February Student-Athletes of the Month

Caroline Downer
Caroline Downer

BATON ROUGE - The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes honored six LSU student-athletes as part of their academic achievements and community service for February.Each month, five student-athletes are recognized for their academic improvement, dedication and proven ability. In addition, one student-athlete is chosen through LSU's Student-Athlete Affairs program for their volunteerism and commitment to the community.

February's student-athletes of the month are Jamie Keehn [Football], Craig Loston [Football], Ariel Morton [Women's Tennis], Aaron Nola [Baseball] and Sally Wood [Swimming & Diving]. Katrina Hegge [Women's Golf l] was selected as the Shaquille O'Neal CHAMPS/Student-Athlete Affairs Athlete of the Month.

Keehn, Nola and Hegge are majoring in sport administration. Both Loston and Morton are general studies majors, and Hegge is majoring in kinesiology.

A freshman punter from Miners Rest, Australia, Keehn punted for a total of 524 yards in his opening season as a Tiger, and he kicked a career best 58-yard punt in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Clemson. Keehn has also joined team members off the field, as well as student-athletes of other sports, at St. Vincent de Paul to serve lunch to the homeless.

Loston, a senior safety from Houston, Texas, has an all-star record both on and off the field. With a starting position in all 12 games he played during the 2012 season, he totaled 55 tackles, three tackles for loss and three interceptions highlighted by his 100-yard touchdown return against Mississippi State. His performance earned him All-Louisiana First Team and All-SEC Second Team honors. Loston's community service does not go unnoticed, as he was named a Student-Athlete of the Month in both September and December of 2011.

A junior tennis player from Houston, Texas, Morton compiled a 3-1 record in dual match singles and partnered with teammate Kaitlin Burns in doubles to defeat two SEC opponents her sophomore season, despite battling through an ankle injury. Morton concluded this season's fall play with five singles wins and four doubles victories. She recently made her debut in the No. 1 doubles position with partner Mary Jeremiah as the pair took down SMU's Aleksandra Malyarchikova and Vaszilisza Bulgakova 8-3. Morton is also active in the community, taking part in team visits to Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital to meet and interact with its patients.

Nola, a sophomore pitcher from Baton Rouge, La., was a freshman sensation in his first year as a Tiger. The right-hander earned Freshman First-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, Second-Team Freshman All-American by Baseball America, Freshman All-SEC, NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team and Second Team All-Louisiana honors. In the 2012 season, he appeared in 19 games with 16 starts and pitched 89 strikeouts. He finished No. 1 in the SEC in fewest walks allowed and in batters struck out looking.

An individual medley, freestyle and breaststroke senior swimmer from Edinburgh, Scotland, Wood completed her final regular season in the program's all-time top 10 of three events, including the No. 4 all-time record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:14.29. This season, she holds the No. 3 team best times in both the 1000-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke as well as the top team time in the 400-yard individual medley. Wood has also earned two consecutive SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades and participated in many community service events, including LSU's Spring Greening Day and the week-long AgMagic event.

Hegge, a senior golfer from Seattle, Wash., transferred from the University of San Francisco to join the Lady Tigers for her junior season. That year, she scored her best finish, tying for 50th in the LSU Tiger Golf Classic, and her best total was at the PING/ASU Invitational at 14-over 227 (75-72-80). No stranger to the community, Hegge planned a recent team trip to Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, where members of the team went room to room greeting the patients. Also an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), she will represent LSU at the SEC SAAC meeting hosted Feb. 16-17 in Birmingham, Ala.

For putting forth extra effort in the classroom and community in addition to their rigorous academic and competition schedules, these six student-athletes will have their pictures displayed on the wall in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.





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