As the 2018-19 athletic season comes to an end, Claflin University athletics honored more than 52 student-athletes in 12 different sports at its Annual Athletics Awards Banquet April 25 at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.
Students received honors and achievements for excelling in their respective sports and as well as in the academic arena. In addition, five service awards and one student service award were handed out. The service awards are presented to individuals who provide special services to the athletics department. This year recipients were Francis Arrington, the Rev. Hayes T. Gainey, Teddy Hayes, Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School Athletic Department and Orangeburg Department of Public Safety. The student service award went to junior William Fairfax for his efforts in bridging the gap between that department and the university general student population.
Receiving the top award as the Female Athlete of the Year was senior Kayla Cato, a member of the softball team, who hails from Decatur, Georgia. For the second straight season, Triston Thompson, men’s basketball, out of Washington, D.C., was awarded the Male Athlete of the Year.
The department also handed out the Karen C. Williams Courage Award, given to the student-athlete or staff member who overcomes adversities throughout life. For the first time since the department began presenting the award (2016), two Courage Awards were given. This year’s recipients were Claflin baseball players and brothers Torriun and Tavion Towers, and men’s basketball player Cornelius Reynolds.
For the second straight year, the department presented the Panther Total Package Award to the student-athlete who gives selflessly while still achieving on the field of play and academically. The PTP Award recipient this season is Courtney Taylor from women’s basketball.
The Scholar Athlete of the Year, given to the male and female student-athlete who achieve the highest-grade point average amongst all student-athletes, was awarded to Caleb Green from baseball and for the second straight year, LaKaylin Lee from softball, was the female recipient. This season’s academic team of the year was women’s cross-country.
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Additionally, 55 student-athletes were awarded the Timothy J. Autry All-Academic Team medallion for achieving a 3.0 or better; (15 Gold (3.6-4.0), 18 Silver (3.3-3.599) and 22 Bronze).
S.C. State’s Richard on watch list
Senior All-American senior sprinter Tyrell Richard was recently added to The Bowerman watch list, track and field’s highest honor.
The Georgetown native previously earned All-American honors during the indoor season, while capturing the 2018 Indoor National Championship in the 400 meters.
During the outdoor season, he won the 400 at the South Carolina Outdoor Open in 45.76 and helped his 4×400 relay team capture a first-place showing.