Oct. 27, 2011
On Wednesday evening the Florida State athletic and academic communities came together to honor the university’s top student-athletes. Dr. Jason Papas, Florida State’s head of Athlete Academic Support, presided over the 21st Annual Golden Torch Awards, which recognizes Seminole student-athlete excellence in the classroom. Florida State University President Dr. Eric J. Barron was the Keynote Speaker at the banquet where 19 student-athletes and two teams were recognized for their academic achievements.
2011 GOLDEN TORCH WINNERS
MEN’S TEAM -- CROSS COUNTRY
Last year the men’s cross country team captured its first ACC Championship and followed with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship, which was not only the highest in program history, but the best finish by both an in-state and ACC program.
Bob Braman was named ACC Coach of the Year. The squad had five All-ACC performers and two All-Americans. Beyond the competitive excellence on the trails, the Seminoles boasted a 3.11 grade point average.
WOMEN’S TEAM -- Tennis
This marks the seventh time the women’s tennis team has captured the Golden Torch Award since Coach Jennifer Hyde’s arrival at FSU.
Last season, the Seminoles continued to rewrite the history books as they qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive year and advanced to the second round.
In addition, the Noles hit an eight match winning streak at the end of the season, knocking off four teams that were ranked inside the top 10 en route to the ACC title match for just the second time in school history. The team would climb in the rankings all the way up to No.11 before finishing the season being ranked No.14.
Two individuals, Katie Rybokova and Junior Noemie Scharle qualified for the NCAA Singles Championship, marking the fourth-straight year a Seminole competed in the tournament. This marked the third time Rybokova qualified for the event as she finished out her career as a Seminole.
Football –Dustin Hopkins
Florida State’s starting placekicker the last three seasons. Already this season, Hopkins has established a new school record for consecutive PATs and is a candidate for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker. He’s been named the ACC Specialist of the Week twice already. He is one of only three kickers in school history to rank in the top five for both field goal and PAT accuracy. He is a media/communication studies major with a 3.84 grade point average.
Men’s Cross Country – Michael Fout
One of the most decorated signees in Florida State history, Michael Fout is now in his senior season of cross country competition. In 2010 Fout claimed All-Region and All-American honors and helped lead the Seminoles to an unprecedented NCAA Championship runner-up finish. A psychology major who has been highly decorated athletically and academically, the La Porte, Ind. native holds a 3.920 grade point average.
Women’s Cross Country – Hannah Brooks
A fixture in Florida State’s NCAA Championship runner-up lineup throughout the 2010 season, Hannah Brooks helped Florida State claim its third consecutive ACC Championship and followed by earning All-Region honors as the Seminoles claimed the NCAA South Region title. A graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in sports psychologically, Brooks has posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She’s also a key component on this year’s top-ranked FSU women’s cross country team.
Men’s Track & Field – Gonzalo Barroilhet
The decathlon is the ultimate test of strength, skill and endurance in track & field. Florida State’s Gonzalo Barroilhet is widely regarded as one of the finest multi-event athletes, not only at the NCAA level, but he recently represented his country – Chile – and the Seminoles in the Pan American Games. Barroilhet’s 2010 season was cut short by injury, but his year was otherwise quite memorable. He completed his degree in management last fall, and a second in economics in the spring, boasting a 3.912 grade point average. A graduate student pursuing his MBA, Barroilhet enters his final season of eligibility chasing an NCAA title and his Olympic dreams.
Women’s Track & Field – Kimberly Williams
When it comes to women’s track & field excellence, Kimberly Williams has few peers in Florida State history. Winner of five NCAA championships in either the triple jump or long jump, the Kingston, Jamaica native brought her record-setting Seminole career to a close in the spring. Her FSU resume includes 11 All-American honors, 12 ACC individual championships and four conference field performer of the year awards. Her list of academic honors is nearly as impressive. Williams is a two-time recipient of both the NCAA and ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, as well as an Academic All-American. A graduate with a degree in sport management, she posted a 3.937 grade point average.
Men’s Basketball – Luke Loucks
Luke Loucks is one of the senior leaders on the men’s basketball team. Loucks is bidding to become one of only three players in school history to play in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments as he looks to lead Florida State back to the tournament for a school record fourth consecutive season in 2012. He helped lead the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and helped lead the Seminoles to the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history in 2009. With Loucks in the line-up the Seminoles have been nationally ranked in each of his first three seasons and were nationally ranked in the final polls of the 2009 and 2011 season. He earned a 3.50 in management as an undergraduate and is currently working towards his master’s degree in sport management.
Women’s Basketball – Olivia Bresnahan
Florida State sophomore guard Olivia Bresnahan has a 3.1 GPA in Exercise Science. Bresnahan, a native of Butler, Pa., appeared in 30 games in 2010-11, averaging 2.0 points per contest in 11.5 minutes per game. The Seminoles are counting on Bresnahan to be an impact player this upcoming season.
Volleyball – Amanda Saxton
A middle blocker and right-side hitter, junior Amanda Saxton sets a tremendous example for how to balance both athletics and academics and do it successfully. Saxton is a double major in both communications and business, and shows a sparkling 4.0 cumulative GPA. Her days in the fall show just how hard she works, practicing with the sand volleyball team in the mornings, attending classes all day followed by more practice with the indoor team in the early evening and studying at night. Saxton was also awarded with the ACC Top Six Service Award during the spring for her generous time commitment to community service.
Softball – Kelly Hensley
A skilled outfielder for the Seminoles, sophomore Kelly Hensley hails from nearby the beautiful beaches of Niceville, Florida. Hensley is an outstanding student who shows a tremendous 4.0 GPA as a biological science major. Outside of her sport, Hensley has a career ambition of being a physician and has put herself on the right track toward reaching that goal. As a freshman on head coach Lonni Alameda’s softball team, she saw the field plenty after playing 35 of the team’s 60 games in the outfield. She hit her first career home run as a pinch-hitter on Feb. 15, 2011, smashing a two-run homer to give FSU some much-needed insurance runs in its 8-5 victory over Florida A&M. She carries even greater potential in her second season with softball, and embodies the true meaning of being a student-athlete.
Men’s S Golf – Kyle Cobb
A member of three NCAA Tournament teams during his career at Florida State, Kyle Cobb has helped the Seminoles qualify for the NCAA Championship tournament in each of his three seasons at Florida State since transferring from UCF. He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science with a grade point average of 3.650 and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in integrated marketing communications while playing for the Seminoles as a graduate student. The men’s golf team is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation.
Women’s Golf – Maria Salinas
Having helped the women’s golf team to their best NCAA Championship finish in school history during her career, Maria Salinas has played in three consecutive NCAA Championship qualifying teams and helped the Seminoles to a 10th place national finish in the NCAA Championship finals in 2010. She also played in the Women’s World Championship tournament for her home country of Peru in 2010. She is one of the Seminoles’ team captains this season and has helped the Seminoles to a top 25 national ranking this season. Salinas currently has a 3.357 grade point average in international affairs.
Baseball -- James Ramsey
Florida State’s two-year starter in right field, James Ramsey earned All-America honors as a junior in leading the Seminoles to their sixth consecutive ACC Atlantic Division title and a berth in the ACC Tournament championship game. Ramsey led FSU in batting average, hits, home runs and RBI as the Seminoles advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. He also became just the sixth Seminole to earn first team Academic All-America honors a season ago. Ramsey is a finance major with a 3.71 grade point average.
Soccer – Katya Gokhman
A two-year member of the Florida State soccer team, Katya Gokhman has provided solid depth to the Seminole midfield over the last two years and scored her first goal as a Seminole in the ACC Tournament against Wake Forest last year. A two-time member of FSU Dean’s List and an ACC Academic Honor Roll honoree, Gokhman is a sociology major with a 3.846 GPA.
Men’s S&D -- Tom Neubacher
A member of the diving squad, Thomas Neubacher placed seventh on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards as well as the platform event at the 2011 ACC Championships and would continue on to compete in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. He also contributed to an overall team championship at the 2010 Winter USA Diving Nationals. Neubacher a 3.606 GPA as a Sports Management major.
Women’s S&D -- Elysse Rowland
Senior diver Elysse Rowland from Chicago, Ill. currently holds the school record for six dives on the 3-meter springboard at 365.65. Last season, she garnered All-ACC honors by finishing third on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards at the ACC Championships. She would go on to compete at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. She has a perfect 4.0 GPA in early childhood education.
Women’s S&D -- Jessica Saboutin
Senior Jessica Sabotin who currently holds the school record in the 400 IM at 4:14.32 and is an 2012 Olympic Trial qualifier in the 400-meter IM. Last season she contributed two sixth place finishes at the ACC Championships in the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.01 and in the 400 IM touching the wall at 4:15.51. Her efforts in and out of the pool earned her the Coaches Award at the end of the season. She also is an early childhood education major and also has a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Women’s Tennis -- Noemie Scharle
The Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg native junior Noemie Scharle earned a preseason ranking of No. 40 for this year’s fall season. During last season’s run, Scharle helped the team go on a eight match winning streak, knocking off five teams ranked inside the top 10 en route to Florida State’s second ever ACC title match. She qualified for the 2011 NCAA Singles Tournament and finished the season with an 18-13 singles record, defeating seven opponents with national rankings. She is a hospitality major who has a 3.58 GPA.
Men’s Tennis -- Andres Bucaro
Men’s Tennis’s Andres Bucaro has led the team this fall with a 10-4 singles record this fall and is currently ranked No. 50 in doubles by the ITA. Bucaro has been named to the ACC Honor Roll the past two seasons. He is a management major with a 3.16 grade point average.
CLINT DUNLAP AWARD
The Clint Dunlap Scholarship Award present by Lt. Craig Dunlap in honor of his son. The award goes to a junior or senior who displays outstanding academic achievement and the highest level of integrity. The winner comes from Business/Economics/Finance or a legal major with an interest in investment banking.
This year’s Clint Dunlap winner is Victoria Richmond from the swimming and diving team.