BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Mississippi track and field athlete Barnabas Kirui and University of Georgia track and field athlete Bridget Lyons have been named the 2010-11 Brad Davis Southeastern Conference Community Service Leaders of the Year, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Tuesday.
The two were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities. Each will receive a $6,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC.
“The Southeastern Conference is proud to honor the efforts of Barnabas and Bridget to make their communities a better place to live,” said Slive. “Barnabas and Bridget are fine representatives of their families, their institutions, the Southeastern Conference and intercollegiate athletics.”
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was named for former Associate Commissioner Brad Davis. Davis succumbed to cancer on March 2, 2006. He had been a member of the SEC staff since 1988, first serving as an assistant commissioner until 1994 when he was promoted to associate commissioner.
Kirui, a native of Litein, Kenya, earned a B.B.A. degree in Banking and Finance and Accountancy in 2010. He will earn a Master of Accountancy degree in May 2012. He is a Chancellor’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List student and has been named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America Team. He is also a member of the Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Societies.
He was the NCAA champion in the 3000 meter Steeplechase in 2007 and was the SEC champion for three years (2006, 2009 and 2010) in cross country and 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He was named the SEC Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 2007 and 2010.
Kirui founded a project called "Rebel Reruns" in which Ole Miss student-athletes collects shoes and sports cleats that are sent back to less fortunate children in Kirui's native country of Kenya. He is a member of STAND – Students Against Genocide in Darfur – and a member of the African Caribbean Association.
The son of Albina Mibei, he also held an internship with the Price Waterhouse Cooper accounting agency in 2011.
Lyons, a native of Evans, Ga., will earn a B.S. degree in Biology and a B.A. degree in Spanish this spring. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honor society as well as being a Presidential Scholar at UGA. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Delta Epsilon Iota academic honor society.
Lyons captured her first conference title with a win in the 10,000 meters and was Georgia’s top scorer (14 points) at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Championships. She also had a runner-up finish in the 5,000 meters at the 2010 SEC Indoors as well. She was a co-captain on the 2009 Lady Bulldog cross country team and deferred dental school in 2011 in order to run another year for Georgia.
In 2011, she received the overall “Peach of an Athlete Award,” given by the Atlanta area Boy Scout Council to student-athletes participating in outstanding community service. She also earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors."
Lyons has also volunteered at Hope Dental Clinic, Oasis after School for Spanish speaking elementary school students, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Town and Gown Theatre Company.
The daughter of Jill Miller, she is the student-athlete representative to the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors.
In addition, 11 other male and 11 other female recipients for the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Award will receive a $3,000 scholarship, provided by the SEC.
The 11 other male recipients are: Daniel Armstrong, Swimming and Diving, Alabama; Chris Nott, Tennis, Arkansas; Justin Hargett, Baseball, Auburn; Robert Walsh, Swimming and Diving, Florida; Asaph Levy, Track and Field, Georgia; Marcus Davis, Football, Kentucky; Kyle Rose, Track and Field, LSU; Mark Melichar, Football, Mississippi State; Michael Zajac, Track and Field, South Carolina; Michael Wright, Swimming and Diving, Tennessee; Bram Chisholm, Track and Field, Vanderbilt.
The 11 other female recipients are: Jessica Allaway, Rowing, Alabama; Britni Williams, Soccer, Arkansas; Addison Ragsdale, Soccer, Auburn; Megan Bush, Softball, Florida; Samantha DeMartine, Softball, Kentucky; Courtney Alexander, Soccer, LSU; Juliana Smith, Track and Field, Ole Miss; Courtney Nesbit, Softball, Mississippi State; Jewel May, Basketball, South Carolina; Jackie Areson, Track and Field, Tennessee; Rebecca Silinski, Basketball, Vanderbilt.
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was first presented in 1996. Past Leaders of the Year include: 2010 – John Egan, Georgia (track and field) and Krissy Voss, Auburn (gymnastics); 2009 – Andrew Smith, Auburn (basketball) and Brionna Dickerson, South Carolina (basketball); 2008 – William Brown, South Carolina (football) and Brooke Shinaberry, Vanderbilt (lacrosse); 2007 – Brad Boswell, Tennessee (swimming) and Stacey Stevens, Florida (softball); 2006 – Antoine Huffman, Kentucky (football) and Hannah McLeod, Arkansas (gymnastics); 2005 – Jordan Fairclotch, LSU (baseball) and Holly Hodges, South Carolina (diving); 2004 – Michael Boynton, South Carolina (basketball) and Virginia Pate, Georgia (swimming & diving); 2003 - Brett Kirouac, Georgia (football) and Kara Lawson, Tennessee (basketball); 2002 - Eric vanGoethem, Auburn (swimming) and Andree’ Pickens, Alabama (gymnastics); 2001 - Lance Jones, Ole Miss (basebal) and Gabby Fuchs, Florida (gymnastics); 2000 - Brett Millican, Georgia (football) and Brooke Riley, Ole Miss (soccer); 1999 - BJ McKie, South Carolina (basketball) and Carrie Kuhnell, Kentucky (soccer); 1998 - Walker Jones, Ole Miss (football) and Nicole Lees, Alabama (soccer); 1997 - Tim Lanier, LSU (baseball) and Andrea Bullock, Vanderbilt (golf); 1996 - Tony Johnson, Alabama (football) and Erin Tenbrunsel, Alabama (volleyball).