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Razorbacks honor excellence

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks honor excellence

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Athletics Department and the Razorback Foundation hosts its annual Razorback Red Tie Dinner, auction and Salute to Excellence Awards banquet Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Ark.

This year marks the 14th season the Razorbacks have honored a student-athlete. In addition, it is the largest group of honorees, matching last year’s total with six student-athletes being recognized.

"We are proud to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of six extraordinary Razorback student-athletes," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Each of them is an outstanding representative of the University of Arkansas and our more than 460 student-athletes. We look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments in the classroom, in athletic competition and in the community at our annual Salute to Excellence Awards banquet."

The 2010-11 honorees include two Razorback Scholar-Athlete award winners in Jessica Bachkora (softball) and Jake Bequette (football), Razorback Athletes of the Year Yi-Ting Siow (swimming) and Ryan Mallett (football) and the Spirit of the Razorback Award which will be awarded to Kelli Shean (women’s golf) and James McCann (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 for $100 each. In addition, table sponsorships are available. For tickets or more information about being a sponsor call Jessica Dorrell at 479-575-7141 or email her at jdorrell@razorbackfoundation.com.

2010-11 SALUTE TO EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

RAZORBACK SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD — Jessica Bachkora, Softball Named the 2010 Scholar Athlete of the Year by the southeastern Conference for her efforts in the classroom. Named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First team, the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first team selection in 2009 and 2010. A 2010 graduate of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in business.
RAZORBACK SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD — James McCann, Baseball Team captain Starting catcher for the end of his freshman and sophomore years on a squad that went to back-to-back Super Regionals for the first time in school history Ranked fifth on the team with a .286 batting average over 59 (of 64) games Threw out 12 would-be base stealers and made just three errors in 509 chances Batted .288 in SEC play with just one error in 237 chances As a freshman was honored at the College World Series for having the highest GPA on Arkansas’ roster.
SPIRIT OF THE RAZORBACK AWARD — Kelli Shean, Women’s Golf Qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont and stunned the field in the first round. She played her first round counting a one-under 70 and held the Open lead when she came off the course. She finished the day tied for second overall and was as the media darling on the first day. Arkansas’ low finisher in nine of 11 tournaments and led the team with a career-low 73.27 stroke average. Season opened with a solid 221 at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational and bettered that with her first collegiate win the following week at the Marilyn Smith Sunflower Invitational. Shean carded a career-low 209 with rounds of 74-667 for a seven-under score. It was the first of six top 10, five top five, finishes for Shean. Earned her first Southeastern Conference honor with selection to the SEC First-Team after a career-best fourth-place showing at the league championship. She posted a three-round 210 with a 69-71-70 on her scorecard. Third-place finishes at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and the Central District Invitational and was fifth at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. Earned National Golf Coaches Association All-America honors. Recently finished fourth for her native South Africa at the World Team Amateur Championship in Argentina leading her team to a third place finish.
SPIRIT OF THE RAZORBACK AWARD — Jake Bequette, Football Graduated in three years; bachelor’s degree in business administration; 3.5 GPA Working on master’s degree in sport management 2007-08 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll 2007-08 Lon Ferrell Academic Honor Roll 2008-09 Razorback Honor Roll 2009 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team Earth Day: The Boys and Girls Club, he helped cleaned and empty trash. Lift Up America: Feeding the Hunger in Northwest Ar. Big Brothers & Big Sisters: Signed autographs and took pictures. Visited the Children Hospital Make A Difference Day
RAZORBACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — Yi-Ting Siow, Swimming Yi-Ting Siow earned her second consecutive Southeastern Conferenci title in the 200 breaststroke in 2010. Siow’s championship medal was her second of the 2010 championships. The Malaysia native is the fourth SEC swimmer to win back-to-back titles in the 200y breaststroke since 1981. She also placed fourth at the SEC Championships in the 400 individual medley. Throughout the season leading up to the conference championships, Siow was named SEC Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 20, Oct. 27 and Nov. 24, 2010. Her efforts in the 200 breaststroke earned Siow first team all-SEC accolades and a bid to the NCAA Championships where she would go on to place fourth and match her NCAA individual best performance in school history. The senior also tied her own fourth-place finish in the same event at last year’s NCAA meet. By finishing in the top 16 at the NCAA Championships, Siow gathered her fourth NCAA All-American honor. At the end of her Arkansas swimming career, Siow held three school records, including the 200 breaststroke, 200 IM and the 400 IM which were each set during her senior season. She was also part of the 400-medley relay team to set the school record in 2010.
RAZORBACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — Ryan Mallett, Football Manning Award finalist Second-team All-SEC (AP and Coaches) Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award semifinalist Currently has broken or tied 38 school or stadium records Holds Arkansas’ career passing TDs record (60) Broke UA single-season completions record (242) in 2010 Tied 2009 UA single-season touchdown passes record (30) Nine 300-yard games lead NCAA and push career total to 14 Has thrown for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010 to become just fourth quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in consecutive seasons One of three quarterbacks in SEC history to eclipse 3,500 passing yards in back-to-back seasons Career average touchdown pass length of 30.0 yards is longest in SEC history Ranks second on UA’s all-time career passing yards list (7,216) Ranks second on UA’s all-time career TD responsibility list (66) Is second on Arkansas’ all-time career total offense list (7,141) Ranks fourth on UA’s all-time career completions list (467) Is SEC’s active career leader in TD responsibility (66), passing yards (7,216), total offense (7,141) and passing TDs (60) Has completion of 25 yards or more in 24 of 25 games at Arkansas and completion of 50 yards or more in 15 games


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