Oct. 27, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin’s team advanced all the way to the College World Series last spring and he saw his Seminoles rewarded for their effort in the classroom Monday night at the annual Golden Torch Gala. The 2008 baseball team won top team honors on the men’s side for their academic performance last year while Jen Hyde’s women’s tennis team posted the best team GPA on the women’s side.
The Golden Torch Gala recognizes the very top academic performers from the previous year (2007-08) and as always the measuring stick this year was very high. Six student-athletes received the highest honor having achieved perfect 4.0 GPA’s over the previous year and the list includes some of the most accomplished athletes on Seminole rosters.
“We have very dedicated student-athletes who are achieving at a very high level academically,” said FSU Director of Academic Support Services Bill Shults. “The individuals who posted the top academic honors are truly impressive because they not only represent outstanding students, but they are among the best athletes in the country in their sports.”
Gonzalo Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile) capped a remarkable freshman season last year with his recognition as a Golden Torch Award winner. The ACC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year in track and field as well as an All-American in the decathlon, Barroilhet had a perfect academic record in his freshman year to go along with his outstanding athletic accomplishments. Fellow track and field performer Javier Garcia-Tunon repeated as a Golden Torch winner posting a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student in the highly competitive business school. Garcia-Tunon (Miami, FL), a hurdler on FSU’s national championship track and field team, advanced to the NCAA Championships in the 400m hurdles this past spring.
Two Golden Torch winners came from FSU’s highly regarded cross country program. David Huckaby, an academic sophomore from Fort Mill, S.C., posted a perfect GPA from the men’s cross country program and Ashley Andress did the same from the women’s program. Huckaby and the men finished 20th in the country last year, while Andrew’s teammates on the women’s side finished first in the ACC and third nationally.
Women’s golfer Whitney Brummett had a 4.0 as a senior last year and her Seminole team finished third in the ACC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament in 2008. Stacy Rademacher, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., who competed in the backstroke last year, won a Golden Torch as a member of the women’s swimming and diving team.
“There are not many programs that dedicate an entire night to the celebration of strictly academic achievement by their student-athletes the way Florida State does with our Golden Torch Gala,” said Director of Athletics Randy Spetman. “We have a number of remarkable young people competing in our athletic programs and leading the way in our classrooms as well. An event like this makes you proud to be associated with collegiate athletics.”
Golden Torch Winners as the top academic performer in each sport were:
Baseball Ryan Vigue
M. Basketball Matt Zitani
W. Basketball Mara Freshour
M. Cross Country David Huckaby
W. Cross Country Ashley Andress
Football Jeffry Taccetta
M. Golf Drew Kittleson
W. Golf Whitney Brummett
Soccer Katrin Schmidt
Softball Michelle Snyder
M. Swimming & Diving Brendan Burke
W. Swimming & Diving Stacy Rademacher
M. Tennis Michael O’Shea
W. Tennis Katie Rybakova
M. Track & Field Javier Garcia-Tunon, Gonzalo Barroilhet
W. Track & Field Erin Simmons