Lee has two in GSC ‘Top Ten’
Lee University junior golfer Sam Burrus and sophomore track and field standout Justin Brooks were among the five women and five men student-athletes the Gulf South Conference has announced as “Top Ten” award winners for the 2016-17 school year. They will be honored officially at the league’s awards banquet Thursday night at the Hilton in Pensacola Beach, Fla., where two of the 10 will receive the Commissioner’s Trophy as the GSC’s top student-athletes. The awards are based on sports, classroom and extracurricular achievement, and Brooks and Burrus are the only non-seniors. Brooks, in fact, is the first track and field athlete in the Top Ten since the awards’ inception 20 years ago. He’s a math major with a 3.22 grade point average and was a first-team All-American in both the 2017 indoor and outdoor seasons. He plays guitar in Lee’s Elevation Worship Band, helps lead worship for Cornerstone Church’s children’s ministry and is a regular volunteer at an area elementary school. “This is a fantastic award for Justin,” coach
Caleb Morgan said in a Lee release. “He is a great example of an athlete who balances athletics, academic and extracurricular activities.” So is Burrus, who has led the Lady Flames golfers in scoring average and been first-team All-GSC the last two seasons. This year Lee had the league’s first team to participate in the Division II national women’s tournament, and the Lady Flames finished seventh there. Burrus has a 3.94 GPA as a double major in business and accounting and is a twotime Academic All-American, and she has served as president of Lee’s student-athlete advisory council and represented the GSC at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. She volunteers as a youth mentor and an income tax assistant. “As a program we could not be more proud of Sam,” golf coach John Maupin said. “She has accomplished so much. … To be considered one of the top 10 student-athletes in a conference as strong as the GSC speaks volumes about her resume and impact on our campus.”
› Tennessee Wesleyan was presented the Appalachian Athletic Conference’s Duard Walker All-Sports Trophy last week for the third year in a row and sixth time in seven years. The Athens school swept the overall and men’s and women’s all-sports top spots for the second time in three years. Also, TWU’s Dr. Grant Willhite was honored as the AAC faculty athletic representative of the year.
› The Southern Conference announced its overall male and female athletes of the year Tuesday, and the female is Samford runner Karisa Nelson, who won the SoCon women’s cross country championship last fall at Camp Jordan Park. She went from there to 21st in the NCAA meet and to SoCon and NCAA champion in the indoor mile and SoCon champ again in the 1500 at the league’s outdoor meet. She’s a biochemistry major who has volunteered with the Christian Services Ministry. The SoCon’s top male athlete was Mercer soccer forward
TRACK & FIELD
› UTC’s Maddison Melchionna and Paul Stuart in NCAA Division I District 3; Lee’s Cayce Bryan, Amy Carpenter and Audrey Smith and Carson-Newman’s Tiana Mills from Chattanooga in Division II; and Bryan College’s Tyler Boone in College Division District 2 were CoSIDA Academic All-District track and field/cross country first-team selections for 2016-17. The Lee trio made it in District 5. Mills, a GPS grad with a 3.90 grade point average, was one of three CNU picks in District 3. Carpenter was chosen with a 3.91 GPA, Bryan with a 3.87 and Smith with a 3.65. Their team had an aggregate 3.52 GPA. Boone is a double major with a 3.63. Melchionna’s GPA was 4.00; graduate student Stuart’s, 3.94.
Justin Brooks Sam Burrus