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Auburn Honors Top Student-Athletes At Tiger Torch Banquet

April 29, 2009

Auburn, Ala. -

The Auburn Athletic Department honored 171 student-athletes at the Tiger Torch Banquet at the Auburn University Student Center Wednesday. In order to qualify for the banquet, student-athletes had to achieve a minimum 3.0 grade point average for the last academic year or for their career.

"The academic success of our student-athletes is one of our top goals for Auburn Athletics,” Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. “We are proud of our Top Tigers for their hard work and desire to succeed in the classroom. Student-athletes who make or maintain a 3.0 GPA are to be commended because they are balancing two full-time jobs and succeeding at a high level athletically and academically."

Each of the student-athletes honored invited Auburn faculty members to the banquet who had a significant impact on their academic lives.

"This year's Tiger Torch recipients are an outstanding collection of student-athletes who are not only diverse in their academic endeavors but also their personal background as well," Cathie Helmbold, Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Support Services, said. "As diverse as they may be, each shares a common goal of academic success. The accomplishments of these student-athletes are a tribute to their hard work and a testament to their strong commitment to balancing athletics and academics. Their pursuit of academic excellence is also a common goal that also exists among their professors and academic counselors."

Special awards presented included the Virgil Starks III Passion Award, which went to gymnast A.J. Mills for outstanding work in academics, community service, team work and personal growth. The award was named in honor and memory of Starks, who was Senior Associate Athletic Director death until his death in November. The male Scholar Athlete of the Year was Benjamin Jones, baseball; and the female Scholar Athlete of the Year was Jessica Braswell, equestrian. Women’s gymnastics won the highest team GPA with a 3.54. The most improved individual GPA awards went to Antonio Coleman, football, and Fani Chifchieva, women’s tennis.



The CHAMPS/Life Skills Community Service Award for the teams that had the best record of community service went to co-winners women’s basketball and equestrian. The Auburn baseball team won the Most Improved Community Service Award for the largest increase in community service hours.


BASEBALL (9): Justin Hargett, Michael Hurst, Jon Luke Jacobs, Benjamin Jones, Cory Luckie, Christopher O’Neil, Kevin Patterson, Dexter Price, Kris West

MEN’S BASKETBALL (1): Andrew Smith

EQUESTRIAN (15): Amy Bohan, Jessica Braswell, Rachel Cooper, Elise Fraza, Kelsey George, Shannon Hinton, Andrea Loar, Alexandra Loprete, Kylie Miller, Paige Monfore, Jennifer Reinhart, Rebecca Rifkin, Anna Schierholz, Sarah Whitaker, Mary-Elsye Winchester

FOOTBALL (20): Gabe Barrett, Neil Caudle, Wade Christopher, Antonio Coleman, Jared Cooper, John Cubelic, John Downs, Brandon Evans, Michael Gibson, Joshua Harris, Morgan Hull, Ryan Pugh, Spencer Pybus, Michael Slade, Jackson Timmerman, Thomas Trott, Barrett Trotter, Andre Wadley, Derek Winter, Bailey Woods

MEN’S GOLF (7): Rosson Anderson, Kyle Kopsick, Mark McCurdy, Glenn Northcutt, John Stembridge, Keith White, David Zickler

WOMEN’S GOLF (7): Karlin Beck, Cydney Clanton, Lauren Hawkins, Mariana Macias, Madison Overbey, Patricia Sanz, Sarah Thead

GYMNASTICS (12): Lauren Brzostowski, Justine Foster, Laura Lane, Adrienne Mills, Kelsie Montgomery, Carmen Nelms, Lindsey Puckett, Claire Seiffert, Kylie Shields, Kendall Swartz, Leah Vining, Kristina Voss

SOCCER (16): Monica Afanador, Carolyn Cohen, Stephanie Fransoso, M. Katy Frierson, Heather Havron, Rebecca Howell, Jennifer Johnson, Kara Kasten, Julie King, Mary Nicholson, Jenni Prescott, Addison Ragsdale, Gabrielle Rivera, Lydia Townsend, Kasey Warren, Allison Whitworth

SOFTBALL (10): Katie Colton, Lindsay Harrelson, Amber Harrison, Krista Klein, Jenee Loree, Alexa Martinez, Holly Ragsdale, Aurora Salter, Anna Thompson, Cassie Trosclair

MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING (13): Jordan Anderson, William Dove, Adam Godzinski, Adam Klein, Kelly Marx, Daniel Mazzaferro, Tyler McGill, Andrew Mitchell, Scott Morgan, Max Murphy, Michael Silva, Jared White, Pascal Wollach

WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING (19): Anna Aguero, Margaret Bird, Vanessa Dantin, Alana Dillett, Emile Ewing, Jessica Froning, Julie Golden, Chelsea Haser, Stephanie Horner, Micah Lawrence, Abigail MacGregor, Melissa Marik, Julianne McLane, Erica Meissner, Kara Nelson, Ava Ohlgren, Melanie Roberts, Jennifer VonJouanne, Josefin Wede

MEN’S TENNIS (4): Milan Krnjetin, Lukas Marsoun, Tim Puetz, Alexander Stamchev

WOMEN’S TENNIS (7): Heather Bybee, Whitney Chappell, Fani Chifchieva, Dunja Djuranovic, Alexandra Haney, Jil Hastenrath, Daniela Vukadinovic

MEN’S TRACK & FIELD (18): Gerard Brown, Milan Dekich, Mark Fleming, Stephen Fly, Luke Gaines, Nicholas Green, Raphael Keegan, Tyler Kennedy, Elkanah Kibet, Stephen Livingston, Julian Matthews, Andrew Novak, Joseph Peake, Benjamin Robinson, Marcus Rowland, Jeffery Sanders, Myles Udland, Jean-Pierre Weerts

WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD (8): Erika Akins, Cathryn Albright, Madeleine Collins, Sabrina Fischer, Holly Knight, Brittany Mattrella, Laurel Pritchard, Amy Shaffer

VOLLEYBALL (5): Milena Bukinac, Lauren Mellor, Sara Shanks, Rebecca Simon, Christina Solverson

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