Lee has two in GSC ‘Top Ten’

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - PAGE 2 BITS - STAFF RE­PORTS

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

Will Ba­grou.

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

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