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Louis Day to be Honored at Halftime vs. Vanderbilt

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Louis Day.jpegAt halftime of Saturday's game pay special attention and give a great round of applause to Track & Field's Louis Day, who will be recognized on the field. Day won both the SEC Sportsmanship Award and the NCAA National Sportsmanship Award for 2011 for a great act of sportsmanship and integrity at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships last February.

Day was competing in the weight throw competition. After his throw, Day realized immediately that event officials misread the distance of his throw, giving him an advantage that placed him into the nine-personal final. With the true distance of his throw, Day would not have made the finals.

"I knew as soon as they read my distance. I saw how far it was; it was a bad throw," said Day. I would've known if it had been a good throw, it felt wrong. When they announced it, I was like that's definitely not right."

Day alerted his coach, Mike Sergent, to the error. When the officials didn't correct the error on their own, Sergent officially protested Day's performance to ensure the true top nine throwers could compete for the SEC Championship. After a review, officials determined the most appropriate thing to do was to advance both Day and the true ninth place finisher, setting up a ten-person final.

"Although Louis did not win a championship during this event," said AD Eric Hyman, "his sportsmanship is that of a champion."

Day is a junior athletically but a senior in the classroom at South Carolina, majoring in Exercise Science. Day is planning on going to medical school and is interested in a career in sports medicine.

Day said that although he is a little nervous to be recognized in front of so many people on the field at Williams-Brice, he's also pretty excited. His parents are making the trip to Columbia from New York for the game. 

As for his teammates, Day says they have all been supportive of him and the sportsmanship award in their own ways. One teammate jokingly says, "it's the first time someone's been praised for not throwing far enough."

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