COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech University Athletic Department has announced the names of seven finalists for the school’s 2015 Woman of the Year Award, with the winner to be announced Sunday.
To be eligible for the Woman of the Year Award, a student-athlete must be a senior or graduate student who has completed her athletic eligibility during 2014-15. Criteria for selecting the award include both athletic and academic accomplishments, as well as additional areas such as community and campus involvement and public service activities.
The Outstanding Female Athlete Award was established in 1994, and 28 winners have been selected in the previous 25 years, including three years with co-winners. The previous winners are:
1994 - Beth Keylon (Softball)
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)
2013 - Kellie Cook (Basketball)
2014 – Meghan O’Donoghue (CC/Track)
The Awards Committee has selected two members of the volleyball team, and one each from basketball, softball, cross country, soccer and track & field. The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:
Yeshi Dohrmann, Tullahoma, Tenn., Cross Country
Hannah Eldridge, Fayetteville, Tenn. Softball
A leader on and off the diamond, Hannah Eldridge made a lasting impact throughout her time suiting up for the Golden Eagles. As a team captain during her senior campaign, Eldridge played a pivotal role in leading Tech to an Ohio Valley Conference championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years. In fact, in the winner’s bracket final of the OVC Tournament against Murray State, it was Eldridge’s two-run fifth inning double that proved to be the game winner as the Fayetteville, Tenn. native broke a 4-4 deadlock to push Tech ahead 6-4. The clutch knock, coupled with a strong showing throughout the conference tourney pushed Eldridge to a spot on the OVC All-Tournament team. Overall, she finished second on the team with a .332 batting average to go along with six home runs and 33 RBI, a mark that also put Eldridge second on the TTU squad. The impressive season displayed resiliency for the 5-foot-5 second baseman, who came off a junior year that saw Eldridge hit .245 with two round trippers, a theme for Hannah after also earning the 2013 team’s Most Improved Award. The hardware was one of many for Eldridge, who also received the Scholar Athlete Award as a sophomore, and was once named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and four times named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Off the field, Eldridge has made an impact within the community, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and working with the on-campus daycare for two semesters during her time at TTU. Hannah’s cumulative GPA is 3.247.
Madison Keyes, Cincinnati, Ohio. Volleyball
Madison Keyes wrapped up her career with 479 kills, adding 245 blocks and 105 digs. In the OVC Tournament semifinals, she registered a career-best 13 kills in a win over Jacksonville State, which helped the Golden Eagles win its first OVC tournament game since 2010. She finished the season with 55 blocks. Keyes scored 173.5 points for TTU in 2014. Keyes balanced a heavy class load with volleyball as a nursing major, while also maintaining a spot on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of her first three years, fourth year pending, as well as a spot on the TTU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll each of her semesters at Tech. She recently received the Theodore R. and Bonnie R. Deur scholarship through the Whitson Hester School of Nursing. She is currently participating in an internship at Duke Energy in Cincinnati. She also volunteered at Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati. Keyes is a member of the Phi Mu sorority, as well as, Alpha Mu Gamma, a foreign language honor society. With Phi Mu, Keyes has helped raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and helped with Relay for Life. Keyes’ connection with Alpha Mu Gamma has to do with her knowledge and education in the Spanish language. Keyes plans to use her knowledge of the Spanish language, and receive her Master, and become a nurse practitioner. Keyes has used her time at TTU to volunteer at Mustard Seed Ranch, as well as participating in Dig Pink® fundraisers for breast cancer research and awareness with the TTU volleyball team. In her hometown, during her freshman and sophomore years, Keyes was involved with her high school volleyball team in the summers. She also stepped up to run the volleyball camp for her hometown school last summer while they were in the middle of a coaching transition. Her cumulative GPA is 3.368.
Brooklyn Kimball, Memphis, Tenn., Track & Field
Brooklyn Kimball strove to be her personal best, even in her senior season. The sprinter from Memphis, Tenn., set five PR marks during her final seasons. In the indoor season, Kimball, a team captain her senior season, ran a career-best :26.46 in the 200-meter race, a personal-best :42.86 in the 300-meter, and another PR in the 400-meter with a time of :59.43. In the outdoor season, she added to her improvements with a career-best :26.35 in the 200-meter, and a PR in the 400-meter with a time of :58.58, which was second all-time in Tech history. Kimball also leaves Tech with her name in the record book with a school-record in the 4x400-meter relay. She earned the Most Valuable Player award following this past season. She graduated Magna Cum Laude this spring with a degree in education. She was awarded the Hope Scholarship each of her years at TTU, while earning a spot on the TTU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of her years at Tech. She also earned an OVC Medal of Honor in 2014 for back-to-back semesters with a 4.0 GPA. In 2014, Kimball went to Nepal and worked in a Kathmandu Orphanage that had children ranging from newborn to 17 years old. She also volunteered at the Cookeville Fall Fun Fest, with the PetCo Adoption project, she helped with a volunteer soccer cap at the Boys and Girls Club of Memphis, Tenn., and she volunteered with Parkview Elementary in Cookeville. Kimball was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society for academic disciplines. She also earned the Educational Grant with Stephanie Wendt-Education is Engineering. She completed the EDTPA program with Parkview Elementary for both her residency one and two. For her career, she built a 3.795 cumulative GPA.
Candace Parson, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Basketball
Candace started all 29 games for the Golden Eagles in the 2014-15 season, within those games; she played a team-high average of 31.4 minutes per game. She led the team in rebounding at 6.2 per game, while also averaging a career-best 10.9 points per game. She also led the team with 40 blocks on the season. Parson scored a career-high 25 points against MTSU (12/28), recorded a career-high four assists against Morgan State (12/21), swiped a career-best four steals against Tennessee State (1/21), and then tallied a career-best three blocks against TSU in the second meeting (2/12). She played a career-high 39 minutes against TSU (1/21). For her leadership on and off the court, she was given the John P. Hendrix LeadershipAward and was also honored with the team Most Valuable Player award. The Office of Multicultural Affairs honored Parson at the end of the school year, naming her the Minority Female Athlete of the Year. The Athletes of the Year award was given to "an individual who embodies what it means to be a Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle.” This includes balancing the duties of being a student-athlete with rigorous coursework, while GPA also has a strong consideration, along with involvement on the campus. Parson found herself on eight TTU Athletic Director’s Honor Rolls, while also earning a place on two OVC Commissioner’s Honor Rolls. Parson was a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative from 2011-14, and helped with Hoops for Heroes, as well as the can food drive for the TTU Food Pantry. She also helped with a fundraiser for Howard Griffin and helped distribute t-shirts at football games. She has helped with Great Move-In Days throughout her time at Tech, she also has volunteered with the Capshaw Cougar Run over the years, as well as other local elementary schools. She also has helped with the Girl Scouts of Putnam County basketball clinic. She has a 3.83 GPA.
Katie Phillips, Cincinnati, Ohio, Soccer
In her four years draped in the Tech purple and gold, Katie Phillips has compiled a stout resume on and off the pitch. An active member in the Tennessee Tech and Cookeville community, Phillips has made her presence felt in a wide variety of ways. The Cincinnati, Ohio native has been an honors program member for four years, a part of the student-athlete advisory committee for three years, a Tennessee Tech student athlete tutor and honors peer mentor for two years, and has been heavily involved with the TTU academic landscape in a whole host of capacities. For the last four years, Phillips has been a faculty head assistant to Andy Smith (English professor), and has partaken in undergraduate research projects with Dr. Rosemond (Exercise Science) and Dr. Phillips (Exercise Science) for the past two years. The research endeavors have only reinforced the student component of a “student-athlete” for Phillips as she has take home a spot on the Dean’s Honor Roll and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in every semester while at Tech, in addition to earning a nod on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in all four years as well. From a community service perspective, Phillips spent six semesters volunteering at three different elementary schools, donating an hour per week as a teacher’s assistant. She has also been actively involved in a number of other community service endeavors throughout her time as a Golden Eagle, including the TTU Great Move-In Day for four years, the Trog Sink Cleanup project for four years, the Cookeville Christmas Parade for three years, Hoops for Heroes for three years, Fill the End zone can food collection, National Walk to School Day, and Phillips has served the last three years as the Co-Chair of the Associated Scholars Guild Green Committee, where she has helped organize multiple campus-wide cleanups. On the field, Phillips anchored the 2015 Golden Eagle defense, leading this year’s club with 1,741 minutes played to move inside the top ten in program history with an impressive 5,683 minutes on the pitch in her TTU tenure. The 5-foot-9 senior’s strong defensive prowess earned Phillips an adidas Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week accolade back on Sep. 16. The Cincinnati, Ohio native also flashed her offensive skills this past season, finishing tied for first on the team in goals and tied for third in points. Her cumulative GPA is 3.874.
Courtney Smith, Knoxville, Tenn., Volleyball