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Women's Track & Field Headline

Two-Time All-American & SEC Shot Put Champion Mariam Kevkhishvili

Monday June 11, 2007Kevkhishvili Named SEC Outdoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year


Two-Time All-American & SEC Shot Put Champion Mariam Kevkhishvili

Florida women’s track and field shot put standout Mariam Kevkhishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) was named the Southeastern Conference’s Outdoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year as announced by the league on Monday, while junior Natalie Moser (Tampa, Fla.) was named to SEC Women’s Track and Field Community Service Team.


Kevkhishvili’s honor supplies the Gators with the top freshmen field athletes in both the indoor and outdoor seasons, joining fellow freshman Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla), who earned the indoor award after posting long jump and triple jump marks that rank amongst Florida’s indoor top-10. Kevkhishvili and Proctor are the only two freshmen field athletes to receive SEC recognition in Gator women’s history. They join Tiandra Ponteen (2004) and Shannon Leinert (2006), who each won the indoor freshman runner of the year award, as the only Gators to win first-year honors from the SEC.


“For the Gator program to have both the indoor and outdoor freshmen field athletes of the year, it shows that the program is on the right track,” Florida women’s interim head coach Steve Lemke said. “It shows that we have brought athletes in who have the ability to make an immediate impact in this conference. Mariam did an excellent job this year earning two All-America honors and winning an SEC title.”


“We always encourage our student-athletes to give back to the community,” Lemke added. “For an athlete like Natalie, who was the NCAA runner-up in the pole vault, to be highly involved in the community it proves you can be a successful athlete and give back at the same time.


At the NCAA Championships, Kevkhishvili earned All-America honors in the shot put by posting a mark of 16.81m/55-2.0 to finish sixth. Going into her final throw of the competition Kevkhishvili was in eighth position, but recorded the second-best throw of her career on the final attempt to improve to places in the standings. The only freshman in the NCAA shot put final, Kevkhishvili finished one spot ahead of the seventh seed she held entering the NCAA meet and three positions ahead of her 10th place standing after the qualifying round.


Kevkhishvili became the first Gator since Kim Barrett in 2004 to earn All-America honors in the shot put during the outdoor season. Barrett was also the last Gator before Kevkhishvili to earn both indoor and outdoor shot put All-American honors in the same season.


At the SEC Championships, Kevkhishvili won the shot put title with the nation’s seventh-best toss, a mark of 17.05m/55-11.25. The mark ranks fourth in UF history, while the victory was Kevkhishvili’s second of the season and it came by nearly six and a half feet ahead of the second-place finisher. It was also a personal-best by 15 inches.


The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 20 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to her community in superior service efforts


Moser is an active participant in the Goodwill Gators program and led the Florida women's track and field team with 29 hours served in 2006-07. On nine occasions over the last year, Moser visited pediatric patients at Shands Medical Plaza, to spend time with the children to keep them company in the waiting room before appointments and to participate with them in entertaining actives such as arts and crafts, coloring and board games. Moser has also visited Terwilliger Elementary to interact one-on-one with a child on the playground, in the library or on the computer in order to help develop the children’s motor skills. Moser also spent a fall afternoon participating in the Goodwill Gators Climb for Cancer Sports Camp, a highly successful cancer benefit and awareness clinic. Just prior to Thanksgiving, Moser took time to help out with the Harvest Food Drive to help provide food to those in need. She has also worked with kids at the YMCA helping to teach and coach them about athletics as well as taken part in the Gator Walk for March of Dimes.


SEC Outdoor Women's Track and Field Awards:

Runner of the Year: Kerron Stewart, Auburn

Field Athlete of the Year: Britney Reese, Ole Miss

Freshman Runner of the Year: Nia Ali, Tennessee

Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida

Coach of the Year: Dennis Shaver, LSU

Co-Scholar Athletes of the Year: Natalie Picchetti, Georgia; Natasha Hastings, South Carolina


SEC Women’s Track and Field Community Service Team:

Aymara Albury, Alabama
Jodi Unger, Arkansas
Natalie Moser, Florida
Shaka Dennison, Georgia
Andrea Halasek, Kentucky
Katie Dawson, LSU
Marlee Kevech, Ole Miss
Rebecca Chain, South Carolina
Felicia Guliford , Tennessee
Shannon Capps, Vanderbilt


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