Bliss, Parker Named to Track & Field Service Team
BATON ROUGE – After earning All-SEC honors as two of the team’s top performers at the SEC Championships last weekend, seniors Tori Bliss and Julian Parker were honored Thursday for their outstanding efforts in leading the LSU Track & Field program in the community as members of the SEC Community Service Team for the 2015 season.
Both Bliss and Parker have been named members of the SEC Community Service Team for men’s and women’s track and field for the first time in their collegiate careers in Baton Rouge.
A native of Portage, Indiana, Bliss has served a staggering 157 hours of community service as a team leader during the 2014-15 academic season. Among her on-campus activities were participating in such community service projects as the Be The Match event and LSU’s Move-In Day to help the arriving freshman move into their dorms at the start of the 2014 fall semester. She also took part in the school’s annual Halloween BOOzar for kids and Thanksgiving with the Tigers food and toy drive for local families in Baton Rouge.
Bliss also took part in another Thanksgiving initiative with “Hams for Fams” in conjunction with the Baton Rouge Dream Center in the fall. She also assisted both the Baton Rouge Dream Center and Healing Place Church with their Vacation Bible School programs, while also serving as a frequent kid’s room volunteer at Healing Place Church in her time in Baton Rouge.
Her other community service initiatives over the past season included assisting at track practice at local Broadmoor High School, being a frequent visitor to the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, participating with the Baton Rouge Women’s Half Marathon and taking part in the Running Games Field Day with the local Boys and Girls Club.
A two-time All-American with the Lady Tigers, Bliss is the NCAA’s leading shot putter with a seasonal-best and personal-best throw of 60 feet, 8 inches to her credit in 2015 as she prepares for her final NCAA meet with the Lady Tigers. She is the reigning NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Silver Medalist in the shot put, while also winning the SEC Indoor title and finishing as the SEC Outdoor runner-up in the event in 2015.
A local product from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Parker joined Bliss in taking part in such community service activities as the Be The Match event, the annual Halloween BOOzar for local children in October and LSU’s Thanksgiving with the Tigers food and toy drive for local families.
Parker also took part in “Touring with the Tigers” while assisting recruiters with on-campus tours. He has been a frequent visitor to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital during the 2014-15 academic year, and is most active with LSU’s Big Buddy program as a mentor. His 2014 fall semester highlighted by serving as a speaker at the Black Male Leadership Initiative Preview Day in the LSU Student Union in October.
Parker was most recently crowned an SEC Champion for the first time in his collegiate career when he raced to the SEC Outdoor title in the men’s 800 meters with a career-best time of 1 minute, 46.17 seconds this past weekend at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Starkville, Mississippi. He heads into the NCAA Championships as the sixth-fastest 800-meter runner nationally in 2015.