LSU Honors Student-Athletes At Academic Excellence Gala

by (@LSUsports)
LSU Honors Student-Athletes At Academic Excellence Gala

BATON ROUGE, La. – The 2018-19 season for LSU’s student-athletes kicked off on Sunday evening with the Academic Excellence Gala sponsored by LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation (TAF), Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes (CCACSA) and the LSU Athletics Department. The celebration at the Crowne Plaza Hotel recognized the academic accomplishments and athletic achievements of LSU student-athletes during the 2017-18 season.


Senior Harrison Martingayle of the men’s track & field team and member of the LSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) welcomed the crowd before turning the evening’s festivities over the Senior Associate Communications Director Bill Franques who served as emcee. Martingayle will also be serving as the Vice Chair of the SEC SAAC and as the SEC’s representative to the NCAA Division I SAAC during the 2018-19 season.


The evening began with the Academic Procession of Scholar-Athletes. Over 200 student-athletes were honored with medallions for being a member of the SEC Honor Roll, an LSU Director’s Cup Award for Academic Excellence winner, or a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society.


In addition for TAF and CCACSA awards for success in the classroom, community and in competition, the unveiling of the annual Mikey Awards highlighted the evening. The Mikey’s are selected by the LSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members who represent LSU’s 21 athletics teams.


The Mikey Rookies of the Year had outstanding debuts in Tiger uniforms in 2017-18. Eden Richardson won the NCAA Doubles National Championship title with partner Jessica Golovin in May. The pair claimed the women’s tennis programs first national crown with a dominating, straight-set performance. Richardson finished the season 28-6 in singles play and 24-11 in doubles action, 19-8 when paired with Golovin. Daniel Cabrera earned five Freshman All-America awards following a stellar rookie season for the LSU baseball team. An outfielder, Cabrera batted .315 last season with 18 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 54 RBI. A Freshman All-SEC selection he was seventh in the league in doubles and eighth in RBI. Cabrera spent the summer as a starter for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.


Katie Kampen and Josh Growden won the Mikey’s for Leadership. The award is presented to student-athletes who exemplify leadership through every facet of the student-athlete experience and have shown a commitment to not only inspire and motivate their teammates and other student-athletes, as well as other people on campus and in the community. Kampen, a member of the volleyball team, serves on the LSU SAAC and on the SEC SAAC. Growden represents the football team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.


The Mikey for Best Moment of the season went to the Gymnastics team. The Tigers added a special athlete to their squad in the past year in 8-year old Gracie Zaunbrecher. Gracie is battling a brain tumor discovered over a year ago while she was competing on beam and having trouble with her balance. Lexie Priessman and the rest of the LSU squad have given Gracie a boost as she goes through treatments, while she has become the little sister of the team, participating in team activities and being included in team introductions at home meets.


The Play of the Year was hard to ignore as it became an overnight sensation during the baseball team’s run at the 2018 SEC Championships. The Mikey was awarded to Todd Peterson for his 12th inning, two-run double against South Carolina after convincing head coach Paul Mainieri that he ‘hit bombs’ in high school. After getting LSU the lead, he picked up his first win of the season when he closed out the bottom of the 12th inning with the 6-4 victory as LSU advanced in the tournament.


Speed and precision were dominate in the Mikey’s Record-Breaking Performances of 2017-18. For the women, senior Aleia Hobbs produced the fastest sprints in the collegiate ranks and ranked among the fastest women in the world in 2018. She won three NCAA titles for the Tigers in the indoor 60-meter dash, outdoor 100-meter dash and as a member of the 4×100 outdoor relay team. Hobbs clocked a collegiate record 7.07 seconds to win the 60-meter title and owned five of the top eight wind-legal 100-meter times in NCAA history. She also anchored a 4×1 quartet the holds three of the top six times in NCAA history, including the collegiate record of 42.05 seconds set at the SEC Championships to claim gold. Adding to her accomplishments, Hobbs became the first woman since 1991 to win the two NCAA titles and win the USA Track & Field 100-meter title in the same year.


While Hobbs used speed to her advantage, the men’s honoree was incredibly precise in the pool. Sophomore Juan Celaya-Hernandez dominated diving competitions throughout the 2017-18 season. He earned First Team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships in March with a fourth-place finish on the 1-meter springboard and a seventh-place score on the 3-meter board. The First Team All-SEC honoree also earned honorable mention All-America accolades for his 15th-place performance off of the platform. He was one of five divers to earn All-America honors in all three events and the seventh-highest scoring diver at the NCAA finals. During the season he claimed the LSU records in both springboard events. His 1-meter score of 479.10 at the SEC Championships was also an SEC record, while his mark of 482.95 on the 3-meter board came against Auburn during the regular season.


Hobbs also received the TAF Female Athlete of the Year Award, while the male recipient was Devin White of the Tiger football team. As a sophomore linebacker in the 2017 season, White was named a FWAA and USA Today Second Team All-America as well as All-SEC First Team by the Coaches and Associated Press. He was one of the top linebackers in the nation and led the SEC with 133 tackles. White tied an LSU single-season record with double-digit tackles in eight games with a high of 15 against Auburn. At the end of the 2017 season, White was named a permanent team captain.


Dajour Braxton of the men’s track & field team and soccer graduate Lily Alfeld were named the Volunteers of the Year by the CCACSA staff. Braxton and Alfeld compiled many hours of giving back to the community in Baton Rouge and on campus. Alfeld was also the TAF Scholar-Athlete of the Year, along with football graduate John David Moore. Alfeld sent video greetings from her home in New Zealand, while Moore also accepted by video.


Seventeen student-athletes were honored with the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award, while eight earned the Bengal Belles Academic Achievement Award. The Pontiff Award, established in 2003, is given each year to undergraduate student-athletes who are in at least their third year at LSU and who have the highest cumulative grade point (GPA) averages among all student-athletes. Lily Alfeld led the group with a 4.120 cumulative GPA. The Bengal Belle Award was created to recognize the achievement of student-athletes who completed their undergraduate degrees and pursued master’s degrees while still representing LSU as a student-athlete on their respective fields of competition.


The 2017-18 Tiger Cup was awarded to the Volleyball team for the most production in the areas of competitive success, academic accomplishment and community service participation. The 2017 NCAA Tournament squad also earned the Community Service Cup for dedicating the most hours in service of the local community with 565.7 hours and claimed the highest team grade point average with a 3.550 for a women’s program. The Men’s Golf team recorded the top team GPA among the men’s programs at 3.315. Overall, LSU student-athletes contributed 4,177 hours of community service during the 2017-18 academic year.


This year’s LSU National L Club Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award is former Tiger standout football player Verge Ausberry. Ausberry, a Louisiana native, currently serves as LSU’s Deputy Director of Athletics and has been a member of the Tigers’ Athletics administrative staff since 2001. He supervises the football, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s track & field programs, along with oversight of LSU’s sports medicine and research department, equipment staff, and strength and conditioning staff. Ausberry began his career at LSU serving in the compliance department and the highly-regarded Academic Center for Student-Athletes. He also served on the staff of the Tiger Athletic Foundation before moving into his role in senior administration. Ausberry played inside linebacker for the Tigers, lettering in 1986-89. He was part of two SEC championship teams, led LSU in tackles in 1988 and 1989, and played in four bowl games.


The only standing ovation of the evening came when softball player Shemiah Sanchez was named the recipient of the Eye of the Tiger Award. The award is presented to a current or former LSU student-athlete who has overcome great adversity to accomplish their academic and/or athletic goals with perseverance, dedication and determination. Sanchez has battled lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, throughout her career. She has persevered through chemotherapy treatments and works closely with softball Athletics Trainer Pam Workman to stay healthy. In late May, Sanchez was feeling pretty good when she hit a game-tying grand slam at the Tallahassee Super Regionals.


Classes for the 2018 Fall semester at LSU begin on Monday, August 20.




Mikey Awards

Female Rookie of the Year – Eden Richardson, Women’s Tennis

Male Rookie of the Year – Daniel Cabrera, Baseball

Female Leadership Award – Katie Kampen, Volleyball

Male Leadership Award – Josh Growden, Football

Best Moment – Gymnastics Recognizing Gracie During Meet Introductions

Play of the Year – Todd Peterson‘s 12th inning double versus South Carolina at SEC Baseball Championships

Female Record-Breaking Performance – Aleia Hobbs, Track & Field

Male Record-Breaking Performance – Juan Celaya-Hernandez, Swimming & Diving


National L Club Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award

Verge Ausberry, LSU Deputy Director of Athletics (LSU, 1990; football, 1986-89)


Eye of the Tiger Award

Shemiah Sanchez, Softball


Tiger Cup

Volleyball Team


TAF Athlete of the Year

Female Honoree – Aleia Hobbs, Track & Field

Male Honoree – Devin White, Football


Community Service Cup

Volleyball Team


Volunteer of the Year Awards

Female Volunteer of the Year – Lily Alfeld, Soccer

Male Volunteer of the Year – Dajour Braxton, Track & Field


Highest Team GPA Awards

Female Team – Volleyball

Male Team – Men’s Golf


TAF Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Female Honoree – Lily Alfeld, Soccer

Male Honoree – John David Moore, Football


Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Awards

Ashley Allmer, Beach Volleyball

Jeni Clark, Beach Volleyball

John David Moore, Football

Skylar Mays, Men’s Basketball

Philip Barbaree, Men’s Golf

Alarii Levreault-Lopez, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Mitchell Petras, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Sven Saemundsson, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Jace Attuso, Men’s Track & Field

Lily Alfeld, Soccer

Emma Grace Goldman, Soccer

Olivia Beyer, Volleyball

Kelly Quinn, Volleyball

Anna Zwiebel, Volleyball

Alyssa Helak, Women’s Swimming & Diving

Kate Zimmer, Women’s Swimming & Diving

Monica Guillot, Women’s Track & Field


Bengal Belles Academic Achievement Awards

Emmy Allen, Beach Volleyball

Emily Hardesty, Beach Volleyball

Haleigh Nelson, Beach Volleyball

Christian LaCouture, Football

Danny Etling, Football

Rebecca Little, Women’s Track & Field

Ashley Welborn, Women’s Track & Field

Khourtni Fears, Volleyball


LSU Scholar-Athlete Medallions

* Director’s Cup; ^ SEC Honor Roll; # Chi Alpha Sigma



Matthew Beck *^

Brandt Broussard *^

Antoine Duplantis *^#

Caleb Gilbert *^#

Zack Hess ^

Hal Hughes *^

Beau Jordan *^

Doug Norman *

Will Reese *^

Josh Smith *^

Eric Walker ^


Beach Volleyball

Emmy Allen *

Ashley Allmer *^#

Tatum Ballard *^

Jeni Clark *^#

Claire Coppola *^

Megan Davenport *^#

Hunter Domanski *^

Emily Hardesty *

Lilly Kessler *^

Haleigh Nelson *^

Kristen Nuss *^

Olivia Powers *^

Savannah Wininger *^

Riley Young *^#



Andre Anthony ^

Matt Brock *

K’Lavon Chaisson *^

Danny Etling *^#

Breiden Fehoko *^

Blake Ferguson *^

Jack Gonsoulin *^

Josh Growden *^

Todd Harris Jr. *

Christian LaCouture *^#

Rashard Lawrence ^

Caleb Lewis ^

Rory Luke *^

John David Moore *^#

Michael Ostrom *^

Andre Sale *

Tiger Scheyd *^#

Turner Simmers *^

Zach Von Rosenberg ^



Julianna Cannamela *

Bridget Dean *

Christina Desiderio *^

Sarah Edwards *^

Sarah Finnegan *^

Olivia Gunter *^

Myia Hambrick *^#

Ruby Harrold *^

McKenna Kelley *^

Ashlyn Kirby *^

Erin Macadaeg *^

Lexie Priessman *

Gracen Standley *^


Men’s Basketball

Aaron Epps *

Skylar Mays *^

Duop Reath *

Reed Vial *^#


Men’s Golf

Philip Barbaree *^

Blake Caldwell *

Drew Gonzales *^

Nathan Jeansonne *^

Carter Toms *^

Trey Winstead *^


Men’s Swimming & Diving

Harry Ackland *

Juan Celaya-Hernandez *^

Tyler Harper *

Dakota Hurbis *^

Harrison Jones ^

Cameron Karkoska *^

Matt Klotz ^

Alarii Levreault-Lopez *^#

Karl Luht *^

Joao Mescolote *

Braden Nyboer *^

Mitchell Petras *^#

Luca Pfyffer *^

Matthew Phillip *^

Sven Saemundsson *^

Thomas Smith *^#


Men’s Tennis

Nikola Samardzic *^#

Rafael Wagner *^


Men’s Track & Field

Jace Attuso *^

Tommy Brocato *

Chadd Burns ^

DC Lipani ^#

Harrison Martingayle *^

Jonathan Nelsen *^

Josef Schuster *^

Bryan Stamey *^

Daniel Tanner *^#

Jacob Thornton *

Jack Wilkes *^#



Lily Alfeld *^#

Sarah Beadle *

Caroline Brockmeier *^

Jordane Carvery *^

Hannah Cuneo *

Marlena Cutura *^

Lindsey Eaton *^

Sara Funderburk *^

Haley Garrett *^

Emma Grace Goldman *^

Raven Guerrero ^

Courtney Henderson *^

Zoe Higgins *^#

Alexis Larimore *^

Mackenzie Manuel *

Lucy Parker *^

Christyna Pitre *

Madeline Ramsey *

Chiara Ritchie-Williams *^

Chelsea Stiebing *^#

Alex Thomas *^

Ellie Weber *^



Aliyah Andrews *^

Sydney Bourg *^#

Amanda Doyle *^

Emily Griggs *^

Carley Hoover *^#

Sydney Loupe *^

Michaela Schlattman *^

Becca Schulte *^

Amber Serrett *^#

Shelbi Sunseri *^

Elyse Thornhill *^#



Olivia Beyer *^#

Raigen Cianciulli *^

Nicole Decker *^

Khourtni Fears *^#

Lindsay Flory *^#

Katie Kampen *^#

Sydney Mukes *^

Kelly Quinn *^#

Toni Rodriguez *^#

Milan Stokes *^

Cheyenne Wood *^#

Anna Zwiebel *^


Women’s Basketball

Raigyne Louis *

Khayla Pointer *^

Jaelyn Richard-Harris *^

Rakell Spencer *^


Women’s Golf

Monica Dibildox *^

Kathleen Gallagher *^#

Kendall Griffin *^

Marina Hedlund *^#

Page Morehead *


Women’s Swimming & Diving

Sophia Bisch *^#

Clayton Black *^

Leyre Casarin *^

Helen Grossman *^

Alexandria Ham *^

Kit Hanley *^

Alyssa Helak *^

Lia Joslin ^

Cassie Kalisz *^

Haylee Knight *

Rileigh Knox *^

Catherine Lowengrub *

Jane MacDougall *^#

Lauren McIntosh *

Miranda Nichols *^

Gabrielle Pick *^

Nicole Rozier ^

Katie Smith *^

Summer Spradley *^

Lauren Thompson *

Leah Troskot *

Kate Zimmer *^#


Women’s Tennis

Ryann Foster *^#

Elizabeth Hotard *^#

Kennan Johnson^

Jade Lewis *

Ashton Rabalais *^

Eden Richardson *^

Joana Valle Costa *

Luba Vasilyuk *


Women’s Track & Field

Hannah Bourque *^#

Heather Cizek *^

Kristin Delgado *^

Zakiya Denoon *^

Amber Desselle *^

Bria Druilhet *^#

Monica Guillot *^#

Annie Jung *^

Erika Lewis *^#

Rebecca Little *^#

Kailyn McCarley ^

Cori Mitchell *^

Danielle Phillips *

Allyson Seals *^

Alicia Stamey *^

Amy Stelly *^

Kaitlyn Walker *^#

Ashley Welborn *^#

Amelie Whitehurst ^

Sidnie Wilder *