Tech announces 11 finalists for 2013 Outstanding Female Athlete

Tech announces 11 finalists for 2013 Outstanding Female Athlete

Winner to be announced Sunday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In search of the university’s Outstanding Female Athlete for 2012-13, the Tennessee Tech Athletics Awards Committee has announced a list of 11 finalists for the honor. The winner will be announced Sunday (June 16).

The finalists include two members each from the basketball, soccer, cross country/track, and softball teams, and one each from the volleyball, golf, and track and field teams.
Criteria for the award are based solely on the athletic accomplishments of each student-athlete during 2012-13. The 11 finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

Madison Borden, Senior, Louisville, Tenn., Track & Field
One of the most versatile members of the track & field team throughout her four-year career as a thrower, Madison competed in the shot put, discus, hammer, weight throw and javelin at various times. While flirting with school record marks, she ranks among the top five performers in school history in the shot put (fourth), discus (third) and hammer (fourth).  As a senior, she posted career-best marks in the shot put, but indoor and outdoor, and the discus.  At this year’s OVC Outdoor Championships, Borden scored the team’s first point of the meet with a throw of 128 feet, eight inches in the discus.

Jordan Brown, Freshman, League City, Texas, Soccer
A true freshman out of League City, Texas, Jordan Brown took home Tech’s Newcomer of the Year award after a sensational rookie campaign. As a goalkeeper, Brown finished the season with 123 saves, ranking 13th in all of Division I play. It also marked the third best single-season total in Tech history. Brown started every game for the Golden Eagles, playing nearly 1,650 minutes between the pipes while recording three shutouts on the year. She ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference with 6.83 saves per game, which was also the second-highest output in team history.

Rebecca Cline, Junior, Spring Hill, Tenn., Cross Country/Track & Field
Rebecca placed either first or second on the team in all seven cross country meets during the fall, then emerged as one of the squad’s leaders in distance events during the spring track & field seasons. On the cross country course, she led Tech at Louisville and Berry Invitationals, as well as finishing first on the team in the OVC Championships and 56th overall. She posted her career-best 6K time at the 2012 NCAA Regionals, placing second on the team in 23:49. During the track season, she posted career-best times in eight different events. Indoors, she had PRs at 3,000 and 5,000 meters at the OVCChampionships, and the mile run. Outdoors, her PRs came at every distance between 1,500 and 5,000 meters, including the steeplechase.  At the OVC Outdoor Championships, she placed 14th in the steeplechase and 19th at 5,000 meters, Tech’s top performer in both events. She now has the second-best time in school history in one event and ranks among the top five in two others. 

Melody Christian, Senior, Kingston, Tenn., Softball
Melody has led the team in hits runs and stolen bases all four years at Tech and this season she solidified her spot in the Golden Eagle record books by finishing with 89 career steals, the second most in program history. Melody started in all but one game in the 2013 season and finished with a .359 batting average. She connected for 61 hits in 170 at bats, driving in 15 runs. She strung together the longest hitting streak in the OVC with a 16-game run. Melody also opened the season with an 11-game streak. She had a season-high three hits in three different games prior to the conference schedule. Melody was recognized as an all-OVC second team selection.

Madalyn Everts, Redshirt Freshman, Ooltewah, Tenn., Golf
Madalyn competed in a team-high 11 tournaments in her first full season on the course as a Golden Eagle. Her three Top 10 finishes were best on the team, as were her three All-Tournament honors. Madalyn finished among the top three individuals in three out of Tech’s final four tournaments. She led the team with an average of 79.08 and carded two rounds of par or better. Her career-low round of 70 came in the final round of the year at the OVC Championships, moving her into second place for the tournament. At Tech’s Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, Everts shot a 76+74=150 to place second out of 72 golfers.  Madalyn carded a third-place finish at the Samford Intercollegiate in April, besting 53 other competitors with a three-round 227. 

Kelsey Gray, Senior, Newark, Ohio, Volleyball
Kelsey was named OVC Defensive Player of the Year after finishing her career second at Tech in career total blocks, block assists, and solo blocks, third in single-season solo blocks, and block assists. In the OVC, she holds the ninth-best career block performance in solo bocks and block assists. Kelsey finished 2012 as the 10th best blocker in Division I and was named to the Xavier and Samford Invitational all-tournament teams. She averaged 2.34 kills per set and had a .312 attack percentage, well above the team’s .129 hitting percentage. Kelsey averaged 1.59 blocks per set and had two double-digit block performances, those coming against Belmont (10) and Eastern Kentucky (11). Kelsey had 11 double-digit kill games, including the last five games of the season where the senior averaged 2.61 kills per set. 

Jala Harris, Senior, Madison, Ala., Basketball
Jala helped the Golden Eagles reach the OVC Tournament Championship game for the third season in a row, and capture a second regular season championship. She was an OVC all-tournament team selection and was named OVC Player of the Week once in 2013. She averaged 13.4 points per game to rank second on the team in scoring, and made an appearance in every game this season, starting in 29 of 31 contests. She shot 39.7 percent from the floor and 73 percent from the free throw line. She also played more minutes than any other Golden Eagle, averaging nearly 32 minutes per contest, and was named the team MVP for the 2012-13 season. 

Diamond Henderson, Sophomore, Kennesaw, Ga., Basketball
Diamond Henderson, a red-shirt sophomore on the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team, entered the season as a relative unknown. Henderson rose from a reserve player to the leading scorer for the Golden Eagles and played an instrumental role in Tech capturing a share of the 2013 regular season OVC title and its third-straight appearance in the tournament championship game. Henderson capped off her season as the only sophomore recognized on the all-OVC first-team and the youngest member of the OVC all-tournament team. Henderson led Tennessee Tech and ranked among conference leaders in several categories during her sophomore season, including points (490/15.8 ppg). During the season, she recorded double figure points in 28 games and opened the season with a career high 31 points, becoming the sixth guard in Tech program history with a 30+ point performance. Henderson was recognized as OVC Player of the Week twice during the year and was named the team's Best Offensive Player at its annual awards dinner. 

Kendall Hooper, Junior, Hermitage, Tenn., Softball
Kendall finished the year ranked second on the team with a .281 batting average, while tied for first on the squad in home runs with four. One of two players to see action in all 50 games, she was second on the team in at bats (153) and hits (43). She owned the second-highest slugging percentage (.399) for the Golden Eagles and was third in RBI (21). Hit safely in 32 of her 50 games, with 10 multi-hit games. Including walks, she reached base safely in 40 games. She clubbed a season-best three hits (3-for-3) in game at Morehead State, and had two different six-game hitting streaks. In the first, early in the year, she went 9-for-17 for a .529 average during that six-game stretch. During the second streak, she was 9-for-21 for s .428 average over six games. 

Ellie Iaciofano, Junior, Loveland, Ohio, Soccer
After two solid seasons, Iaciofano enjoyed a break-out year for the Golden Eagles in 2012, leading the team in goals (8) and points (20) and tying for the team lead in assists (4) while earning all-OVC second-team honors. Her 20 points were the ninth highest in a single season in Tech history. Her eight goals also were the ninth highest in single season history. Iaciofano was awarded Offensive Team MVP award following her stellar season. She recorded three multi-goal games and one multi-assist game. She finished third in the conference in points and points per game as well as third in goals and goals per game. She also ranked in the top 10 in the OVC in assists and assists per game. 

Beth Miller, Senior, Watertown, Wis., Cross Country and Track & Field
After coming to Tech as a softball recruit in 2009, Beth switched her concentration to the cross country and track & field teams for the past three years, and kept her focus sharp in the classroom by graduating in May with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. During the 2012 cross country season, she was the top finisher on the team in four meets, including the NCAA Regional. She posted her career-best 5K time at OVC Championships and her career-best 6K effort at the NCAA Regional. She scored points for Tech during the OVC Outdoor Championships, placing seventh in the 10,000-meter run on Friday with a career-best time of 39.50.46. She posted another career-best in the final race of her time at Tech, placing 24th in the 5,000-meter run in 19:00.91 on Saturday. Also this year, she established new PR times in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs during the indoor season, and in the 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter events outdoors, giving her six personal-best times in six events as a senior.

The Outstanding Female Athlete Award was established in 1994, and 21 winners have been selected in the previous 18 years, including three years with co-winners. The previous winners are:

1994 - Beth Keylon (Softball)
1995 - Taunya Lovelace (Basketball)
1996 - Stacy Hughes (Softball)
1997 - Diane Seng (Basketball)
1998 - Diane Seng (Basketbal/VB/Track)
1999 - Diane Seng (Basketball/Volleyball)
2000 - Diane Seng (Basketball/Volleyball)
2001 - Janet Holt (Basketball)
2002 - Janet Holt (Basketball)
               and Lupita Hernandez (Tennis)
2003 - Stephanie Dallmann (Softball)
2004 - Lori Bayless (Softball)
2005 - Emily Christian (Basketball)
2006 - Bonnie Bynum (Softball)
               and Emily Christian (Basketball)
2007 - Bonnie Bynum (Softball)
               and Beth Boden (Softball)
2008 - Stephanie Fischer (Softball)
2009 - Stephanie Place (CC and Track)
2010 – Tacarra Hayes (Basketball)
2011 – Tacarra Hayes (Basketball)