USC holds Gamecock Gala

The USC Athletics Department held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday evening at Colonial Life Arena. The event honored the University's student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2010-11 campaign. Student-athletes, coaches, administrators and special guests attended the elegant event, which featured a red carpet entrance, a first-class dinner and special awards ceremony.

Mollie Patton from the women's soccer team won the night's most prestigious honor, the President's Award. The Award, which was presented by University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides, honored Patton for her accomplishments on and off the field.

Patton finished her career as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the Southeastern Conference. She ranks as the SEC's all-time leader for consecutive shutouts with seven and single-season shutouts with 15. She leaves the Gamecock program as the all-time leader for each of those categories as well as for single-season wins with 19 and career wins with 45.

Patton graduated from the University last fall and is working towards a doctorate in pharmacy at South Carolina. As a senior she was a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee, a First-Team ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American, an NSCAA Scholar All-American, and she was the female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete nominee for South Carolina.

The 2011 Garnet Award was presented by South Carolina Athletics Director Eric Hyman to the Rice Family. Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Lisa Rice, along with their daughter Mrs. Anne E. Rice Ervin were presented the award, which symbolizes passion and devotion for Gamecock Athletics.

Each a graduate of the University, the Rice family has made its mark in many ways, but some of its proudest moments are the ways that their family has been able to give back to their community. The University of South Carolina is one of those institutions that has greatly benefited from the Rice family's generosity.

A complete list of award recipients from the 2011 Gamecock Gala is below:

NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship: Jewel May
SEC McWhorter Scholarship: Mollie Patton, Jimmy Maurer

SEC Brad E. Davis Outstanding Community Service Scholarship: Jewel May, Michael Zajac
New Student-Athlete of the Year: Amanda Rutqvist, Marcus Lattimore
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Taryn Zack, Jimmy Maurer
Life Skills Team of the Year: The Softball Team Female Athlete of the Year: Lakya Brookins
Earnest Brooks Male Athletes of the Year: Johnny Dutch
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Garrett Chisolm
The Garnet Award: The Rice Family
The President's Award: Mollie Patton

Team MVP's

Women's Basketball: La'Keisha Sutton
Men's Basketball: Sam Muldrow
Equestrian: Hailey Thornton
Football: Cliff Matthews
Women's Golf: Katie Burnett
Men's Golf: Blaine Woodruff
Women's Soccer Co-MVP's: Offensive - Kayla Grimsley, Defensive - Mollie Patton
Men's Soccer: Blake Brettschneider
Softball: Laura Mendes
Women's Swimming and Diving: Taryn Zack
Men's Swimming and Diving: Michael Flach
Women's Tennis: Dijana Stojic
Men's Tennis: Chip Cox
Indoor Track and Field: Lakya Brookins, Michael Zajac
Outdoor Track and Field: Janica Austin, Johnny Dutch
Cross Country: Beatrice Biwott
Volleyball: Juliette Thévenin

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