May 18, 2012
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By Miquel Jacobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Southeastern Conference announced its 2012 Outdoor Track and Field Awards Friday, and South Carolina senior Marvin Reitze was named the SEC Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year, as voted upon by the league's coaches. In addition, three Gamecock women were named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Reitze became the first Gamecock man to be named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year after an outstanding athletic and academic career for the Gamecocks. In the classroom, Reitze posted a cumulative grade-point average of 3.912 in management and international business for the nation's top-ranked international business program. A 2011 CoSIDA Capitol One Academic All-American, Reitze was also named the University of South Carolina Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year last month for his academic exploits. On the track, the Germany native is a three-time USTFCCCA All-American in the pole vault and four-time SEC medalist. During the 2012 indoor season, Reitze was the SEC Championship and NCAA Championship silver medalist, taking silver at nationals at a school-record jump of 18'0 ½ (5.50m). Reitze countered in his outdoor season by also setting the outdoor school record of 18'1 (5.51m) in his victory at the Penn Relays en route to being named the Outstanding Men's Athlete of the Meet. He placed bronze at last week's SEC Outdoor Championships and is the top-ranked pole vaulter in the NCAA East Region.
In addition to being the first Gamecock man to win the award, Reitze is just the second Gamecock overall to be honored as the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, following in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings who won the women's vote after the 2007 season.
The trio of Chalese Davis, Erika Rucker and Tamera Harris were also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Davis placed seventh in the 100-meter hurdles at the SEC Outdoor Championships at her personal best time of 13.60. Rucker, the SEC Indoor Freshman Runner of the Year, qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash at the SEC Outdoor Championships and placed ninth overall at 53.68. She was the only freshman to qualify for the final in the event, and she also ran the lead leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that took fourth overall. Harris ran a personal best time of 1:00.72 to place 12th overall in the 400-meter hurdles, the best time of any freshman in the event.
2012 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Awards
Men's Runner of the Year: Caleb Cross, Arkansas
Co-Women's Runner of the Year: Genevieve LaCaze, Florida
Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Marvin Reitze, South Carolina
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