The University of Arkansas’ track and field programs were once again in the spotlight on Wednesday night as both the men’s and women’s programs garnered several top team and individual honors at the 2013 HOGSPY Awards.
NCAA heptathlon champion Kevin Lazas and Southeastern Conference pentathlon champion Makeba Alcide earned Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, while the men’s and women’s track and field teams also captured the Male and Female Teams of the Year at the ceremony held at the Walton Arts Center. The men’s and women’s golf teams earned distinction as the academic teams of the year after posting the highest team GPA. Softball senior student-athlete Hope McLemore won three awards including the Razorback Leadership Academy Distinguished Leader Award and the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year while sharing Top Graduating Senior honors with volleyball’s Kasey Heckelman. Men’s track and field student-athlete Nathanael Franks was selected as the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Softball’s Devon Wallace was selected as the Female Rookie of the Year for her 2012 campaign while football student-athlete Rohan Gaines earned Male Rookie of the Year honors. Fayetteville native and men’s basketball guard Kikko Haydar won the Heart of the Hog Award. Men’s track and field student-athlete Tarik Batchelor won the Comeback Student-Athlete of the Year award for his successful return to competition after a serious knee injury. Gymnastics’ Kelci Lewis and men’s track and field’s Caleb Cross were named as the recipients of the Brandon Burlsworth Award. The men’s 4x400 meter relay team took home Play of the Year honors for their collegiate record-setting win in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. The Arkansas baseball team earned the Hog Tough Award, for its inspiring comeback against Baylor in last June’s NCAA Super Regional in Waco, Texas. University of Arkansas student-athletes and coaches gathered for the star-studded affair to help celebrate a memorable year in Razorback Athletics. The evening began with a Red Carpet arrival prior to the formal awards show hosted by former Razorback and ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes. This was the second year for the HOGSPY Awards, which recognized the best in athletics, academics, leadership and community service from April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013. Members of the University of Arkansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) served as award presenters. The HOGSPY Awards are made possible in part by a gift from Jeff Fox of the Circumference Group. This is the second year of the event. Below are the award winners and finalists from the 2013 HOGSPY awards: Razorback Leadership Academy Distinguished Leader Award Hope McLemore Rookies of the Year (First-year student-athletes who demonstrated outstanding athletic performance during competition) Female Winner: Devon Wallace - Softball Other Finalists: Sydnie Dillard – Gymnastics Ashleigh Ellenwood- Soccer Liz Fortado – Volleyball Gabriela Lopez – Women’s Golf Male: Winner: Rohan Gaines – Football Other Finalist: Jarrion Lawson – Men’s Indoor Track and Field Heart of the Hog Award (Student-athlete who is considered the heart of the team because of their outstanding leadership both in and out of competition) Winner: Kikko Haydar – Men’s Basketball Other Finalists: Josh Eure – Men’s Golf Erin Gatling – Women’s Basketball Claudine Paulson – Women’s Tennis Megan Pearson – Softball Jake Wise – Baseball Top Graduating Seniors (Graduating seniors with highest GPA) Winners: Hope McLemore – Softball, and Kasey Heckelman - Volleyball Hog Tough Award (Honors a noteworthy game or competition where a team made an exciting comeback and earned a victory) Winner: Baseball (2012 Waco Super Regional) Other Finalists: Men’s Basketball (2013 comeback win over Missouri) Soccer (2012 vs. Tennessee) Men’s Indoor Track and Field (2013 NCAA Championship) Women’s Indoor Track and Field (2013 SEC Championship) Comeback Student-Athlete (Honors a standout student-athlete who has demonstrated outstanding resilience to overcome a significant obstacle or setback in order to have a profound contribution during athletic competition) Winner: Tarik Batchelor – Men’s Track and Field Other Finalists: Tera Bradham – Swimming and Diving Jordan Salsberg – Gymnastics Allie Tripp – Soccer Matt Vinson – Baseball Marshawn Powell – Men’s Basketball Brandon Burlsworth Award (Honors student-athletes who exhibit excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and community service) Female Winner: Kelci Lewis – Gymnastics Other Finalists: Courtney Hubbard – Swimming and Diving Ivanique Kemp – Women’s Track and Field Male Winner: Caleb Cross – Men’s Track and Field Other Finalists: Cameron Bryan – Football Matt Vinson – Baseball Play of the Year (Honors an outstanding play, moment or performance) Winner: Marek Nitt, Neil Braddy, Caleb Cross and Akheem Gauntlett – 4x400 Relay Team (2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship) Other Finalists: Coty Clarke – Men’s Basketball (2013 performance vs. Florida) Tori Mort – Softball (catch vs. No. 1 California in 2012 NCAA Regional) Regina George – Women’s Track and Field (2013 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship) Victor Hoang – Men’s Tennis (Dual match vs. New Mexico) Susanna White – Swimming and Diving (Tri-meet performance against Florida State and South Carolina) 2011-12 Lee Spencer Cup Champions Winner: Men’s Track and Field Scholar-Athletes of the Year Female Winner: Hope McLemore – Softball Other Finalists: Amanda Anderson – Volleyball Nikki Daniels – Swimming and Diving Kelci Lewis – Gymnastics Victoria Vela – Women’s Golf Male Winner: Nathanael Franks – Men’s Indoor Track and Field Other Finalists: Dylan Breeding – Football Kikko Haydar – Men’s Basketball Student-Athletes of the Year Female Winner: Makeba Alcide – Women’s Indoor Track and Field Other Finalists: Roslandy Acosta – Volleyball Nikki Daniels – Swimming and Diving Jasmine Norton – Volleyball Emily Tubert – Women’s Golf Male Winner: Kevin Lazas – Men’s Indoor Track and Field Other Finalists: Andrew Irwin – Men’s Indoor Track and Field Marshawn Powell – Men’s Basketball Matt Reynolds – Baseball Tyler Wilson – Football Academic Teams of the Year (Teams with highest GPA) Female Winner: Women’s Golf Male Winner: Men’s Golf Teams of the Year Female Winner: Women’s Track and Field Male Winner: Men’s Track and Field For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.