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Golf, Women's Track Honored for Sportsmanship
Liberty's golf and women's outdoor track & field teams have both earned Big South Team Sportsmanship Awards for the 2010 spring season, as voted upon by Big South student-athletes.
Head coach Jeff Thomas' golf team garnered the award for the third year in a row, sharing this year's honor with Charleston Southern and Winthrop. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames, coached by Brant Tolsma, picked up their third Big South Team Sportsmanship Award in women's outdoor track. Liberty previously captured the award in 2007 outright and split the honor with High Point the following year.
Liberty finished the 2009-10 athletic year with five Big South Team Sportsmanship Awards, which ties VMI for the most by any conference team. The Flames' volleyball, men's cross country and men's indoor track & field squads were also recognized this year. Liberty has now won a conference-leading 26 total Big South Team Sportsmanship Awards since the program was instituted in 2005-06.
The Flames enjoyed a successful year on the links, including a third-place finish at the Big South Men's Golf Championship. Robert Karlsson (Big South Golfer of the Year), Max McKay (Big South Freshman of the Year) and Thomas (Big South Coach of the Year) swept the conference's major awards. Liberty also sent a pair of individuals—Karlsson and McKay—to the NCAA Regional Tournament for the first time.
Meanwhile, the women's outdoor track & field team won its first Big South title since 2007. The championship helped complete the Big South Conference's first-ever "Double Triple," which saw Liberty capture conference titles in men's cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, as well as women's cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, in 2009-10.
The Lady Flames' major award winners at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships included Meghan Burggraf (Big South Freshman of the Year), Rebekah Ricksecker (Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year) and Tolsma (Big South Coach of the Year).
Additionally, the Lady Flames' Big South Team Sportsmanship Award completes another "Triple Crown" of sorts. Liberty's cross country/track & field program won a Big South Team Sportsmanship Award in all three seasons, including honors by the men's cross country, men's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field teams.
The Big South Conference's Institutional Sportsmanship Award for the 2009-10 athletic season will be announced next week. An institution's sport winners count toward the Institution Sportsmanship Award and the winner is determined on a system recognizing the highest percentage of the maximum possible points each institution is capable of achieving in that year. The institution with the highest percentage will win the award. VMI has won the Big South's Institutional Sportsmanship Award all four years of the award's history.
2009-10 Big South Team Sportsmanship Award Winners
Men's Tennis: Gardner-Webb
Women's Tennis: Gardner-Webb
Men's Golf: Charleston Southern, Liberty, Winthrop
Women's Golf: Radford
Men's Outdoor Track: VMI
Women's Outdoor Track: Liberty
Softball: Gardner-Webb, Winthrop
Women's Basketball: Presbyterian College
Men's Basketball: Gardner-Webb
Women's Indoor Track: VMI
Men's Indoor Track: Liberty
Football: VMI, Charleston Southern
Men's Soccer: UNC Asheville
Women's Soccer: Presbyterian College
Women's Cross Country: VMI
Men's Cross Country: Liberty