Year - Reggie Juin
Top Vol performer in the weight room.
Lady Vol Cross Country Freshman of the Year - Amber Zimmerman
Led Tennessee to the finish in five of six races a year ago, just missing a top-10 overall finish by placing 11th at the Front Runner Invitational in Chattanooga.
Was 17th at the Commodore Classic in a 5K career-best 18:57.44.
Narrowly missed out on SEC All-Freshman honors, placing 42nd at the SEC Championships.
Vol Cross Country Freshman of the Year - Jake Rainey
Competed in all six races for Tennessee in 2010, scoring in five of them and netting PRs in three.
Led the team in his first collegiate meet, placing sixth overall at the Belmont-VU Opener.
Earned SEC All-Freshman status after crossing the line 34th at the conference meet in a near 8K PR of 25:30.42.
Lady Vol Cross Country Most Improved Athlete - ElizabethTiller
Produced personal-record times in four out the six races she ran in 2010.
Having scored only twice before in her college career, she counted toward the team total in all six races a year ago.
She was among Tennessee's top three finishers on four occasions as a junior.
Vol Cross Country Most Improved Athlete - Chris Bodary
Emerged as one of Tennessee's most consistent runners as a junior, placing either second or third on the team in each of his five starts.
Notched the best SEC finish of his career, checking in 31st overall. Turned in a career-topping 10K time of 30:55.41 to place 23rd at the NCAA South Regional and collected All-South Region honors.
Lady Vol Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete - Amber Zimmerman
Contributed to the team scoring total in all six races in 2010, producing career bests in five of them.
Paced the Lady Vols in her first college meet, placing 35th overall in 15:25.47 on the 4K course at the Belmont-VU Opener.
Led UT at the NCAA South Regional, running a 6K PR of 21:33.01 to wind up 46th.
Vol Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete - Michael Spooner
Ran in six races for the Big Orange and was the first Vol to hit the chute all six times.
Placed 11th at both the SEC and NCAA South Regional meets to earn all-conference and all-region recognition for the third time in his career.
Qualified for his first NCAA Championship meet appearance and the first by a Vol since 2005, finishing 125th.
Lady Vol Indoor Freshman of the Year - Kianna Ruff
Ran the anchor leg on Tennessee's fifth-place 4x400m relay unit at SEC Indoors.
Earned indoor All-America honors as the anchor of UT's 4x400m relay team.
Named to the SEC's All-Freshman Team after placing sixth in the 800 meters at the SEC Indoor Championships in 2:08.19.
Vol Indoor Freshman of the Year - Justin Hunter
Claimed victory in the long jump his first three collegiate meets, winning at the Kentucky Invitational, Penn State National and New Balance Collegiate Invitational.
Recorded career bests in his first two competitions, including a UT freshman record and the No. 3 all-time Vol indoor mark in the long jump at 26-1 ½.
Carded a fifth-place SEC Indoor finish in the long jump and took eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships to garner All-America distinction.
Lady Vol Indoor Most Improved Athlete - Liz Costello
Transferred from Princeton, shifted to longer distance races on the oval and posted the No. 2 indoor 5K time in school history.
Was the co-high-point scorer at the SEC Indoor meet, winning the 5000 meters and taking second in the 3000.
Earned All-America acclaim indoors as a fifth-place NCAA finisher in the 5000 meters and 12th-place competitor in the 3000.
Vol Indoor Most Improved Athlete - Joe Berry
After a tough 2010 season and missing the first month of the season while recovering from injury, he bounced back strong in 2011.
He recorded an indoor personal best clearance of 17-8 ½ to finish second in the pole vault at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, his first meet of the season, and moved to No. 8 on the school's all-time performers list.
He went on to claim the SEC title number four of the five he now owns in the vault, sailing over 17-7 ½.
Lady Vol Indoor Most Valuable Track Athlete - Jackie Areson
Snapped a 24-year-old meet record and led UT to a 1-2-3 finish in the 3000 meters at the SEC Indoor Championships in 9:10.49.
Anchored Tennessee to a meet-record time of 11:05.37 and its fifth-straight SEC Indoor victory in the distance medley relay.
Won an NCAA Indoor national championship in the 5000 meters and added a fourth-place outcome in the 3000 meters in her final collegiate competition.
Vol Indoor Most Valuable Track Athlete - Peter Sigilai
Lowered his indoor career best in the 800 meters to 1:49.26 in 2011.
Ran 1:49.84 to post a third-place performance in the 800m at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Anchored the Tennessee men to an SEC runner-up finish in the distance medley relay in 9:47.45.
Lady Vol Indoor Most Valuable Field Athlete - Ellen Wortham
Three-event scorer at SEC meet, placing third in the pentathlon, fifth with the 4x400m relay and sixth in the high jump.
Was a three-event qualifier at the NCAA Championships, placing eighth in the pentathlon, helping the DMR to eighth and running on UT's ninth-place 4x400m relay.
Was a first-team USTFCCCA All-American in the pentathlon and DMR and second-team selection in the 4x4.
Vol Indoor Most Valuable Field Athlete - Justin Hunter
Two-time recipient of SEC Male Freshman Athlete of the Week accolades.
Member of the SEC All-Freshman Team as the highest rookie finisher in the long jump.
USTFCCCA first-team All-American in the long jump.
Lady Vol Outdoor Freshman of the Year - Kianna Ruff
Matched her sixth-place SEC Indoor 800m finish with another one outdoors at the league met, running a career-best 2:07.97.
Ran the opening leg of UT's seventh-place 4x400m relay unit at SEC Outdoors.
Earned All-America honors outdoors as part of Tennessee's seventh-place 4x400m relay team.
Vol Outdoor Freshman of the Year - Jake Rainey
Ran career-best times in every individual race but one during the outdoor slate.
Turned in a third-place and career-best clocking of 8:29.78 in the 3000 meters to generate points for his team in the dual meet vs. UCLA.
Cranked out a career-best time of 30:54.32 to cross the line seventh in the 10000 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
Lady Vol Outdoor Most Improved Athlete - Liz Costello
Broke Alison Quelch's 1985 Lady Vol outdoor 10K record by running 33:25.66 at the Stanford Invitational and eclipsed Quelch's previous UT best twice more during the season.
After tallying 20 points indoors, she was a 20-point SEC Outdoor scorer for UT, winning the 10000 meters on Friday and triumphing in the 5K on Sunday.
Logged an SEC meet record and facility best of 33:42.96 in winning the 10K.
Vol Outdoor Most Improved Athlete - Chase Brannon
Cleared or matched his outdoor pole vault personal best five times during the 2011 season, raising it to 16-6 ¾.
Sailed over that height at the SEC Championships to notch a fifth-place finish.
As the league's highest rookie finisher in that event, he was selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Lady Vol Outdoor Most Valuable Track Athlete - Chanelle Price
Completed a season SEC sweep of the 800 meters, winning outdoors in 2:04.22, and helped UT place seventh in the 4x400m relay as well.
Posted Tennessee's top finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, crossing the line third in 2:03.02 in Des Moines.
That effort enabled her to pick up All-America honor number seven of her career.
Vol Outdoor Most Valuable Track Athlete - Michael Spooner
Placed sixth in the 3000m and sixth in the 3000m steeplechase for UT at the dual meet vs. UCLA.
Qualified for the NCAA East Prelims in the 10000m with the 29:45.61 effort he produced at the Stanford Invitational.
Was a two-event scorer at the SEC Outdoor Championships, placing fourth in the 10000 meters and eighth in the 3000m steeplechase.
Lady Vol Outdoor Most Valuable Field Athlete - Annie Alexander
Improved her outdoor school records in the shot put and discus throw to 57-11 1/4 and 192-2, respectively, with the discus mark also bettering her previous Trinidad & Tobago national record.
Swept SEC Outdoor discus and shot titles for the second time in her career.
Garnered All-America acclaim in the shot and discus after carding third-place performances with each implement.
Vol Outdoor Most Valuable Field Athlete - Joe Berry
Produced a runner-up finish in the pole vault to generate points for Tennessee in Los Angeles in the dual meet vs. UCLA.
Once again qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet.
Captured the fifth SEC pole vault title of his career, winning the outdoor crown with a clearance of 17-8 1/2 on a windy day in Athens, Ga.
Ilrey Oliver Sparks Memorial Competitive Award - Ellen Wortham
Running events or field events, indoors or out, she stepped into roles where the coaches thought she could best help the team score points.
She came from behind down the homestretch to take the 400m hurdles at the SEC Outdoor Championships, becoming the first Lady Vol to win that event since Tonya Lee in 1992.
She grabbed third at SEC Indoors in the pentathlon and went on to earn All-America honors in that event at the NCAA Championships with an eighth-place result.
In addition to the 400m hurdles and pentathlon, she also scored at the conference or national meet in the high jump, long jump, distance medley, 4x100m and 4x400m relays as a junior.
Ed Murphey Award: Most Outstanding Vol Performance - Justin Hunter
Coming off a breakout rookie football season, and without the benefit of intensive technical training during the fall, he won the long jump at the first three meets of his college career.
He opened the campaign with a career-best leap of 26-1 at the Kentucky Invitational, setting a UT freshman record and ranking as the No. 3 indoor long jump mark in Vol history.
Two weekends later he improved the mark to 26-1 ½ en route to victory at the Penn State National.
He would go on to SEC All-Freshman and USTFCCCA All-America honors in 2011.
LADY VOL SEC ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL MEMBERS
Elizabeth Altizer, biological sciences
Jackie Areson, geography
Bianca Blair, sociology
Ally Colvin, exercise science
Liz Costello; environmental engineering
Aslynn Halvorson, kinesiology
Jessie Harrison, communication studies
Charity Honeycutt, retail and consumer sciences
Kia Jackson, child and family studies
Brittany Jones, social work
Holly Kane, journalism and electronic media
Laquoya Kelly, psychology
Chelsea Knotts, biological sciences
Jená Murphy, exercise science
Martinique Octave, sociology
Chanelle Price, journalism and electronic media
Brittany Sheffey, political science
Kirstyn Sweeney, psychology
Elizabeth Tiller, public administration
Kim White, sociology
Ellen Wortham, psychology
LADY VOL SEC FRESHMAN ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL MEMBERS
Kristen Barnett, arts & sciences
Katherine Dresch, arts & sciences
Linda Hadfield, arts & sciences
Amanda Jones, arts & sciences
Allison Outerbridge, arts & sciences
Kianna Ruff, arts & sciences
Amber Zimmerman, arts & sciences
VOL SEC ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL MEMBERS
Alan Bachman, psychology
Kevin Carney, logistics
David Clabo, forestry-resources management
Steve Fassino, mathematics
Les Gilbert, kinesiology
Tom Gilmartin, biomedical engineering
Nathan Grace, geography
Chris Rapp, civil engineering
Robert Rasnick, mechanical engineering
Eric Ryan, civil engineering
Drew Thomas, computer engineering
Garrek Thompson, communication studies
VOL SEC FRESHMAN ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL MEMBERS
Matt Darr, arts & sciences
Joachim De Bock, arts & sciences
Stephen Derlath, arts & sciences
Tyler Freeman, arts & sciences
Blake Hamilton, arts & sciences
Matthew Hoty, arts & sciences
Michael Maira, arts & sciences
Deon McAdoo, arts & sciences
Alex McCandless, arts & sciences
Jake Rainey, arts & sciences
Keith Thomas, arts & sciences
CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN
Chanelle Price (1st team)
LADY VOL ALL-AMERICANS
Jackie Areson (1st team - 3000m/5000m)
Liz Costello (1st team - 5000m/2nd team - 3000m)
Martinique Octave (2nd team - 4x400mR)
Chanelle Price (1st team - 800m/DMR)
Kianna Ruff (2nd team - 4x400mR)
Brittany Sheffey (1st team - DMR)
Nijgia Snapp (1st team - DMR/2nd team - 4x400mR)
Ellen Wortham (1st team - pentathlon/DMR/ 2nd team - 4x400mR)
Annie Alexander (1st team - discus throw/shot put)
Martinique Octave (1st team - 4x400mR)
Chanelle Price (1st team - 800m)
Kianna Ruff (1st team - 4x400mR)
Brittany Sheffey (2nd team - 1500m)
Nijgia Snapp (1st team - 4x400mR)
Ellen Wortham (1st team - 4x400mR/2nd team - 400mH)
Justin Hunter (1st team - long jump)
Dentarius Locke (1st team - 60m dash)
Dentarius Locke (1st team - 200m/2nd team - 100m)
LADY VOL ALL-SEC
Jackie Areson (SEC Indoor Runner of the Year/1st team - 3000m/DMR)
Liz Costello (1st team - 5000m)
Ashley Harris (1st team - DMR)
Chanelle Price (1st team - 800m/DMR)
Kianna Ruff (All-Freshman - 800m)
Brittany Sheffey (1st team - DMR)
Annie Alexander (1st team - discus throw/shot put)
Liz Costello (1st team - 5000m/10000m)
Linda Hadfield (All-Freshman - pole vault)
Chanelle Price (Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year/1st team - 800m)
Brittany Sheffey (1st team - 1500m)
Ellen Wortham (1st team - 400mH)
Ford Bell (2nd team - DMR)
Terry Benson (2nd team - DMR)
Joe Berry (1st team - pole vault)
Justin Hunter (All-Freshman - long jump)
Dentarius Locke (All-Freshman - 60m/200m)
Chris Rapp (2nd team - DMR)
Peter Sigilai (2nd team - DMR)
Joe Berry (1st team - pole vault)
Chase Brannon (All-Freshman - pole vault)
Dentarius Locke (2nd team - 100m/Freshman Runner of the Year/All-Freshman)
Jackie Areson (3000m/DMR)
Liz Costello (5000m)
Ashley Harris (DMR)
Chanelle Price (800m/DMR)
Brittany Sheffey (DMR)
Annie Alexander (discus throw/shot put)
Liz Costello (5000m/10000m)
Chanelle Price (800m)
Brittany Sheffey (1500m)
Ellen Wortham (400mH)
VOL SEC CHAMPIONS
Joe Berry (pole vault)
Joe Berry (pole vault)
LADY VOL NCAA CHAMPION
Jackie Areson (5000m)
LADY VOL LETTERWINERS