TALLAHASSEE – Attention to detail is at the cornerstone of Shanice Love’s success and the Florida State senior discus thrower has enjoyed plenty of that through her first three years, both in the circle where she competes and in the classroom where she is equally driven to be the best.
As Tuesday’s practice at Mike Long Track wound toward a close under the guidance of her event coach Dorian Scott, Love grabbed a drink of water and her phone. It’s part of her daily routine; pausing for a few minutes to collect herself, while checking her messages, before slipping back inside the discus cage for a few final throws.
“I took a break, checked my phone and see this email,” Love said, describing the moment in routine fashion. “I opened the email and I see, ‘recipient of the postgraduate scholarship.’ I showed Dorian and said, ‘Coach, am I reading this right?’
“He said, ‘Congratulations, Miss Love.’ It was kind of shocking.”
And that’s how the 2019 NCAA runner-up, two-time ACC champion and decorated accounting major learned that she was one of 48 recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award, each of whom receive $6,000 toward their graduate education.
The Atlantic Coast Conference shared the list of winners Friday, which in addition to Love, includes men’s basketball standout Trent Forrest, Ayla Bonniwell (women’s swimming & diving) and Cameron Thatcher (men’s swimming & diving). They push Florida State’s list of all-time recipients of the award, named in honor of three former ACC commissioners, to 72 student-athletes who meet the criteria of having performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
“Shanice is such an inspiration to her teammates,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “She’s a world-class thrower and phenomenal student, and she just quietly and calmly goes out and does her best.
“I’m extremely proud of track & field’s legacy for this award and Shanice is a shining example of what our program is all about.”
The Jamaican-born Love is the 15th Florida State track & field athlete to be recognized with the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Award. Former Seminole Gonzalo Barroilhet also won the 2011 Thacker Award; a postgraduate honor bestowed on a student-athlete furthering their education at an ACC institution.
While Love joins a list of distinguished Seminoles, she also hopes to add to her to a couple exclusive subsets among previous winners. Fellow Jamaican Kimberly Williams, FSU’s last track & field winner back in 2012, Charles Clark, Garrett Johnson and Barroilhet, all won NCAA titles for the Noles. Thomas Lancashire, Williams and Barroilhet have competed in the Olympic Games.
Not surprisingly, despite her Tuesday elation, Love climbed back into the discus circle after the good news for her final three throws of practice.
“I had to keep it together,” she said.
Academics and athletics have gone hand-in-hand for Love since her time at Excelsior High, where she starred in both arenas. And no one should be surprised that the future of the three-time All-ACC Academic selection is a bit clearer as well.
“For a while I didn’t really know if I was going to go to grad school,” Love said. “I wanted to go, but I didn’t know where.”
That picture began to clear this past fall, when Love heard from Loughborough University while she was in Doha, Qatar, representing Jamaica in the discus at the World Athletics Championships. She plans to enroll at the university in the United Kingdom in September, where she will be a scholarship graduate student and be able to compete beyond her NCAA eligibility.
She will go there with a great deal of satisfaction and appreciation for the recognition she has received, both academically and athletically.
“I feel really, really good because I know all of the hard work I’ve put in from school to training is paying off right now,” Love said. “It’s helping me further my studies and I know I wasn’t working in vain.”
Love, Forrest and the other award winners will be recognized at an April 8 banquet in Greensboro, N.C.
Previous FSU track & field recipients
1996 Anthony Sasso^
1997 Casey Jo Custer
1998 Reid Montini (XC)
2002 Christian Bland
2003 Gary Visser
2006 Andrew Diakos
2006 Garrett Johnson ~
2006 Lakendra McColumn
2007 Thomas Lancashire ~
2008 Kandia Batchelor
2009 Matt Wernke
2009 Keyla Smith
2011 Charles Clark ~
2012 Kimberly Williams ~
~ – honorary award recipient
^ – Weaver-James Award
Jim and Pat Thacker Award
2011 Gonzalo Barroilhet