MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin seniors Kasey Elswick and Derek Carr brought home Athlete of the Year awards this evening at the eighth annual Senior Athlete Night banquet in the Duncan Ballroom at the Boling University Center.
Elswick earned Bettye Giles Female Athlete of the Year accolades, while Carr was named Bob Carroll Male Athlete of the Year. Leah Taylor (Outstanding Sportsmanship Award) and Fred Flenorl (Inspiration Award) also racked up the hardware this evening.
A four-year starter for the UT Martin volleyball program, Elswick wrapped up her illustrious career by becoming the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time career leader with 2,606 digs. She also earned a spot on her third career All-OVC team this fall, a year after she set the NCAA single-season record with 852 digs on her way to honorable mention All-American accolades. In the classroom, the Louisville, Ky. native has earned two career Academic All-District awards for her 3.98 Grade Point Average.
The Skyhawks’ lead signal caller for the last three years, Carr concluded his remarkable career as the program’s all-time leader with 8,428 passing yards, 665 completions and 69 touchdowns. This fall, the McKenzie, Tenn. native ranked in the top-10 nationally in three different passing categories and was the only player at any level of collegiate football to throw for seven touchdowns in two different games. In one of those games, he set the NCAA single-game record for passing efficiency after he went 42-for-46 for 560 yards against Murray State on October 13.
Taylor is UT Martin softball’s career leader with 154 runs scored, 18 triples and 108 stolen bases in only three seasons. She was the 2012 OVC Player of the Year and Easton Fastpitch All-American after helping lead the Skyhawks to an OVC title and NCAA Tournament appearance. Off the diamond, she was named one of six OVC Scholar-Athletes, which is the highest individual honor an OVC student-athlete can receive. The Brownsville, Tenn. native currently carries a 3.97 Grade Point Average and earlier today was named an Academic All-District selection after earning Academic All-American accolades in 2012.
Earning the inaugural Inspiration Award was Flenorl, who left it all out on the field for the Skyhawk football team in 2012. On Oct. 6, the Memphis native made his career-high 10th tackle, appropriately saving a touchdown and causing a fumble on the 1-yard line. On the play, the defensive standout suffered a career-ending neck injury but rather than sulk, he kept a smile on his face and was back on the sidelines cheering on his teammates later on in the season. For his teammates, he served as a source of strength and a reminder to not take anything for granted as the team posted an OVC-best 8-3 record.