April 30, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - The Annual UT Arlington All-Sports Awards Banquet held Monday night at the E.H. Hereford University Center showcased the athletic talent, academic achievement and community service UT Arlington athletes have become known for over the past few years.
Mix in a keynote speech by former Mavericks track athlete Lisa Austin and a few surprise presentations to a long-time employee, and the MAVVY Awards emphatically celebrated the 2007-08 academic year.
UT Arlington President James Spaniolo also stopped by to congratulate folks in attendance for "Being Mavericks" and doing it so well.
"We've had an outstanding year, both athletically and academically," UTA Director of Athletics Pete Carlon said. "From what our teams have accomplished to the work our student-athletes have done in the community and classroom, we certainly have reason to celebrate the season."
Lisa Austin, a former Maverick and three-time All-American, told student-athletes that her fear of failure could have driven her out of sports altogether. Instead, she used it to focus her attention and become better.
"Athletes have different ways of motivating themselves," Austin said to the crowd in the Bluebonnet Ballroom. "Whatever your is, use it even when your athletic career is finished."
Dozens of UT Arlington athletes were honored for exceptional work in the classroom. But the night also featured gifts from the students to long-time administrative assistant Linda Foster, who is retiring after nearly two decades in the department.
Foster walked away with nearly more gifts than could fit in her car.
A few athletes left with some impressive accolades as well, such as the Mavericks 2007 4x400 men's relay team. Those four sprinters - Jared Connaughton, Byron Majors, Curtis Hoyle Jr and Eddie Beckwith - won the "Best Championship Performance Award" for winning the event and pushing UTA to a Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship in 2007.
The 2007-08 "Newcomer of the Year Award" went to baseball player Michael Choice. Track athlete Carranda Mose is the 2007-08 Maverick Leadership Award winner, and Big Al's Community Service Awards went to softball player Amanda Swofford and track athlete Tristan Williams.
UT Arlington spring teams are still completing their seasons.
Softball has one conference series remaining before the SLC Tournament. UTA's baseball team has nine league games left before the postseason, and golf will find out May 5 if it receives an at-large bid to the NCAA regional tournament.
Track and field competes Friday and Saturday in the UTA Open before heading to the SLC Track and Field Championships.
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