Sunday April 7, 2013Gator Softball Senior Kelsey Horton One of 10 Finalists for 2013 Senior CLASS Award
Overland Park, Kan.
Overland Park, Kan.
Florida softball right fielder Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) was one of 10 senior softball student-athletes across the country named a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, announced Wednesday.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Horton’s top-10 finalist status for the Senior CLASS Award marks the fifth straight year a Florida student-athlete has been named a finalist, as former Gator All-American Stacey Nelson won the award in 2009. All-Americans Francesca Enea (2010), Stephanie Brombacher (2011) and Michelle Moultrie (2012) were top-10 finalists the past three years, respectively.
This year’s finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 13. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.
Horton, who was additionally named a 2013 Brad Davis SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship nominee Tuesday, was a 2012 Capital One Academic All-American and NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete in the classroom, while also being named a 2012 All-SEC and NFCA All-Southeast Region selection for her performance on the field last season.
Expected to graduate from the University of Florida in May with her degree in nutritional sciences, Horton has already solidified plans and accepted admission into Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy to continue her education following her eligibility as a Gator.
A 2012 Softball SEC Community Service Team member, Horton is the Vice President of UF’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she has served as a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. She previously served as the Community Service Chair for the UF SAAC and among her individual hours of service, Kelsey has volunteered locally on a number of different occasions at the Gainesville March of Dimes office, while also frequenting Gainesville’s Shands Hospital.
On campus, Horton has taken part in a number of activities organized by UF’s Goodwill Gators program, including UF’s Climb for Cancer Sports Camp, Gator Tracks holiday gift wrapping party and UF’s Thanksgiving food drive. Horton additionally serves as UF softball’s contact for Friends of Jaclyn, which matches children with brain tumors to high school and college athletic teams to provide support and spread awareness of brain tumors. The Gators adopted Heather Braswell in 2008 and she’s continued to be an honorary member of UF’s softball team. Horton organized a Swing for the Cure event in fall 2012 involving a number of different UF student-athletes who came together on the softball diamond to raise awareness for cancer in general, the March of Dimes and Friends of Jaclyn.
On the softball field, Horton has helped lead the Gators to a 35-3 overall record so far this season, while UF is 10-2 in SEC play. She blasted her first grand slam of the year last weekend against Ole Miss, one of UF’s eight so far this season. The right fielder is batting .280 for UF and ranks third on the squad in doubles, fourth in homers, and has drawn 20 walks. Horton’s eight sacrifice bunts, including three in league play, rank first in the SEC standings.
View the complete Senior CLASS Award release here.
2013 Senior CLASS Award Softball Finalists
Kayla Braud, Alabama
Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
Kelly Coker, Rhode Island
Rachele Fico, LSU
Jolene Henderson, California
Kelsey Horton, Florida
Courtney Liddle, Virginia Tech
Jenna Rich, Stanford
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma
Jessica Shults, Oklahoma