Sports Hall honors seven

NASHVILLE, TN, January 5, 2010 - The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced today the names of seven honorees and three National Championship teams to be recognized at its annual awards banquet and induction ceremony on Friday, February 11 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, according to Bill Emendorfer, President, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

The Male Professional Athletes of the Year: David Price Tampa Bay Rays standout and former Vanderbilt All-American was the first American League pitcher to reach 10 wins and was instrumental in helping the Rays capture the AL East division title and reaching the postseason for the second time in three years. Price ended the year with a 2.72 ERA and an impressive 19 wins and 6 losses. This earned him the honor of being selected as the starting pitcher in the MLB All-Star game.

The second Male Professional Athlete of the Year is R.A. Dickey who has consistently been described by sports analysts as "dazzling" and "a bright spot" for the New York Mets. The former Tennessee great's current record distinguishes Dickey as an excellent pitcher whose knuckleball continues to improve making him a great asset to the Mets.

The third Male Professional Athlete of the Year is Matt Cain who had an outstanding World Series with the San Francisco Giants. In the post-season he pitched in 1 game, 6.2 innings, 6 strike outs in the NL Divisional Playoffs. In the National Championship Series he was the winning pitcher vs. the Atlanta Braves in Game 3. Pitched 7 innings, striking out 7, adding to that his performance in the World Series was impressive as he was the winning pitcher vs. Texas Rangers in Game 2 and pitched 7.2 innings, striking out 2. His total post-season totals were 3 games, 2-0 record, 21.1 innings pitched, and 13 strike outs. Earlier this week Cain was named "Sportsman of the Year" in his hometown of Memphis by the Commercial Appeal.

The Female Professional Athlete if the Year is Monica Abbott who played on the U.S. Women's National Softball Team (Summer 2010) and won the championship at the 2010 ISF XII Women's World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, and the KFC World Cup of Softball 5 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Female Amateur Athlete of the Year Phoebe Wright is a standout on the Lady Vols track team at the University of Tennessee. She is a two-time NCAA DMR champion, a NCAA Indoor 800m runner-up, six-time All-American , four-time SEC champion, nine-time SEC scorer, world record-holder with indoor DMR and outdoor 4x1500m, American record-holder with outdoor 4x800m. She also holds five UT records on relays, ranks No. 2 indoors and No. 3 outdoors on UT all-time 800m lists and is the First-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.

The Male Amateur Athlete of the Year is John-Patrick Smith who is the National Preseason Singles Rankings is the number one ranked player in Division I men's tennis. In 2010 he received no less than 15 awards. These included the ITA All-America, NCAA Doubles Finalist, ITA Ohio Valley Region Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship, SEC Player of the Year, First Team All-SEC, ITA Scholar Athlete and SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Three collegiate Tennessee teams will be recognized as Amateur Team of the Year and they all have one thing in common…each won a national championship. They are: Cumberland University Baseball who won five straight contests to claim the 2010 NAIA Baseball National Championship, the program's second national title in six years under longtime head coach Woody Hunt. Hunt was recently named NAIA "National Coach of the Year". Union University Women's Basketball earned TranSouth All-Sports Trophy for seventh straight season. Union University claimed its second consecutive NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship with a 73-65 victory over Azusa Pacific University. Lee University captured its third-straight NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship. The title is the third for the Lady Flames. Lee has taken home the banner in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Lee junior forward Jamie Achten has been selected as the 2010 NAIA Women's Soccer Player of the Year.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is also recognizing Kathleen Johnson as the recipient of our Outstanding Achievement Award. Johnston is a Chemical Engineer and worked as a research scientist for 20 years while at the same time training to be a competitive age group athlete at the National and World level. She has competed in over 100 multisport events and 80 single sport events, including swimming, cycling, and running. She has also competed as am amateur triathlete on the World Level for over 15 years. She is a seven time USAT Triathlon All American, 10 time Team USA Triathlon and Duathon team member, Gold Medalist ITU (International Triathlon Union) Aquathon Age Group World Championship 2006, 3 time sliver medalist ITU Aqulathon Age Group Championships (02, 03, 05), Hawaii Ironman Qualified and finisher, 6 time Boston Marathon qualifier and finisher.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held Friday, February 11th 2011 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Tickets for the awards banquet and induction ceremony are available from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame for $125.00 each. For more information concerning the event, call the TSHF office at 615-242-4750.

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