FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Six University of Arkansas student-athletes from six different programs will be honored with the Salute to Excellence Award at the 21st Annual Red Tie Gala and Salute to Excellence. Each year, the Razorbacks recognize student-athletes whose performance throughout their career raised their respective sport to new heights while striving to uphold the athletic department’s character goals.
This year’s honorees include:
- Grant Koch, baseball
- Frank Ragnow, football
- Mason Overstreet, men’s golf
- Maria Fassi, women’s golf
- Jessi Hartzler, soccer
- Taliyah Brooks, women’s track and field
The winners will be honored at the Red Tie Gala on Saturday, Feb. 3 2018 at the John Q. Hammons Center, located in the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Arkansas. The reception and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and the program beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are still available for purchase. For more information or details about sponsorships still available for the Red Tie Gala, please contact Cassy Julich of the Razorback Foundation at (479) 443-9000. You may also visit the Razorback Foundation website for more information.
Grant Koch, baseball
All-SEC First Team (2017) … Appeared in 63 games, all starts, and hit .264 with a career-best 13 home runs and 42 RBIs His home run total was seventh-most in the conference, most among catchers and most by a Razorback catcher in the Dave Van Horn era … Also hit 14 doubles and one triple with a .498 slugging percentage … Totaled a .358 on-base percentage coupled with 33 walks, two hit by pitches and one stolen base … Caught 16 base stealers in 24 attempts (.600), good for third in the SEC … Hit .270 in conference play with seven home runs and 15 RBIs … His seven home runs were also a top-10 total in the league … Finished the season with 15 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games … His 11 multi-RBI games were good for third on the team … Had a great 12-game stretch to begin the season as he racked up a .358 average with 18 hits, 18 RBIs, and five home runs, which was the best offensive start to a season by a Razorback catcher since Brady Toops in 2004 … Team Captain – 2017 and 2018.
Frank Ragnow, football
Led all Football Bowl Subdivision offensive linemen with a 93.7 overall grade … Paced all centers with a 92.4 grade in the run game to go with an 88.3 mark in pass protection in eight games played … Allowed only one pressure on his 255 pass blocking snaps … Started 33 consecutive games and didn’t allow a sack over 2,603 career snaps at center and right guard before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury during the Auburn game on Oct. 21 … Had only missed 43 offensive snaps since becoming a permanent starter as a sophomore in 2015 … Pro Football Focus All-America first team … CBS Sports All-America first team … FWAA All-America second team … AP All-America third team … Phil Steele All-SEC first team … AP All-SEC second team … Senior CLASS Award Finalist … Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist … Jason Witten Man of the Year Semifinalist … 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl invitation … SEC Community Service Team.
Mason Overstreet, men’s golf
Recorded the second-best finish in program history in 2017, finishing runner-up at the NCAA National Championship … Earned PING All-America honorable mention honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) … Became the second player in school history to finish inside the top five at the National Championship … Shot a combined 5-under in three postseason events, finishing T-13th at the SEC Championship, sixth at NCAA Regionals and second at the NCAA National Championship … Finished even-par at the SEC Championship with a final round 4-under 66 to become the first freshman in program history to finish even par at the conference championship … Captured his first collegiate victory in October, winning the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate at 10-under par … Ran away from the field to capture the 2017 Patriot All-America Invitational in December, outlasting 84 PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions … Named to the 2016-17 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll … Has a 4.0 grade point average and is on the Arnold Palmer Cup Watch List.
Maria Fassi, women’s golf
Currently Ranked #3 in the GolfStat cup as of 11/21/2017 … Currently Ranked #4 in GolfWeek Magazine … Ranked #1 in the SEC after Fall 2017 season … Arkansas Academic Honor Roll | Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017 … Received the 2016 Sponsor Exemption into the NW Arkansas Championship LPGA …Played in Monday qualifier of the Walmart NW Arkansas LPGA Championship presented by P&G | 2017 …Helped lead her team to a 4th place finish at the 2017 SEC Women’s Golf Championship. Leadership Activities | Team captain … Organizes team activities, coordinates service learning. Community/Campus Involvement | Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis Foundation … Book Hawg Participant … Ronald McDonald House Golf Fundraiser Volunteer … First Tee of NW Arkansas Junior Golf Clinic Volunteer … Canned Food Drive … Hurricane Relief activities … Helped organize a relief for the earthquake victims near her home town in Mexico … International Student-Athlete who always participates in our cultural engagement events on campus …Four college victories on the golf course.
Jessi Hartzler, soccer
Started 24 games … Scored four times with two game-winning goals … Led Arkansas defense that posted 10 shutouts, tying for the most in a single season in program history … Made 86 career appearances, tying for second most in program history … Started 57 of 58 matches … Six game-winning goals … Named to the United States Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region twice …All SEC Second-Team honors as a senior … Four-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll … NSCAA Senior College Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team … Several selections to the Arkansas Athletics Department Academic Honor Roll.
Taliyah Brooks, women’s track and field
USTFCCCA All-Academic Team … Seven-time All-American … Two-time NCAA Silver Medalist … Two-time NCAA Bronze Medalist … Represented Team USA in international competition (NACAC Heptathlon Champion) … 2017 SEC Heptathlon Champion … Leadership Activities: President of SAAC, Community and Campus Involvement … Qualified for the indoor and outdoor national championships in every season in which she’s competed for the Razorbacks … Holds four program records including the pentathlon, heptathlon, indoor and outdoor long jump … Undefeated as a member of the Razorbacks in SEC team competition, dating back to the 2014 outdoor season.