President's Awards go to 13 Golden Eagle student-athletes

President's Awards go to 13 Golden Eagle student-athletes

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Thirteen student-athletes have been chosen as the outstanding representative of their teams at Tennessee Tech University and are the winners of the 20th annual President’s Awards, presented by the TTU Athletics Dept. Four of the 13 are repeat winners, including junior Molly Heady and senior Beth Miller who each received the honor for the third consecutive year.

Heady was the winner on the women’s basketball team while Beth Miller captured her third straight for the women’s cross country squad. The other two repeat recipients are Greg Kitts for men’s golf and Kelsey Grey for volleyball.

“The recipients of the President’s Awards represent their teams and the University by achieving success in both the classroom and in their sport, and they are also involved in the community and on campus. We are extremely proud of each of them,” said Tech President Philip Oldham.“We have so many student-athletes who are achieving great things, and there is something special about these particular young women and men. Winning this award underscores their contributions to our athletic program, our student body and the quality of our University.”

One member from each of Tech’s intercollegiate athletic programs is selected annually based on a combination of their career academic performance and athletic accomplishments. The indoor and outdoor women’s track teams are combined for one award.

The 2013 recipients include nine seniors, three juniors and one sophomore. The recipients also demonstrate the diversity of Tech’s student-athletes, hailing from four different states and plus two other countries. Seven winners are from Tennessee with two from Wisconsin, one each from Georgia and Ohio, plus selections from Germany and Russia.

The President’s Award was established in 1994.

In alphabetical order, the 2013 President’s Award winners are:

Tristan Archer  (Baseball/Senior) -- A four-year starter, Tristan Archer has spent much of this season rewriting the Tennessee Tech record books and firmly cementing a place among the all-time greats in Tech history. While helping the team capture the OVC regular season championship, Archer set the career record for most victories with 23. He also set school marks for most innings pitched (319) and most starts (55) and finished his career with 267 strikeouts to rank second in Tech history.  The senior also sits in third place in highest K/Walk ratio with an impressive 2.81 career mark. During 2013, Archer posted a 9-4 record with a 3.34 earned run average. He threw 97 innings and struck out 97 betters with only 23 walks, with three double-figure strikeout games. Voted as one of three captains of the 2013 squad, Archer is a seven-time Athletics Director Honor Roll member, a member of the 2011-12 OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and a two-time member of the Dean’s List. The senior has been heavily involved in community service in his career, volunteering as a Bell Ringer for Cookeville Mission, working several middle school field day events, assisting at the annual Fall Funfest, and helping run the Golden Eagle Baseball School’s annual High School Elite Camp.  

Vasily Eremeev (Tennis/Junior) – One of the most successful players on the Golden Eagle tennis roster with 38 combined individual wins in 2012-13, Vasily received the team’s prestigious Johnny Donnelly Maverick Award in recognition of his determination and contributions to the team. A junior from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Vasily managed a 20-12 record in singles play, including an 8-0 mark against OVC opponents as the team captured its second consecutive regular season conference championship. In doubles action, Eremeev went 18-9, giving him a combined mark of 38-21 for the year, the second-highest victory total on the team. He earned second-team all-OVC recognition and ended the year on a nine-match winning streak. His 18-9 doubles record led the team.

Kelsey Gray (Volleyball/Senior)
– After a record-breaking defensive effort at the net for the Golden Eagle volleyball team, Kelsey was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year. An active member of Tech’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), she also acted as the Student Marketing Coordinator. She was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa the National Leadership Society and assisted with the TTU Dietetics Accreditation Site Visit. The senior has volunteered for the Dismas House, Susan G. Komen Upper Cumberland and the Wounded Warrior Project. During her senior season, she was the captain of the Golden Eagle volleyball team and finished 2012 ranked 10th in the NCAA with 1.51 blocks per set. She finished her career ranked second all-time at Tech in total blocks, block assists, and solo blocks, and is listed third in the record books in single-season solo blocks, and block assists. She averaged 2.34 kills per set and had a .312 attack percentage, and was named to two all-tournament teams. She had two double-digit block performances and 11 double-digit kill games, including the last five games of the season where the senior averaged 2.61 kills per set. Kelsey has been on the TTU Dean's List every semester and graduated Magna cum Laude.

Claudia Harke (Softball/Senior) – Claudia has been a model example of a student-athlete throughout her career at Tech. In 2013 she was awarded the Vernon Holland Award, a postgraduate scholarship given by the Ohio Valley Conference. Claudia is a member of the TTU Honors Program, the Associated Guild, the Program Enrichment Option and is the Vice President of SAAC. Claudia has also been recognized as a member if the Omicron Delta Kappa and the Beta Gamma Sigma, two honor societies on campus. Harke has volunteered for countless community service projects all while preparing for Law School at the University of Wisconsin. Harke posted the lowest ERA on the Golden Eagle softball team and helped lead the squad into the OVC Tournament.

Molly Heady (Basketball/Junior
) – For the third-straight season, junior Molly Heady is the women’s basketball team’s recipient of the President’s Award. Molly appeared in every contest for the Golden Eagles in 2012-13, and finished with the best three-point shooting percentage and was second on the team in rebounds. She averaged 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from beyond the arc and 82.2 percent from the free throw line. She tallied at least 10 points in six games, including a season-high 19 points against Eastern Kentucky.  She was on the ballot for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Majoring in nursing, she has maintained an impressive 3.95 GPA after completing her first round of clinicals. In addition to her accomplishments on the floor and in the classroom, she has also found time to participate in numerous community services activites during the past three years, ranging from Habitat for Humanity building projects, to the Cookeville FunFest and Cookeville Christmas Parade, to visits to local schools to spend time with elementary students.

Greg Kitts (Golf/Senior) – A four-year competitor for the Golden Eagle golf team, Greg demonstrated reliable leadership throughout his career. This season, he competed in a team-high 33 rounds over 12 events, carding an average of 76.15. His six rounds of par or better ranked second on the team. Greg’s lowest round of the season, a four-under 68, came in the first round of the Skyhawk Classic in October. He went on to finish in a tie for 12th out of the 77 golfers in that tournament. Two weeks later, Kitts carded a three-round score of 219 at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate, tying for 13th out of 81 competitors.

Katie Lowery (Track & Field/Senior) – Katie competed in a couple of different events throughout her career on the Golden Eagle track & field team, but she specialized in one – the pole vault – and she did it better than anybody in school history. She established the school record as a freshman, broke it as a sophomore and again as a junior, then smashed it this year in her senior season. She leaves her mark in the Tech record book having posted a career-best vault of 10 feet, seven inches, a foot  better than when she arrived on campus. Selected to be a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two years, she was also a member of the EXPW club. This year, she presented at the Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAPHERD) conference. Her named appeared on the Dean’s List every semester but one, and she has been a fixture on the Athletic Directors Honor Roll. She served as a counselor at the Fellowship for Christian Athletes Camp in St. Simons. Ga., and received her degree in May. She will remain at Tech in the role of Graduate Assistant under coach Chip Pugh in the TTU Athletic Performance Center.

Cody Matthews (Football/Junior) – Cody helped provide the Golden Eagle football team with another reliable option in the receiving game, ranking second on the squad in 2012 with 28 receptions for 477 yards and four touchdowns. His 17 yards per catch average was also second on the team, and he ranked fourth on the squad in scoring. He had catches in 10 of Tech’s 11 games, with a season-best five for 61 yards and two touchdowns in Tech’s late-season, stunning victory over UT Martin in overtime. He had at least three catches in seven games. His most yards came in the game against Murray State when he grabbed three passes for 199 yards and one touchdown, including a season-long 52-yard reception.

Adam McLeod (Cross Country/Senior) – A high achiever in the classroom throughout his lifetime, Adam graduated from Tennessee Tech in three years with a degree in chemical engineering and a 3.94 grade point average. That hard work paid off as he was recently selected CoSIDA Academic All-District. Among team leaders in every meet during the 2012 cross country season, he posted his best effort at the OVC Championship with a second-place finish on the squad. He ran a career-best 8K time at the OVC Championships, and posted his 10K career-best at the NCAA Regional. He helped the Golden Eagles win the OVC Team Sportsmanship Award in 2011. He was listed on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester at Tech, and on the OVC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll every year.  He was the recipient of the Captain W.L. Anderson Scholarship and the Eastman Chemical Company Academic Scholarship. He won the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for the highest GPA in the league. He is also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Away from competition and the classroom, he served as a volunteer at the Cookeville Jaycees 5K Race in 2011 and 2012, and the OVC Championships in 2010. He was a volunteer for the Bristol, Tenn., Helping Hands Health Clinic, the Girls Club of Kingsport, Tenn., and as a tutor at Northeast State Community College. He was also a nominee for TTU’s prestigious Derryberry Award.

Beth Miller (Cross Country/Junior)
– After coming to Tech as a softball recruit in 2009, Beth switched her concentration to the cross country and track & field teams for the past three years, and kept her focus sharp in the classroom by graduating in May with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Most recently, she added another prestigious honor to her resume when she was selected CoSIDA Academic All-District. During the 2012 cross country season, she was the top finisher on the team in four meets, including the NCAA Regional. She posted her career-best 5K time at OVC Championships and her career-best 6K effort at the NCAA Regional. She scored points for Tech during the OVC Outdoor Championships, placing seventh in the 10,000-meter run with a career-best time of 39.50.46. She posted another career-best in the final race of her time at Tech, placing 24th in the 5,000-meter run in 19:00.91. Also this year, she established new PR times in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs during the indoor season, and in the 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter events outdoors, giving her six personal-best times in six events as a senior. She was named on the OVC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll every year, and was on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester. She received the Honors Academic Scholarship, the Muriel Thauer Scholarship, the M.L. and W.K. Stewart Endowed Scholarship and the Alma Ruth Hagan Hix Endowed Scholarship. Named the School of Human Ecology Outstanding Senior, she was also finalist for the prestigious TTU Derryberry Award. She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and the Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society. Among her extracurricular and volunteer activities, she was in the Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Club, worked with the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, did volunteer service with Cookeville Dismas House, and took mission trips to Arizona and Wisconsin.

Dennis Ogbe (Basketball/Junior) – Dennis posted a true breakout season this year, more than tripling both his offensive and defensive output from his sophomore year. He finished second on the Golden Eagle squad in both points (10.8) and rebounds (5.4). Ogbe led the OVC in field goal percentage, ranking as the only player in the league to shoot over 60 percent with a .613 mark. He also led all Tech players in 3-point percentage, sinking over 40 percent from downtown this season. He finished with 28 blocks on the year, second most on the team. Ogbe’s performance on the court only got better as the season went on as the junior averaged 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in Ohio Valley Conference games. Ogbe was honored at the conclusion of the season when he was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team.

Amanda Randolph (Golf/Senior) – Amanda provided key leadership for the Tech golf team in her senior campaign for head coach Polk Brown. Her season-low round of 75 came in the second round of the Great Smokies Intercollegiate in September. The Cookeville native averaged a score of 85.2 over her 15 rounds of play. Randolph averaged 82.81 over her 50 career rounds, totaling 4,099 strokes. Her career low also came in the Great Smokies Collegiate, when she carded a second-round 71 in 2010.  She won the team’s Impact Award as a freshman and sophomore, and was selected team co-captain as a junior and senior. Away from the course, she was a member of the TTU Chem-Med Club and has been accepted to attend the University of Tennessee Pharmacy School in the fall. She was a member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, and the Dean’s List.

Kerri Reid (Soccer/Senior) – Kerri proved just how good of a player she is on the soccer pitch this season, switching from her natural position of midfielder to back line defender after a teammate went down for the season with a knee injury. It was due to her adaptability and true leadership that for the third straight season, she captured the overall team MVP award, and her second straight Golden Eagle award. In addition to showing great direction and skill on the pitch as a team captain, Reid demonstrated responsibility and leadership off the field. She helped in numerous community events both this season and in her career including a cleanup of City Lake Park, volunteering at the After Dark – Race for the Park 8K, making weekly trips to Parkview Elementary, assisting at the Northeast Elementary BBQ and Carnival, and working at the American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk. She was also a member of Campus Outreach from 2010-13, including a member of the Leadership Team in 2013, and the Team Leader of Mountain Project in 2013. The senior made the Dean’s List twice in her career and was a member of a team that received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award three straight seasons. Reid wrapped up a stellar career at Tech, ranking second all-time with 71 career starts. Her 5,439 minutes played were eighth in team history. Reid recorded six goals and seven assists during her Golden Eagle career, accounting for 19 points.