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Thirteen Golden Eagle student-athletes honored with 2022 President's Awards

Thirteen Golden Eagle student-athletes honored with 2022 President's Awards

By TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Thirteen student-athletes have been chosen as the outstanding representative of their teams at Tennessee Tech University and are the winners of the 29th annual President's Awards, presented by the TTU Athletics Department. A whopping 12 of the 13 are first-time winners while one is the winner for the second time in their career.

Repeating as President's Award winner for a second straight year was men's golf's Mark McDearman. For just the second time since the inception of the President's Awards in 1993-94, 12 different Golden Eagles took home the honor for the first time, joining the 2010-11 group of winners.

One member from each of Tech's intercollegiate athletic programs was selected based on a combination of their career academic performance and athletic accomplishments. The indoor and outdoor women's track teams are combined for one award.

"Our student-athletes truly amaze me every single day with their dedication to their athletic crafts, their work in the classroom, and their involvement in the community," Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson said. "The 13 winners of this year's President's Awards are the model we want each of our student-athletes to strive for and I am continually grateful and thankful for their incredible leadership. It's exciting to see so many of these student-athletes returning for the 2022-23 academic year. We expect to see continued growth and great things from them all."

The 2022 recipients include one graduate student, two seniors, four juniors, one redshirt sophomore, two sophomores, and three freshmen. The recipients also demonstrate the diversity of Tech's student-athletes, hailing from seven different states and two other countries, including Tennessee (four), Ohio (two), Arkansas (one), Florida (one), Georgia (one), Kentucky (one), North Carolina (one), Australia (one), and Norway (one).

The President's Award was established in 1994.

In alphabetical order, the 2022 President's Award winners are:

Connor Adams | Baseball | Junior | Shaker Heights, Ohio
Connor Adams provided valuable leadership on the hill even after spending the fall as a student assistant coach prior to the return of Matt Bragga as head coach. Back on the hill in the spring, he earned a rotation spot and posted a 4-3 record with a 5.86 ERA over 58.1 innings. Already sporting a bachelor's degree in business management with a concentration in business information technology, he boasted a 3.92 GPA this past year while earning his master's degree in business administration.

Haeli Bryson | Softball | Senior | Otto, N.C.
Haeli Bryson established herself as the top offensive weapon for the Golden Eagles in 2022, collecting All-OVC First Team and NFCA All-Midwest Region Third Team honors. The infielder slashed led the team in batting average (.392), hits (67), doubles (12), RBI (41), on-base percentage (.445), and slugging percentage (.632) while striking out just six times in 54 games. In the classroom, she continued to put forward a strong showing, boasting a 3.65 GPA while working on her degree in biology.

Seth Carlisle | Football | Junior | Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.
Seth Carlisle ranked second on the Golden Eagle defense with 67 total tackles, boasting 29 unassisted stops and 38 assisted tackles while also accounting for an interception and two quarterback hurries. He continued to stand out academically, earning a spot on the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team and being named a finalist for the STATS FCS Doris Robison Award. Already armed with a bachelor's in biology in December, he turned in a 3.75 GPA while working on his master's in business administration.

Mackenzie Coleman | Women's Basketball | Senior | Edmonton, Ky.
Mackenzie Coleman helped propel the Golden Eagles to a runner-up showing at the OVC Tournament and a bid to the WNIT behind a spectacular final season. Earning All-OVC Second Team honors, she averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting a team-best 85.1 percent from the charity stripe and boasting a team-high 39 blocks. Having earned a bachelor's degree in education and pre-occupational therapy, she turned in a 4.0 GPA while working on a master's in interdisciplinary studies. 

Madeline Furtado | Volleyball | R-Sophomore | West Palm Beach, Fla.
Madeline Furtado put together her best season yet in the purple and gold, ranking third on the team with 270 kills while playing all but one of the team's 114 sets during the 2021 campaign. Her 2.39 kills per set mark also ranked third on the team. After collecting her bachelor's degree in exercise science and physical wellness with a concentration in sports administration last May, she sported a perfect 4.0 GPA this year while working on a master's in professional studies with a concentration in healthcare administration.

Shandon Goldman | Men's Basketball | Graduate | Evansville, Ark.
Shandon Goldman was a valuable leader both on and off the court for the 2021-22 Tech men's basketball team, serving as a team captain. He averaged 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game during the season in 19.0 minutes per game while shooting 33 percent from distance. He turned in a 3.91 GPA while pursuing a master's degree in exercise science and physical wellness with a concentration in sports management after earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Iowa in May 2020.

Amanda Laboy | Women's Cross Country | Freshman | Franklin, Tenn.
Amanda Laboy was a steady presence for the purple and gold during the 2021 campaign, resulting in the program's best-ever finish at the OVC Championships. She was the team's runner-up in five of six races, including a seventh-place overall showing at the league's championship event. She also placed first for Tech and second overall at the Golden Eagle Invitational. She continued to maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA while pursuing her bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science.

Austin McCowan | Men's Cross Country | Freshman | Cookeville, Tenn.
Austin McCowan continued to establish himself as a vocal leader for the Golden Eagles during the 2021 season, a campaign that saw Tech tied its best finish at the OVC Championships since 1967. The second-year freshman competed in two events for the purple and gold, saving his best time of the year for the league championships. In the classroom, he put together an impressive 3.96 GPA while working towards a bachelor's degree in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry. 

Mark McDearman | Men's Golf | Sophomore | Lebanon, Tenn.
Mark McDearman collected the President's Award for men's golf for the second straight year after once again proving himself both on the links and off. He represented one of just two Tech golfers to complete all 24 rounds, posting a 74.33 scoring average as part of one of the best seasons in program history. He also turned in a top-10 finish at the Big Blue Intercollegiate. A finance major, he rounded out the year with a cumulative GPA of 3.46. 

Amara Nwajagu | Track & Field | Freshman | Fayetteville, Ga.
Amara Nwajagu became an instant leader both on and off the track in her first year in the purple and gold. After helping the indoor squad tally seven points while competing in the distance medley relay and 4x400-meter run at the OVC Indoor Championships, she helped account for 13 points at the OVC Outdoor Championships while running in the 400-meter, 4x100-meter, and 4x400-meter events. In the classroom, she completed her first year with a 3.88 GPA towards a marketing degree.

Jun Sasagawa | Tennis | Sophomore | Cremorne, Australia
Jun Sasagawa provided critical depth for the Tech's OVC Tournament Championship squad, posting an 11-11 record during the year and a 1-1 mark in league play. He also combined with a number of teammates to collect seven more wins in doubles action, including a 2-1 record in OVC play. An unsung leader on the team, he also displayed that same work ethic in the classroom, accomplishing a 3.95 GPA while working towards his bachelor's degree in exercise science and physical wellness.

Chloe Smith | Soccer | Junior | Cincinnati, Ohio
Chloe Smith consistently delivered both on the pitch and off while serving as a team captain for the Golden Eagles. An All-OVC First Team selection for the first time in her career, Smith led Tech with four goals, four assists, 12 total points, and 16 shots on goal while guiding the purple and gold to a spot in the OVC Tournament semifinals. In the classroom, she continued to pursue her bachelor's degree in engineering technology while sporting an eye-popping 3.93 GPA.

Katrine Toennessen | Women's Golf | Junior | Grimstad, Norway
Katrine Toennessen really refined her leadership role within the Tech squad during the 2021-22 campaign, demonstrating continued success in the classroom and a tireless work ethic on the course. Competing in four events during the year, she tallied a top-25 finish at the Chris Banister Golf Classic while improving her stroke average by more than three shots from the 2021-22 season. She also posted a 3.88 GPA while continuing work on a bachelor's degree in economics.

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