Oct. 2, 2013
On Wednesday evening the Florida State athletic and academic communities came together to honor the university’s top student-athletes. Associate Dean and Sr. Associate AD for Academics Dr. Greg Beaumont presided over the 23rd Annual Golden Torch Awards, which recognizes Seminole student-athlete excellence in the classroom. Florida State University President Dr. Eric J. Barron was the Keynote Speaker at the banquet where 23 student-athletes and two teams were recognized for their academic achievements.
The 2012-13 academic year was another excellent showing by Seminole student-athletes in the classroom. Last year, there were 10 Academic All-District selections, ACC Scholar Athletes of the Year in six sports, and 85 Academic All-ACC honorees. On top of that 224 student-athletes were on the ACC Honor Roll, 17 student-athletes posted a 4.0 GPA in Fall 2012 and 21 student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA in the Spring 2013 semester. In the fall of 2012 11 posted an 3.0+ GPA and in the spring nine teams had a 3.0+ GPA.
2013 GOLDEN TORCH WINNERS
Women’s Team Award
The women’s tennis team collects their ninth Golden Torch award while under head coach Jennifer Hyde. In 2013, the Seminoles sparked a run to the ACC Championship match, first taking down Wake Forest before defeating No. 11 Clemson for the first time since 2001 in a match that saw over five hours of play in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Seminoles defeated No. 13 Virginia before falling to the Hurricanes in the final match. FSU qualified for its seventh-consecutive NCAA Tournament and posted a final record of 16-10. The Seminoles were also categorized as an ITA-All Academic Team, while four athletes earned scholar athlete status.
Men’s Team Award
The Florida State men’s tennis team collects its first Golden Torch award since 2010. Last season the Seminoles went to their 11th consecutive NCAA appearance while reaching as high as No. 16 in the country after upsetting the No. 7 team of Oklahoma. Florida State was 18-11 last year with a 13-4 home record. Four players reached the 20-win mark in singles, the most since 2008, while Blake Davis and Dominic Cotrone reached the round of 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
Mike Compton posted a 12-2 record with a 2.87 ERA in 18 starts in his first season at Florida State in 2012. He was in the starting pitching rotation from opening day through the College World Series…Mike missed the entire 2013 season due to an injury but is on track to be back in the Seminole rotation in 2014. The Branson, Mo., native is majoring in economics and is a two-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Compton was also a member of the All-ACC Academic Team in 2012. Mike Compton
Josh Delph started in right field and batted leadoff in 34 games and played in 40 in 2013. He finished the year with a .270 batting average with six doubles, 21 RBI and 32 runs scored. His .468 on-base percentage ranked second on the team. Josh is a social science education major and two-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and member of the 2013 All-ACC Academic Team. A junior from Bartow, Fla., Josh has been honored on FSU’s Dean’s List twice and once on FSU’s President’s List after earning a perfect 4.0 GPA following the 2013 spring semester.
Florida State’s Morgan Toles was one of the ACC’s top point guards during the 2012-13 season, leading the league in assist-to-turnover average, while starting all 33 games for a Seminole squad that was ranked in the Top 25 all season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Fayetteville, Ga., native averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 assists. A sociology major, Morgan captured ACC Academic Honor Roll honors in 2013.
The winner of the 2013 Golden Torch for basketball is Michael Ojo. As a freshman, Michael appeared in 27 games while starting nine in helping Florida State reach the postseason for the school record eighth consecutive season. He was inserted into the starting line-up in mid-February and started nine of the final 11 games of the 2013 season. Michael was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll with a 3.116 grade point average during his freshman season. He is majoring in international affairs.
Colleen Quigley capped a banner sophomore season in 2012 by earning All-American honors for FSU’s fourth place team. Colleen also earned All-South Region and All-ACC honors as the Seminoles won both team titles in 2012. Colleen was one of only seven women to earn All-American honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in 2012-13. The Dietetics major was equally impressive in the classroom, boasting a 3.970 GPA on the year. She earned multiple All-ACC Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, and was also selected to the Academic All-Region team.
Sean Quinn competed in five meets for the nationally-ranked FSU men’s cross country team, including the ACC Championship, where the `Noles placed third. He posted a career-best 8k time of 25:07.7 to place 13th at the Royal XC Challenge as the top finisher for the Seminoles’ B-team. He was also the No. 6 runner for the `Noles in their win at the Covered Bridge Open. Quinn posted a 3.770 GPA during the 2012-13 school year while completing a double-major of International Affairs and Philosophy and is now pursuing a post-graduate degree in Economics.
Michael Fout was the 2011 ACC Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Michael returned to school in 2012-13 to complete his degree in Psychology and also compete on the track for the Seminoles during the indoor and outdoor seasons. The La Porte, Ind. native capped his Florida State career by claiming All-American honors in 2013, his second, with a fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters. An All-ACC Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic selection, Fout completed his FSU career with a 3.730 GPA for the 2012-13 academic year.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has led Florida State to a 4-0 record in his first season as the Seminoles’ signal caller. Jameis has tossed 12 touchdowns and ranks in the top three in the country in passing efficiency and completion percentage. The Bessemer, Ala., native has already been named one of the ACC’s Players of the Week three times this season. Jamies is also a standout in the classroom, where he holds GPA above 3.0 while majoring in sport management.
Redshirt senior long snapper Philip Doumar has helped lead Florida State to a 4-0 record this season. In his first year as the starting snapper, Philip has been a key cog to FSU’s special teams units on kicks and punts. Thanks in part to Philip, the Seminoles are perfect this year on field goals and extra points, and have not had a punt blocked. Philip, who majors in Finance and International Affairs, has a GPA over 3.0.
Florida State sophomore Olivia Hullert is the Golden Torch winner for women’s golf in 2013. She finished as Florida State’s leader in four of the team’s 11 events in her first season and was the fifth leading freshman golfer in the ACC in 2013 with a 76.13 scoring average. Olivia played as a member of the Seminoles’ line-up in the NCAA West Regional Championship – the school record eighth consecutive NCAA appearance for the Seminoles. She is majoring international affairs.
Doug Letson is this year’s men’s golf Golden Torch winner after graduating in the spring with a degree in Economics. Doug is a two-time All-ACC Academic Team honoree and was on the ACC Honor Roll three times during his career. The Tampa, Fla., native had his best finish last year at the Gator Invitational when he finished tied for third to help lead the team to a first place finished over Florida.
Florida State’s Mallory Kiley finished the 2013 season with a 30-6 record en route to leading the Seminoles to their second consecutive No. 3 seed at the AVCA National Championships. A two-time national championships participant, Mallory was also a co-captain and a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2013. Mallory is a native of Palm Harbor, Fla. and received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and is currently pursuing a master’s degree.
Kassey Kallman has led Florida State to an unbeaten start through the first 12 games for the second year in a row. The senior captain has guided the Seminole backline which has yielded just four goals all season. Kassey was named a second team Academic All-American in 2012 and the Woodbury, Minn., native is a three-time member of the ACC All-Academic Team, while earning ACC Academic Honor Roll accolades twice. Kassey, who is majoring in business management, is also a two-time member of both FSU’s Dean’s List and President’s List.
For the third year in a row, Florida State senior utility player Kelly Hensley has been named softball’s Golden Torch Award winner. The Niceville, Florida native, who has been accepted into the FSU medical school program, boasts an outstanding 3.857 GPA in the last year as an exercise science major. Last season, Kelly recorded 13 home runs and a .315 batting average, and was named a Capital One Third Team Academic All-American.
Leyla Erkan was 6-5 in singles and 3-3 in doubles during the 2012-13 season. For the second consecutive season, Erkan was named as an ITA Scholar Athlete, while contributing to the ITA- Academic All-American status as a team. A junior from Hilton Head, SC, Leyla is a junior majoring in Media and Communications Studies and Creative Writing.
Amy Sargeant turned in one of the best singles season in FSU history. During the course of the 2012-13 season, Amy played to a 30-6 singles record. Amy was the only player in the ACC tournament to win four singles matches and for her hard work, dedication and leadership, Amy was honored as the ITA Southeast Region Cissie Leary Award for Leadership winner. Academically, Amy was named to her second career ACC All-Academic Team and won two ITA Scholar Athlete awards.
Junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez is a two-time Golden Torch winner for men’s tennis. The Public Relations major recorded a perfect 4.0 while posting a 15-11 singles record last year. This past summer, the native of Spain won his first ATP point and won the Bedford Cup Singles Title last weekend. Cristian is also a two-time ACC Honor Roll member and a two-time ITA All-Academic Scholar-Athlete.
Hannah Acton turned in a remarkable freshman year in the pole vault for the Florida State women, scoring at both the ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships and advancing to the NCAA East Preliminary meet outdoors. She capped her season with a lifetime-best mark of 4.00 meters (13-1.50) – the No. 3 mark in FSU history. The Indianapolis, Ind. native is an Exercise Science major, who earned All-ACC Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic honors after posting a perfect 4.0 GPA for the 2012-13 school year.
Stefan Brits claimed All-American honors during both the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons for the Seminoles. The sophomore placed sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and continued to excel outdoors, claiming the ACC Championship long jump title in a meet record 8.05 meters (26-5). He earned All-America honors on the 4 x 100 relay team. An All-ACC Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree, the Chemical Science major posted a 3.950 GPA for the year and also earned Academic All-American honors.
Alonzo Russell made the most of his first season at Florida State, earning All-American honors at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Championship meets. He was a member of FSU’s school record-setting 4×400 relay at indoor nationals and outdoors he helped the men’s 4×100 relay team to an eighth-place finish. Alonzo also qualified for the NCAA Championship meet in the 400. A Psychology major, Russell posted a 3.960 GPA over the course of the 2012-13 academic year to earn All-ACC Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic honors.
Florida State sophomore outside hitter Nicole Walch is the 2013 volleyball Golden Torch Award winner. In her first year the sport management major excelled in the classroom with a 3.56 grade point average. The Stuart, Florida native worked extremely hard in the most recent offseason and the improvements in her game have been noticeable. Walch was named to two all-tournament teams and continues to be one of Florida State’s most feared hitters. Here is volleyball’s Nicole Walch.
FSU Swimmer Sara McMahon is the 2013 Golden Torch winner for swimming and diving. The Dunwoody, Ga. Native was awarded the Academic award at the end of the year awards banquet in 2013. A Hospitality Management major, Sara swam the best times of her career in the 50 and 100 free at the Bulldog Invite in 2013.
Windermere, Fla. native Tom Neubacher was an All-American diver on 1-meter board with a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships, becoming the sixth Seminole in history to garner the honors in the event. Tom was also 13th on platform after earning his second straight All-ACC honor on 1-meter behind a third place finish on 1-meter at the ACC Championships. Through his first three seasons, the Tom has never missed an ACC final and is a two-time NCAA qualifier.