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April 26, 2010
Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate Athletics Department handed out 75 awards and men's golfer Josh Gallman and softball pitcher Morgan Childers earned the department's top honor in being named the Student-Athlete of the Year at the annual Pepsi Athletics Awards Banquet Monday night in the Campus Life Center Ballroom on campus.
Gallman, a senior from Gaffney, S.C., earned his second Male Student-Athlete of the Year award after sharing the honors with Luke Payne on as a sophomore in 2008. He just completed a tremendous year that punctuated a standout career. He won three individual tournament championships this season, including the Fossum Invitational at Michigan State which concluded Sunday. He tallied eight top five and nine top 10 finishes in 11 events this season and finished no lower than 17th in any tournament this year. He broke his own single-season stroke average record, averaging 71.4 this season. He owns every career and single-season school record, including seven career wins, 21 top five finishes, 33 top 10 finishes, a 72.7 stroke average and a .869 winning percentage. He became the first Upstate golfer to break into the top 100 in the world amateur ranking by the R&A earlier this season and has been ranked in the top 75 in all of college golf throughout the season. He is also a standout in the classroom, carrying a 3.73 GPA as a business marketing major. He was inducted into the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Fraternity in the George Dean Johnson, Jr., College of Business, and is a three-time A-Sun All-Academic selection.
Childers, a junior from Kings Mountain, N.C., earned her first Female Student-Athlete of the Year award after turning in a record-breaking season and gaining national recognition for her prowess in the circle. She currently leads the nation with 29 wins, while ranking in the top seven in five other statistical categories. She tops the A-Sun in wins, strikeouts (372), batters struck out looking (88), innings pitched (227.0) and starts (31), while ranking second with a 0.94 ERA and a .118 opponent batting average. She broke her own single-season strikeout record with 372 and counting (USC Upstate has four more regular season games and potential for more in the A-Sun Tournament). Already the owner of the school's all-time strikeout record, she broke Upstate's career records for wins (79) and shutouts (30). She has also made a name for herself in the A-Sun. She has moved into second place all-time on the conference's strikeouts list with 907. She also ranks in the top 10 all-time with a 1.31 ERA and 30 shutouts. She has thrown two no-hitters this season, raising her total to a program-best four in her career. In addition to being a standout softball player, she has been a strong student in the classroom. She carries a 3.47 GPA as a secondary education major and is a two-time A-Sun All-Academic selection.
In addition to the Student-Athlete of the Year awards, 11 senior student-athletes were given the Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award for outstanding career athletic accomplishments. The 11 award winners were Renzo Airaldi (men's tennis), Matt Branham (baseball), Morgan Bucciferro (volleyball), Crislyn Chewning (softball), Josh Gallman (men's golf), Courtney Hawkins (women's basketball), Michael Lawrence (men's golf), Jack Roux (men's tennis), Nick Schneiders (men's basketball), Jimmy Tanner (baseball) and Javier Tori (men's tennis).
Mr. Cleveland S. Harley was presented with the University's Distinguished Gold Dome Award for his continued leadership and support of USC Upstate. Mr. Harley played a key role in the establishment of the University as a member of the Spartanburg County Commission on Higher Education and has continued his support since its opening. In particular, he has provided the financial backing for Harley Park, now in its seventh year as the home of the Upstate baseball program.
Diane Daane, George Labanick, Carol Loar and Myra Segars-Szustak were presented the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award for their leadership in the University's NCAA Self-Study process. Their leadership in the process has been instrumental as Upstate moves toward full certification as a Division I member next year.
Athletics Department Awards