COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Southeastern Conference on Tuesday announced its Community Service Teams for the sports of men’s and women’s track and field and cross country.
The league presents a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight a male and female athlete from each school who gives back to his or her community through superior service efforts.
2013 SEC Men’s Track and Field Community Service Team
• Jonathan Reid, Alabama
• Nathanael Franks, Arkansas
• Max Lang, Florida
• Burke McCarty, Georgia
• Luis Orta, Kentucky
• Joseph Caraway, LSU
• Isiah Young, Ole Miss
• Mitch Hatton, Missouri
• Damiere Byrd, South Carolina
• Chase Brannon, Tennessee
• CJ Brown, Texas A&M
2013 SEC Women’s Track and Field Community Service Team
• Claire Turner, Alabama
• Makeba Alcide, Arkansas
• Maya Pressley, Auburn
• Lanie Whittaker, Florida
• Saniel Atkinson-Grier, Georgia
• Chelsea Oswald, Kentucky
• Laura Carleton, LSU
• Neal Tisher, Ole Miss
• Chloe Phillips, Mississippi State
• Courtney Wood, Missouri
• Breanna Radford, South Carolina
• Kia Jackson, Tennessee
• Aliese Hyde, Texas A&M
• Alyson Hasty, Vanderbilt
Men’s Community Service Team
Alabama: Jonathan Reid (Jr., Jumps, Kingston, ,Jamaica)
A criminal science and political science major, Reid has donated more than 25 hours of community service this year. He volunteered his time at his former high school in Jamaica during his spring break this year, helping coach students and encouraging them to be their best academically and athletically.
Arkansas: Nathanael Franks (So., Multi-Events, Damascus, Ore.)
A chemistry and physics major, Franks was the 2013 recipient of the John Wooden Citizenship Cup. He serves as a core leader of the International Culture Team, an on-campus outreach effort to international students. Franks is involved in the Recess organization, which offers one-on-one mentoring of children with disabilities in Northwest Arkansas. He has volunteered time at the Hispanic Heritage Festival, the Indian Independence Day celebration and the Chinese Moon Festival. He also has participated in Arkansas’ Make a Difference Day. Franks is a founding father of the Fayetteville chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He completed his undergraduate studies in two-and-a-half years with degrees in chemistry and physics and qualified as a Fulbright Senior Scholar with a 3.96 cumulative grade-point average. Franks was part of Arkansas’ 2013 SEC Indoor Champion distance medley relay team.
Florida: Max Lang (Sr., Pole Vault, Tallahassee, Fla.)
A statistics major, Lang has spent more than 215 hours of his Gator career as a part of Streetlight at Shands. Streetlight is a support program for adolescents and young adults living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and other chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Lang is one of 65 volunteers from the Gainesville community who makes room visits to patients providing companionship, discussion and support. Streetlight is one of the first programs of its kind, beginning to meet and make relationships with patients to help preserve their non-medical identity. He has been a member of Streetlight at Shands since May of 2010. Lang was Florida’s 2013 McWhorter candidate. He was named to the President’s Honor Roll and met requirements to be designated as a member of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team. In 2011, Lang received the Florida Letterman Award for the male scholar-athlete of the year, given to the athlete who maintains the highest GPA during the previous calendar year of study. Lang, who currently holds a 3.94 GPA, was named an Anderson Scholar in 2010, given for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average through his initial four semesters of study. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has earned letters in all four years of competition for the four-time NCAA Champion Florida track and field team.
Georgia: Burke McCarty (Jr., Throws, Dunwoody, Ga.)
An exercise and sport science major, McCarty has been an active participant in the SEC Together We CAN Drive and has worked with the Hunger Bowl, an effort to collect cans and money for families in need. He has volunteered with Adopt-a-Family in providing meals to families in need and was involved with Soles4Souls. McCarty put in time with the Gear for Greatness, which collected apparel and sports equipment to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Athens. He helped out with the Special Olympics and Homeruns for Hometown Rivals Baseball game, which is an annual contest tied in to the Special Olympics. McCarty is involved with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, through which he helped collect money for Hurricane Sandy victims, collected for Toys for Tots and made holiday cards for deployed soldiers.
Kentucky: Luis Orta (Sr., Distance, Caracas, Venezuela)
A graduate student in sports leadership, Orta was one of the founders of the UK Track and Field Shoe Drive and has been active in that program in each of the last three years. He was a commencement speaker at UK’s December 2012 graduation. Orta has volunteered with the God’s Pantry Backpack program, he has talked to classes about his experiences as an ESL student and has been active in both the SEC Together We Can Food Drive and the Hispanic Health Fair. Orta was the 2012 SEC Indoor Track and Field Men’s Runner of the Year.
LSU: Joseph Caraway (Sr., Pole Vault, Lacassine, La.)
A kinesiology major, Caraway has helped coordinate such community service projects as Read Across Louisiana and Live2Serve. He joined other student-athletes in going to the Mall of Louisiana for their Read Across Louisiana event to read Dr. Seuss books to children while promoting the Read Across America campaign. Caraway volunteered on Wednesday nights at the Baranco-Clark YMCA in Baton Rouge for Live2Serve while mentoring needy children. He helped spearhead an anti-bullying campaign with LSU’s Bateman team, while joining with the Boys and Girls Club and Baton Rouge Recreation and also joining with other schools across the country in a public relations campaign to fight back against bullying. Caraway is a fixture of his team’s trips to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital while visiting children throughout the year. He also helped organize LSU track and field’s efforts with the annual Halloween BOOzar and Thanksgiving with the Tigers events. He assisted with organizing the team’s game station at the 2012 Halloween Boozar, providing local youth an alternative to trick-or-treating. Caraway participated in providing Thanksgiving meals to needy families adopted by LSU student-athletes as part of Thanksgiving with the Tigers. He is a representative of LSU’s track and field program on the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served on the special event committee in 2012-13.
Ole Miss: Isiah Young (Sr., Sprints, Junction City, Kan.)
A criminal justice major, Young is active in the Oxford community, visiting with school children at a number of local events and after-school programs. He has participated in the Ole Miss Fall Carnival for Children and has also run the bases with kids following Ole Miss baseball games.
Missouri: Mitch Hatton (So., Jumps, Cameron, Mo.)
A strategic communications major with an emphasis in art direction, Hatton is a Dean’s List student in the School of Journalism and is a recipient of the MU Excellence Award. He has volunteered with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Mill Creek Elementary School, National Student Athlete Day and Mizzou Moves program.
South Carolina: Damiere Byrd (So., Sprints, Sicklerville, N.J.)
A sports and entertainment major, Byrd is a two-sport athlete who also plays football and was named to the 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District football team. He also is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Byrd has volunteered with Pigskin Poets, Bingo Night at the Sterling House of Harbison, Fall Sports Fan Appreciation Day and Thanksgiving Dinner at the Epworth Children’s Hospital. Byrd has read to students at Midway elementary school, participated in the Children’s Chance Dinner at Williams-Brice Stadium and has taken part in several school visits.
Tennessee: Chase Brannon (Jr., Pole Vault, Brentwood, Tenn.)
An economics major, Brannon has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Soles4Souls, Boo at the Zoo and the Chancellor’s Breakfast. In addition, the two-time USTFCCCA All-American has helped with gift wrapping for Athletes in Action. He was a member of the 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team and received the 2011 Herb Neff Walk-On Award.
Texas A&M: CJ Brown (Sr., Middle Distance, Southlake, Texas)
A sport management major, Brown established the “Film on the Field” event with fellow student-athletes to bring athletes and the Bryan/College Station community together through interaction. He also participated in Aggies Can, the largest canned food drive in the country completely run by student-athletes. Brown volunteered with Hard Hats for Little Heads, helping to educate more than 8,000 children about how to prevent head injuries by wearing a helmet when bicycling, in-line skating, skateboarding or four-wheeling. As part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Brown visited local elementary schools and mentored under-privileged children.
Women’s Community Service Team
Alabama: Claire Turner (Jr., Distance, Signal Mountain, Tenn.)
A nursing major, Turner is heavily involved in the University of Alabama’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, participating in all of the organization’s sponsored events. She also has been active with the Halloween Extravaganza and Project Angel Tree.
Arkansas: Makeba Alcide (Sr., Multi-Events, Castries, St. Lucia)
A kinesiology (exercise science) major, Alcide is an on-going participant in Arkansas’ Reading with the Razorbacks and Sweat Hawgs outreach programs to local elementary schools. She was involved in the Komen Foundation promotion during the Chile Pepper Festival and helped with donation efforts during Harp’s Canned Food Drive and collecting soap for 7Hills Homeless Center in Fayetteville. Alcide was part of the Adopt-a-Street program to clean up Stadium Drive and has volunteered at Special Olympic events and local youth track competitions. She served as a volunteer official at the 2012 Chile Pepper Festival and the 2013 Arkansas High School meet. Named Arkansas’ Female Student-Athlete of the Year, Alcide is the NCAA-record holder in the pentathlon and a three-time SEC champion.
Auburn: Maya Pressley (Sr., Jumps, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
A communication major, Pressley serves as President of the Auburn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of Auburn, is a member of C4 – Compassion Commitment Creating Change, and is involved with Project Uplift in visits to local hospitals, day cares and cleaning up local parks. Pressley is an academic Top Tiger.
Florida: Lanie Whittaker (Jr., Sprints, Miami, Fla.)
Whittaker has volunteered much of her time to the Gainesville community throughout her years in the Orange and Blue. Much of her work deals with children, spending much of her time giving back to the youth of Gainesville and its surrounding areas. Whittaker has annually participated with the "Miracle on Main Street" events, helping to provide Christmas gifts to more than 300 families a year. The multi-time All-American also volunteers with Gator Tracks, purchasing and delivering shoes for underprivileged elementary schools around Gainesville. Whittaker visits frequently with children at local elementary schools, as well as those who are currently patients at Shands Hospital. One of the events she spends most of her time annually is Climb for Cancer, playing sports with children who currently have or know someone who has cancer.
Georgia: Saniel Atkinson-Grier (Sr., Jumps, Upper Marlboro, Md.)
An international affairs major, Atkinson-Grier volunteered at the 2012 Athens Breast Cancer Walk, helped sort clothes and service people at Timothy Creek Church during Thanksgiving and spent time at a senior citizens facility during the holidays. She donated time to Martha’s Table, where she helped prepare lunch, dinner and dessert for the local homeless people in Washington, D.C. She and her mother Sandra co-founded SanSan’s Closet, an organization that collected clothes, school supplies, coats, blankets and toiletries. Atkinson-Grier donated to the Shepherd’s Cove Shelter and its numerous drives that resulted in the collection of more than 2,000 products. She helped coach children at the Upper Marlboro Boys and Girls Club and participated in Comcast Cares Day. Atkinson-Grier was the Miss Maryland Teen USA Community Service Winner, collecting more than 200 coats for “Helping Hands.”
Kentucky: Chelsea Oswald (Jr., Distance, Medina, Ohio)
The 2013 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient, Oswald has been active in the community, volunteering with Operation Homes and the God’s Pantry Back Pack initiative. She has assisted with the UK Athletics Back-to-School Picnic, the Hope Lodge Christmas Ceremony, the Lexington Montessori Read-to-the-Children Program and the NEO Cross Country Camp for high schoolers. Oswald was active with the SEC Together We Can Food Drive and the Salvation Army. Oswald is an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and also the recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award. She is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a USTFCCCA All-Academic selection.
LSU: Laura Carleton (Sr., Distance, Lake Charles, La.)
A senior pursuing her Master of Business Administration, Carleton volunteered 37 hours to community service work for the 2012-13 academic year. She is a fixture of her team’s trips to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital throughout the year and has helped coordinate LSU’s efforts with the “Friends of Animals” organization, which exists to rescue and find homes for dogs and puppies that would have otherwise been euthanized at the East Baton Rouge municipal shelter. Carleton helped organize LSU track and field’s efforts with the annual Halloween BOOzar and Thanksgiving with the Tigers events. She organized the team’s game station at the 2012 Halloween BOOZar, providing local youth an alternative to trick-or-treating. Carleton helped provide Thanksgiving meals to needy families adopted by LSU’s student-athletes as part of Thanksgiving with the Tigers. She is a representative of LSU’s track and field program on the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as secretary of SAAC for the 2012-13 academic year.
Ole Miss: Neal Tisher (Sr., Pole Vault, Mobile, Ala.)
A psychology major, Tisher has been a fundraising volunteer at St. Jude Hospital, where she has participated in a letter-writing campaign and “Pancakes for Kids.” She has participated in both the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and the Out of Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Tisher has been an active participant in “Reading with the Rebels,” a program in which Ole Miss athletes read and mentor local elementary school students. She has spoken to third graders about the importance of exercise and good nutrition and has served as a volunteer coach for Vault Birmingham. Tisher, a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic, is a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, where she served as a Panhellenic Delegate in 2010-11 and a housing manager in 2011-12.
Mississippi State: Chloe Phillips (Jr., Distance, Flagstaff, Ariz.)
A kinesiology major, Phillips founded Mississippi State’s physical activity program for special needs students in the Starkville area called “Bulldogs on the Move,” which has enlisted more than 170 college volunteers as mentors over its two-year existence. She also has served as a volunteer for the university exchange program, Habitat for Humanity and the Rolling Hills Development Center. Phillips has been a mentor for college freshmen in MSU’s Day One Program and has volunteered as a student aide for Armstrong Middle School special education. A seven-time President’s Scholar and a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, Phillips is a member of the Exercise Science Honor Society and has earned a number of awards for community service and academic excellence.
Missouri: Courtney Wood (So., Distance, Neosho, Mo.)
A biochemistry major, Wood has been active in a number of reading programs and Read-a-Thons, has donated her time to diversity events and celebrations has volunteered with VAC Adopt-A-Family, Caleb’s Pitch and the Mizzou Moves program.
South Carolina: Breanna Radford (Sr., Throws, Alpharetta, Ga.)
A chemistry major, Radford is a team-captain and multi-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Rolls. She was South Carolina’s 2013 nominee for the Brad Davis Community Service Award and earned the South Carolina President’s Award. A Dean’s List student, Radford has volunteered with the Free Medical Clinic, Vacation Bible School at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, the Chili Cook-Off for Camp Kemo and has also been active with Girl Scouts. She also has assisted with the Shoe Giveaway at Arden Elementary School, the C.R.O.W. Move Initiative Sports Clinics at Hand Medical School and the Ronald McDonald Spring Cleaning. The chair of the community service committee in the South Carolina Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Radford plans to enroll in medical school in the fall.
Tennessee: Kia Jackson (Sr., Sprints/Jumps, Lithonia, Ga.)
A child and family studies major, Jackson has volunteered with the VolAware Street Fair, Habitat for Humanity, Family Fun Night, Boo at the Zoo, Soles4Souls and has wrapped presents for Athletes in Action. The recipient of the prestigious Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Scholarship in 2013, Jackson is a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection and a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
Texas A&M: Aliese Hyde (Jr., Middle Distance, Harker Heights, Texas)
A biology major, Hyde is part of the Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She has helped with the “Film on the Field” event with fellow student-athletes to bring athletes and the Bryan/College Station community together through interaction. Hyde also participated in Aggies Can, the largest canned food drive in the country completely run by student-athletes. She volunteered with Hard Hats for Little Heads, helping to educate more than 8,000 children about how to prevent head injuries by wearing a helmet when bicycling, in-line skating, skateboarding or four-wheeling. Hyde also has been active in the Junior Aggie Club.
Vanderbilt: Alyson Hasty (Sr., Jumps, Brentwood, Tenn.)
A child development major, Hasty does extensive work with a local counseling service called Daystar, which provides counseling to kids and families in Middle Tennessee on everything from school to family issues. She also has volunteered the past few summers at Daystar’s summer camp, Cape Hopetown, which provides counseling services in a group setting in weekly sessions.
The 2013 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships take place May 9-12 at Audrey J. Walton Stadium on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.
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