FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas Athletics Department and the Razorback Foundation hosted its annual Razorback Red Tie Dinner, Auction and Salute to Excellence Awards banquet Saturday at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Ark. This year marks the 15th season the Razorbacks have honored student-athletes at the Red Tie Salute to Excellence. In addition, it is the largest group of honorees with seven student-athletes being recognized. “This year’s Red Tie Salute to Excellence award recipients represent the very best of the many outstanding student-athletes at the University of Arkansas,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long. “These seven individuals have proven themselves in the classroom and on the fields of competition, displaying leadership on their respective teams while giving back to the campus and surrounding communities. We are proud of their accomplishments and are looking forward to honoring them at the Salute to Excellence banquet in January.” The 2011-12 honorees include Razorback Athletes of the Year Tina Sutej (women’s track and field), Jarius Wright (football) and Joe Adams (football), Razorback Scholar-Athlete award winners in Tara Diebold (women’s track and field) and Lane Boyer (men’s track and field); and the Spirit of the Razorback award winners Jaime Pisani (gymnastics) and DJ Baxendale (baseball). Each year, the Razorbacks recognize student-athletes whose performance throughout his or her career serves to lift up their sport to new heights and whose character exemplifies the goals of the athletic department. In addition to the dinner, attendees will enjoy a social hour before dinner as well as live and silent auctions. This year’s event takes place at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Ark., and tickets are available to the general public. In addition, table sponsorships are available. For tickets or more information about tickets or being a sponsor call Jessica Dorrell at 479-575-7141 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding Razorback athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Razorback Scholar-Athlete Award — Tara Diebold (4.00 in Communication Disorders) -2009 and 2011 Indoor All-American in pole vault -2011 Capital One Academic All-America honors -2011 Capital One Academic All-District First Team -2011 USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team -2008 SEC All-Freshman team, 2009 All-Region Team, two-time All-SEC selection -Member of 2011 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll -Graduated with a 4.0 in communication disorders in three years and has a 4.0 in the master’s speech pathology program -Maintains a 4.0 cumulative GPA
Razorback Scholar-Athlete Award — Lane Boyer (3.89 in Geology) -2011 USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team -2011 Capital One Academic All-District Second Team -2010 All-South Central Region performer -Graduated with a degree in geology and is a graduate teaching assistant pursuing his master’s degree -Two-time All-SEC cross country performer (2008, 2009) -SEC All-Freshman team in 2007 (cross country) -2010 CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District -2008, 2009 USTFCCCA All- Academic Track and Field Team -2009 and 2010 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll -2008 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll -Three consecutive semesters on Arkansas Athletic Department Academic Champion Honor Roll -Contributed to five SEC team championships
Razorback Spirit Award — Jaime Pisani -School record-holder with nine All-America selections -Three All-America honors in each of her first three seasons -2011 South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year -59 career individual event titles, including 28 last season -Career-best marks include the school’s best on floor, which she’s hit five times, UA’s second-best on vault, sixth-best on bars and fifth-best in the all-around -Led Arkansas to the NCAA Championship three times with two NCAA Regional titles -National team finishes of fifth, 11th and ninth, respectively -In her three years, the Razorbacks have 32 wins over teams ranked in the top 25, including two over No. 1 Florida and one over No. 4 Georgia with an SEC regular-season co-championship in 2011 -She has been in the lineup for every event for her career -In 172 events, her scores have counted for the team 163 times, 94.8 percent -Advanced to the NCAA individual event finals on vault and floor in 2010, and on floor in 2011 -Tied for fifth on floor last year, and ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation on floor and No. 5 in the all-around -SEC and UA academic honor roll honors, and National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women all-scholar recognition -Very active in community service taking part in several events including: Razorback Leadership Academy, Member of SAAC “Student-Athlete Advisory Committee”, Sweat Hawgs Program, Book Hogs Read To Win Program, SEC Together We CAN “Canned Food Drive” 2008-2010, Birthday Party With the Gym’Backs, Angel Tree Salvation Army, Shop With SAAC for Christmas, Santa Meet Awards in Barnhill, Lift Up America, “Feeding The Hunger in Northwest Arkansas”, Read to a Local Kindergarten Class, Book Hogs Pizza Party at Bud Walton Arena, Reading With The Razorbacks at Fayetteville Public Library, Back To School Block Party, Miracle League Baseball Game, Vance Wilson’s Celebrity Bowling Event, Served food and helped cleaned up at Seven Hills Homeless Shelter, National Reading Day at Baker Elementary, Read Across America: Holcomb Elementary, America Heart Walk, Rocking With The Razorbacks, Run For Love Event
Razorback Spirit Award — DJ Baxendale -Played for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team during the summer of 2011 and finished the summer with a 0-1 record and a 3.38 ERA -Earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2011 -Named one of 30 semifinalists for the 2011 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award -Named to the 2011 SEC Baseball Community Service Team -Member of the Arkansas Student Athlete Advisory Committee -Finished the 2011 season with a 10-2 record, three saves and a 1.58 ERA in 19 appearances, including 12 starts, becoming the first Razorback to record double-digit wins in a season since Nick Schmidt in 2007 -Closed the 2011 season by going 5-1 with a save over his last seven apperances -Named to the Tempe Regional All-Regional Team after throwing eight shutout innings against New Mexico -Named to the midseason watch list for the 2010 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award -2011 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll -2011 Spring Razorback Departmental Honor Roll -2010 Fall Razorback Departmental Honor Roll -2010 Spring Razorback Departmental Honor Roll -Active in community service events including: Razorback Leadership Academy, Member of SAAC “Student-Athlete Advisory Committee”, Sweat Hawgs Program, SEC Together We CAN Canned Food Drive, Book Hogs Read To Win Program, visit the Veteran’s Home on Veteran’s Day, Lift Up America Feeding the Hunger, took pictures and signed autographs for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Visit the Homestyle Assisted Living Center for Thanksgiving dinner celebration, Help raise money for Leverett Elementary school children for Christmas gifts, tornado disaster relief efforts for Alabama, Help clean up at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter
Razorback Athlete of the Year — Tina Sutej -2011 NCAA Indoor champion in pole vault -2011 SEC Indoor and Outdoor champion in pole vault -2011 USTFCCCA National Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year -Indoor and Outdoor collegiate record holder, both marks set in 2011 -One of three finalist for The Bowerman -Member of the 2011 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll
Razorback Athlete of the Year — Jarius Wright -First-team All-SEC (Coaches and AP) -Holds Arkansas’ all-time career receptions record (165) -Ranks 2nd on UA’s all-time career receiving yards list (2,846) -Tied for 2nd on Arkansas’ all-time career 100-yard receiving games list (9) -Tied for 2nd on UA’s all-time career receiving TDs list (23) -Broke UA single-season record with 63 receptions -Broke UA single-season record with 1,029 receiving yards -Tied for single-season school record with 11 receiving touchdowns -Leads SEC and ranks 23rd in NCAA with 93.5 receiving yards per game -Leads SEC with 5.7 receptions per game -Leads SEC and is tied for 12th in NCAA with 11 receiving touchdowns -Tied for 2nd in SEC with four 100-yard receiving games -Ranks 3rd in SEC in touchdown scoring and 8th in conference in overall scoring with 6.2 points per game -Only SEC player with three two-touchdown receiving games in 2011 -Made career-high 13 catches for career-high 281 yards and career-high-tying two touchdowns in 42-38 win vs. No. 14 Texas A&M 10/1 -281 receiving yards are the most in SEC and third-most in the NCAA in single game this season -13 receptions tied school record and are tied for the most in SEC this season and are 14th-highest single-game total in NCAA in 2011 -Named SEC co-Offensive Player of the Week 10/3 -2011 team captain
Razorback Athlete of the Year — Joe Adams -Consensus All-American with selection to four of five teams recognized by the NCAA -All-American punt returner by the Sporting News and return specialist by the Football Writers Association of America -SEC Special Teams Player of the Year -One of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the most versatile player in major college football -First-team All-SEC in both the AP and Coaches votes -Second-team all-purpose player by the Associated Press and second-team kick returner by the Walter Camp Football Foundation -Leads the country with three punt return touchdowns and an average of 16.19 yards per punt return -Ranks fourth in the SEC with an average of 4.1 receptions per game and is sixth in the conference with 52.5 receiving yards per game -Career receptions total of 159 ranks second on Arkansas’ all-time career receptions list -Fourth in school history with 2,388 career receiving yards and seven career 100-yard receiving games, and his 17 career receiving touchdowns are tied for fourth on the school’s all-time career list -Four career punt return touchdowns are tied for the lead among all active players nationally and tied for fourth all-time in the SEC -Ranks tied for second on the SEC’s single-season punt return touchdown list, one behind the conference’s single-season record