BATON ROUGE - The LSU Track & Field programs are among the University leaders in competition, in the classroom and in the community each year, and the teams were recognized for their effort yet again as part of the 2012 Tiger Athletic Foundation Academic Excellence Gala held Sunday night.
LSU Track & Field athletes took home four of the 10 major academic awards presented during the gala as student-athletes from each of LSU's 19 varsity sports were in attendance for the annual event at the Royal Cotillion Ballroom at the LSU Student Union on campus.
Sophomore distance runner Christine Derbins represented the Lady Tigers during the event after claiming the TAF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and being selected among the five LSU student-athletes receiving this year's Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award.
An SEC Championships and NCAA South Central Regional qualifier in cross country in the fall, Derbins has maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average during her collegiate career while pursuing a pair of degrees in both mathematics and mass communications.
A native of Covington, La., Derbins is an Honors College Advocate and is also active in such activities as LSU S.T.R.I.P.E.S. and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Tau Alpha.
Joining Derbins among the five recipients for the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award is junior distance standout Cullen Doody. A native of Arabi, La., this marks the second-straight year in which Doody has been honored as a recipient of the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award for the event as he has maintained a sparkling 3.93 cumulative GPA while pursuing his degree in biology.
Lady Tiger junior Laura Carleton, the 2011 TAF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was recognized as a recipient of this year's Bengal Belles Academic Excellence Award after graduating in May of last year with her degree in management. Carleton captured the University Medal during commencement exercises in May while graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the highest in her class.
In addition, Tiger senior Brandon Gordon was awarded the Male Volunteer of the Year award he won last year following the 2011 spring semester as a leader of LSU's community service efforts.
A member of the 2011 SEC Track & Field Community Service Team, Gordon set the pace for all student-athletes at LSU as the University's leader with 73.5 community service hours completed during the 2010-11 academic year. His total was nearly 15 service hours more than any other student-athlete at LSU.
The Tiger Athletic Foundation also presented 38 LSU Track & Field athletes with the LSU Director's Cup for Academic Excellence in their pursuit of excellence in the classroom during the 2010-11 academic year. There were also 40 program members honored as selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
2012 TAF Academic Excellence Gala
LSU Track & Field Academic Award Winners
TAF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
TAF Male Volunteer of the Year
Bengal Belles Academic Excellence Award
LSU Scholar-Athlete Director's Cup Recipients