Tuesday May 7, 2013Florida's Lang and Whittaker Named to SEC Community Service Teams
Photos: Matt Pendleton
Photos: Matt Pendleton
Florida track and field athletes Max Lang (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.) have been named to the 2013 Southeastern Conference Track & Field Community Service team for their efforts in the community and as student-athletes, the league offices in Birmingham, Ala., announced Tuesday.
The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his or her community in superior service efforts. The track and field community service team encompasses the sports of cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
Lang, a two-time SEC Community Service Team honoree, has spent more than 215 hours of his Gator career as a part of Streetlight at Shands. Streetlight is a support program for adolescents and young adults living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and other chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Lang is one of 65 volunteers from the Gainesville community who makes room visits to patients providing companionship, discussion and support. Streetlight is one of the first programs of its kind, beginning to meet and make relationships with patients to help preserve their non-medical identity. He has been a member of Streetlight at Shands since May of 2010.
Lang was Florida’s 2013 McWhorter candidate and graduated last weekend with a degree in statistics, finishing with a 3.94 GPA. He was named to the President’s Honor Roll and met requirements to be designated as a member of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team. In 2011, Lang received the Florida Letterman Award for the male scholar-athlete of the year, given to the athlete who maintains the highest GPA during the previous calendar year of study. Lang was named an Anderson Scholar in 2010, given for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average through his initial four semesters of study. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has earned letters in all four years of competition for the four-time NCAA Champion Florida track and field team.
Whittaker has volunteered much of her time to the Gainesville community throughout her years in the Orange and Blue. Much of her work deals with children, spending a vast amount of her spare time giving back to the youth of Gainesville and its surrounding areas. Whittaker has annually participated with the "Miracle on Main Street" events, helping to provide Christmas gifts to more than 300 families a year.
The multi-time All-American also volunteers with Gator Tracks, purchasing and delivering shoes for underprivileged elementary schools around Gainesville. Whittaker visits frequently with children at local elementary schools, as well as those who are currently patients at Shands Hospital. One of the events she spends most of her time annually is Climb for Cancer, playing sports with children who currently have or know someone who has cancer.
The No. 1 Florida men and No. 3 UF women are readying themselves for the 2013 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mizzou’s Audrey J. Walton Stadium. The four-day meet is slated for Thursday-Sunday, May 9-12. The Gator women finished as runner-up a year ago and the men turned in their fifth-straight top-four finish. The 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships will air live online on MUTigers.com and ESPN3, as well as part of a 90-minute show on ESPNU on Thursday, May 23 beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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