Charlotte, NC - From Big South Sports
CHARLOTTE, NC – The Big South Conference today honored Coastal Carolina's Mikaela Terry (women's track & field), Gardner-Webb's Allie Mills (women's tennis) and Gardner-Webb's Aaron Linn (men's basketball) with the prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. Terry is a 4.00 student in Spanish and Mills is a 4.00 student in chemistry/biology. Linn graduated in December 2009 with a 3.95 in economics/finance.
Big South member institutions nominate one male and one female student-athlete – regardless if the sport is sponsored by the Big South – for the annual Christenberry Award. The award is given to the male and female student-athlete who attain the highest GPA during their college careers and are graduates of a member institution during the past year. In case of ties, additional awards are provided. The honor is named for George A. Christenberry, the former President of Augusta College (now Augusta State University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the League's first President from 1983-86. It is the seventh time in the last eight years that more than two student-athletes have been honored.
"The Christenberry Award is the highest academic honor awarded to Big South student-athletes," said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. "We congratulate Mikaela, Allie and Aaron for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the field of play. Their careers truly exemplify the highest ideals of the Big South Conference."
Terry (Menomonie, Wis.) recorded a personal-best 3,701 points in the heptathlon at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships April 15-17, placing ninth in the event. She also finished ninth in the Big South in the high jump (5'3.25"). During this past outdoor season, Terry placed second in the high jump at the Battle of the Beaches with a height of 5'1". In addition, she finished eighth in the heptathlon with a then-career best 3,564 points at the Asics/Winthrop Invitational. During the 2009-10 Indoor Track & Field season, Terry placed seventh in the pentathlon at the Big South Championships with 2,748 points. She also ran a 10.54 time in the 60-meter hurdles at the Tiger Tune-Up, finishing fifth. At the same event, she was ninth in the 400-meters. Terry jumped a season-best 14'7.75" in the long jump at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge. Other career highlights include a fifth-place finish in the high jump and seventh-place finish in the heptathlon at the 2008 Big South Championships, and a season-best long jump of 14'2.5" at the Shamrock Invitational that same season. Meanwhile, Terry has been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll during her time at Coastal Carolina, and is a member of this year's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic Teams. She missed the 2009 outdoor track season to study abroad in Spain.
Mills (Spencer, N.C.) played this past season in four singles matches, earning a 3-1 record. Her win against North Carolina Central gave the Lady Bulldogs the 4-3 overall victory. She teamed with Tavenner Black in three doubles matches, posting a 2-1 mark. In 2008, Mills played in 17 matches at the No. 6 singles position. She recorded three wins in singles play, and teamed with Jenny Gomez to win a match at No. 3 doubles. Mills also won two matches at No. 3 doubles with Monica Walser. During her career, Mills received Big South Presidential Honor Roll accolades in 2009, as well as being named to the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team in 2007 and 2008. She did not appear in any matches in 2007 and 2009. Mills is a member of the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholars Program, which couples a scholarship with a mentoring program that provides professional guidance from women who have excelled in various science-related fields.
Linn (Lenexa, Kan.) was the Big South's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2008-09. An ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American in 2009, Linn graduated from Gardner-Webb this past December with a 3.95 grade-point average in finance. He was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) annual Honors Court following his senior season on the hardwood. Linn earned All-Conference Second-Team honors in 2008-09 after averaging 14.3 points to rank second on the team and 13th in the Big South. He also ranked fifth in the Conference in free throw percentage (.780), was fourth in steals (1.97), 10th in field goal percentage (.425), and tied for 11th in assists (3.00). He scored in double figures 16 times in his last 18 starts of the season. As a junior, Linn was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2007 2K Sports Classic Lexington Regional where the Runnin' Bulldogs upset No. 20 Kentucky.
Below are the 2009-10 Big South Conference Christenberry Award candidates, as nominated by their institutions: