COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech University Athletic Department has announced the names of 10 finalists for the school’s 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, with the winner to be announced Sunday.
To be eligible for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, students must be a senior or graduate student who has completed her athletic eligibility during 2012-13. Criteria for selecting the award include both athletic and academic accomplishments, as well as additional areas such as community involvement and public service.
The Awards Committee has selected three members of the softball team, two each from the basketball, track and soccer teams, and one from volleyball. The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:
Katherine Barker, Dunlap, Tenn., Basketball
A four-year member of the Golden Eagle women's basketball team, Katherine has been recognized for her efforts on and off the court. The seven-time member of the TTU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll has played a key role in the team's share of two OVC regular season championships. Barker spent much of her spare time volunteering on the court as a basketball camp counselor. She helped organize Jim Davis' first camp as TTU head coach, as well as camps in her home town. She has mentored youth throughout middle Tennessee in preparation for a profession in Physical Therapy. Barker was the recipient of the Golden Eagle award at the 2013 banquet for her attitude on and off the court. She played in all 31 games this past season.
Madison Borden, Louisville, Tenn., Track & Field
One of the most versatile member of the track & field team throughout her four-year career as a thrower, Madison competed in the shot put, discus, hammer, weight throw and javelin at various times. While flirting with school record marks, she ranks among the top five performers in school history in the shot put (fourth), discus (third) and hammer (fourth). As a senior, she posted career-best marks in the shot put, both indoor and outdoor, and the discus. At this year’s OVC Outdoor Championships, Borden scored the team’s first point of the meet with a throw of 128 feet, eight inches in the discus. Madison worked with the Cookeville High School Young Life program for four years, and with the Cookeville Housing Authority’s Teens Need Training program. She volunteered at the Upper Cumberland Home Builders Association and the 2012 Senior Olympics. She took her coursework further when she wrote an article about home decorating ideas that was published in the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.
Melody Christian, Kingston Springs, Tenn., Softball
Melody has led her team in hits, runs, and stolen bases all four years at Tech and this past season she solidified her spot in the record books by finishing with 89 career steals, the second most in program history. Melody started in all but one game in the 2013 season and finished with a .359 batting average. She connected for 61 hits in 170 appearances, driving in 15 runs. She also held the longest hitting streak in the OVC with a 16-game run. Melody also opened the season with an 11-game streak. She collected a season-high three hits in three different games prior to the conference schedule. Melody was recognized as an all-OVC second-team selection. She was this season's team MVP and has led the Golden Eagle offense all four years. During her four years she volunteered at Cumberland Physical Therapy Center and spent much of her time volunteer time with Habitat for Humanity. As a captain of the softball team, Melody helped this year’s Christmas Shoe Box collection effort. In the classroom, Melody is a six-time member of the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
Kellie Cook, Madison, Ala., Women’s Basketball
Kellie has been a leader on the OVC Champion women’s basketball team, on campus and within the conference for her roles in Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) activities. A starter for the Golden Eagles for four seasons, she helped capture two OVC regular season titles under two different head coaches. Off the court, she has not only been a four-year member of Tech’s SAAC, she has represented all of Tech’s 300 student-athletes on the OVC SAAC, and served as the OVC representative to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, representing the interests of thousands of student-athletes nationwide. As a four-year captain of the women’s basketball team, Cook wrapped up a solid career by winning the team’s Frank Porter Award for her overall contributions to the team, including leadership, sportsmanship and fair play, as well as academics, citizenship and poise, on and off the floor. She also won the team’s Academic Award, owning a 3.9 GPA. She started in 17 of Tech’s 31 games in 2012-13, averaging 5.1 points and 2.5 rebounds, and owning a 2.3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, the best on the team. For her career, Cook played in 113 games with 77 starts, and scored 812 points, a career average of 7.2 per game. As president of the Tech SAAC, she was responsible, in part, for coordinating student-athlete participation in community services, and leading activities such as organizing OVC Hoops for Heroes for three years, Cookeville Christmas Parade, Great Move-In Day, and Barefoot Run for Samaritan’s Feet. She was a volunteer and participant in the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build, Canned Food Drive for Helping Hands, and soliciting donations for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. As captain of the women’s basketball team, she coordinated or was part of her team’s activities such as speaking to elementary school students, basketball clinics for the Mustard Seed Ranch and area schools, Cookeville FunFest, Christmas Shoe Box for Samaritan’s Purse, Purple Pride Caravans, Adopt-a-Family Christmas Party, YMCA Healthy Kids Day, fundraising benefit for a student-athlete whose family’s home was destroyed by fire, and Habitat for Humanity Car Wash and House Building. Kellie has also been an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), including four years at leadership camp. Away from her school activities, she has maintained her volunteer spirit, including working for Upward Basketball, volunteering at local elementary school “Lunch Breaks,” and spearheading a Canned Food Drive for Haiti Relief. She has found time for all of those extracurricular and volunteer activities, all the while achieving success in the classroom by winning the OVC Medal of Honor and earning membership in the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll every semester and the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll each year.
Kelsey Gray, Newark, Ohio, Volleyball
Kelsey capped off her volleyball career by being named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, following a record-breaking defensive effort at the net. She started in all 28 matches as a senior and appeared in a team-high 98 sets. She topped the team with 229 kills, an average of 2.34 per set while maintaining a strong .312 hitting percentage. She tied for the team lead with 18 service aces and accounted for a team-best 341 points. It was at the net where she stood out, putting down 148 total blocks and her 1.51 blocks/set average ranked 10th in the nation. Kelsey was an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and 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 team captain has volunteered for the Dismas House, Susan G. Komen Upper Cumberland and the Wounded Warrior Project. Kelsey has been on the TTU Dean's List every semester and graduated in May Magna cum Laude.
Claudia Harke, Kimberly, Wis., Softball
Claudia has been a model example of a student-athlete throughout her career at Tech. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Vernon Holland Award, a postgraduate scholarship given by the Ohio Valley Conference. Claudia was a member of the TTU Honors Program, the Associated Guild, the Program Enrichment Option and was Vice President of Tech’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. 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 the while preparing for Law School at the University of Wisconsin. In the circle, she posted the lowest ERA on the Golden Eagle softball team in 2013 and helped lead the squad to the OVC Tournament. She pitched in 21 games with 13 starts, and posted five complete games.
Andrea Meloff , Rochester Hills, Mich., Soccer
A four-starter, Andrea Meloff wrapped up a solid career for the Golden Eagles, ranking in the top 10 in several career categories. She finished with 17 career goals, tied for fourth in Tech history and 40 points, sixth in program history. Her five career game-winning goals ranked second all-time behind only Jill Burns. She played in 76 games, ranking sixth all-time. Meloff finished 2012 with two goals and two assists, collecting her second of two career Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week Awards. She was also named a member of the 2009 OVC All-Newcomer Team as a freshman after finishing second in the OVC with eight goals. She was a team leader all four seasons and earned the team Offensive MVP award in 2010 after scoring five goals. Meloff graduated this spring with a very impressive 3.80 GPA in marketing and was a member of a team that received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award three straight seasons. A six-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, she was also named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times.
Beth Miller, Watertown, Wis., Cross Country and Track & Field
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. 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 on Friday 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. She was recently named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
Kerri Reid, Peachtree City, Ga., Soccer
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 senior Leigh Heffner 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. The Golden Eagle is presented to the player that most embodies the spirit of Tech Athletics. As a freshman, she was selected as the team’s Defensive MVP. In addition to showing great direction and skill on the pitch as a team captain, Reid demonstrated responsibility and leadership off the field as a student and member of the community. On top of maintaining an impressive 3.34 GPA in nursing, 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.
Brittney Spalding, Laguna Niguel, Calif., Softball
Brittney was a co-captain of the 2013 Golden Eagle softball team and helped her team to its 15th OVC Tournament appearance. Throughout her four seasons, she helped the team capture 103 total victories. One of the anchors on the defense, she started at third base the past four years, starting 152 games and collecting 101 hits and 71 RBI. As a sophomore, she led the team in doubles and topped Tech in RBI. This past season, she ranked third on the team in batting with a .231 average and was third in slugging with a .395 mark. She tied for first on the squad in home runs (4) and led the team in doubles (17). She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Bark in the Park and has acted as Marketing tutor as well as a business tutor. Brittney has been on the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester, graduating in May.
Tennessee Tech’s Previous Woman of the Year Winners:
1991 - Dana Scott (Basketball)
1992 - Cecilia Ramsey (Basketball)
1993 - Bonnie Zoss (Volleyball/Track/BB)
1994 - Beth Keylon (Softball)
1995 - Taunya Lovelace (Basketball)
1996 - Merrie Robin Caldwell (CC/Track)
1997 - Dena Adams (Track/CC)
1998 - Rachel Melchiorre (Volleyball)
1999 - Amber Clark (Basketball)
2000 - Diane Seng (Basketball/Volleyball)
and Collin Carmichael (Basketball)
2001 - Rachael Gobble (Basketball)
and Adrienne Fortmann (Softball)
2002- Janet Holt (Basketball)
2003 - LeeAnne Mongar (Softball)
2004 - Alexis Boyd (Soccer)
and Andrea Brown (Basketball)
2005 - Laura Sidorowicz (Volleyball)
2006 - Anne Morrow (Volleyball)
2007 - Kayla Garrison (Golf)
2008 - Beth Boden (Softball)
2009 - Kappy Lang (Volleyball)
2010 - Teresa Craig (Volleyball)
2011 - Brooke Mayo (Soccer)
2012 - Lindsey Reed (Soccer)