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Salute To Excellence Dinner held

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Salute To Excellence Dinner held

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 tonight at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Ark.

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

The 2010-11 honorees include two Razorback Scholar-Athlete award winners in Jessica Bachkora (softball) and James McCann (baseball), 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 Jake Bequette (football).

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 enjoyed a social hour before dinner as well as live and silent auctions.

2010-11 SALUTE TO EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

RAZORBACK SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD — Jessica Bachkora, Softball SEC 2010 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. 2010 Capital One Academic All-America First Team. SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll. Capital One Academic All-District first teams in 2009 and 2010. 2010 NFCA First-Team All-Region honors. 2009 NFCA Second-Team All-Region honors. Two-time member on the All-SEC team (first-team, freshman team). Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology; 3.902 GPA. Minor in business. Returned to team in 2010-11 as a graduate assistant manager. Holds school records for average, stolen bases, runs, hits, doubles, total bases. Played center field for the Razorbacks.
RAZORBACK SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD — James McCann, Baseball Team captain. Starting catcher 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. Was honored at the CWS for having the highest GPA on Arkansas’ roster. 2010 Capital One Academic All-District Second Team. 2010 Southeastern Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll. 2008-09 Southeastern Conference Freshman Academic Honor Roll. Member of Arkansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for past two years.
SPIRIT OF THE RAZORBACK AWARD — Kelli Shean, Women’s Golf Qualified for the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont. Shot a first-round 70 at the U.S. Women’s Open. Lead the field after coming off the course in the first round of U.S. Open. Earned a sponsor’s exemption into the P&G NW Arkansas LPGA Invitational. Arkansas’ low finisher in nine of 11 tournaments in 2009-10. Led the team with a career-low 73.27 stroke average. Nineteen top 20 career collegiate finishes. First collegiate win at the Marilyn Smith Sunflower Invitational. Career-low 209 with rounds of 74-68-67. Two-time NCAA Regional and one-time NCAA Championship participant. 2010 All-SEC First-Team after a career-best fourth-place finish. Three top five finishes in the 2010 fall season. Earned National Golf Coaches Association All-America honors. Fourth for South Africa at the World Team Amateur Championship in Argentina.
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 Farrell Academic Honor Roll. 2008-09 Razorback Honor Roll. 2009 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team. Helped clean and empty trash at Earth Day at the Boys and Girls Club. Lift Up America: Feeding the Hungry in Northwest Arkansas. Big Brothers & Big Sisters: Signed autographs and took pictures. Visited the Children’s Hospital. Make A Difference Day.
RAZORBACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — Yi-Ting Siow, Swimming Two-time SEC 200 breaststroke champion. Won two SEC titles in 2010. Fourth SEC swimmer to win back-to-back titles in the 200 breaststroke since 1981. Placed fourth at the SEC Championships in the 400 individual medley. Three-time SEC Swimmer of the Week in 2010. First-Team All-SEC in the 200 breaststroke. Fourth place at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Four-time NCAA All-American. Holds Arkansas records for 200 breaststroke, 200 IM and the 400 IM. Member of the record-holding 400-medley relay team. Three-time Olympian for Malaysia.
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. Led Arkansas to a 10-3 season including program’s first BCS Bowl Game. Broke or tied 45 school or stadium records. Holds UA’s career passing yards record (7,493). Holds Arkansas’ career passing TDs record (62). Broke UA single-season completions record (266) in 2010. Broke UA single-season touchdown passes record (32) in 2010. Nine 300-yard games led NCAA and pushed career total to school-record 14. Threw for UA single-season record 3,869 yards and school-record 32 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 29.6 yards is longest in SEC history. Ranks second on UA’s all-time career TD responsibility list (68). Is second on Arkansas’ all-time career total offense list (7,390). Ranks second on UA’s all-time career completions list (491).


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