Gamecock Athletics Holds 2017 Gamecock Gala

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina 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 2016-17 campaign.  Student-athletes, administrators, coaches and special guests attended the elegant event, which featured a red carpet entrance, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a special awards ceremony with presentations and video features.

The winner of this year’s President’s Award, Chelsea Drennan from the women’s soccer team, served as the team captain for her squad this season, helping to lead Carolina to a program-record 21 wins and the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title.  She anchored the Gamecock midfield during her time in the Garnet and Black, appearing in every match throughout her four-year career.  She concluded her time in uniform as the women’s soccer program’s all-time assists leader with 40, and she is ranked fourth in school history with 66 career points.  Following an outstanding senior campaign, she earned NSCAA Second-Team All-America honors and was tabbed an NSCAA First-Team Scholar All-American, in addition to earning SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades for the fourth-straight year.  This Gamecock is a standout not only on the field and in the classroom, but also in the community, volunteering for organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Harvest Hope Food Bank during her Carolina career.

A complete list of award winners for the 2017 Gamecock Gala is listed below:

SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Award: Chelsea Drennan (women’s soccer), Jonathan Boland (swimming and diving)

SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award: Maya Evans (track and field), Ive Burnett (men’s soccer)

New Student-Athletes of the Year: Tyasha Harris (women’s basketball), Mikayla Krzeczowski (women’s soccer), Jake Bentley (football)

Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Bailey Mierzejewski (equestrian), Jonathan Boland (swimming and diving)

Community Outreach Team of the Year: Indoor Volleyball

Athletes of the Year: A’Ja Wilson (women’s basketball), Sindarius Thornwell (men’s basketball)

Gamecock Inspiration Award: Elliott Fry (football)

President’s Award: Chelsea Drennan (women’s soccer)

Team MVPs:

Baseball (2016 season): Gene Cone

Women’s Basketball: A’ja Wilson

Men’s Basketball: Sindarius Thornwell

Beach Volleyball: co-MVPs, Adrianna Culbert and Katie Zimmerman

Cheerleading: Caroline Rietkovich

Carolina Girls Dance Team: Addison Lewis

Cross Country: Mary Reiser

Equestrian: Bailey Mierzejewski

Football: co-MVPs, Jake Bentley, Deebo Samuel

Women’s Golf: Katelyn Dambaugh

Men’s Golf: Keenan Huskey

Women’s Soccer: Chelsea Drennan

Men’s Soccer: Julian Veen Uldal

Softball (2016 season): Kaylea Snaer

Women’s Swimming and Diving: Emma Barksdale

Men’s Swimming and Diving: Akram Mahmoud

Women’s Tennis: Brigit Folland

Men’s Tennis: Harrison O’Keefe

Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (2016 season): Natasha Dicks

Women’s Indoor Track and Field: Rougui Sow

Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (2016 season): Dondre Echols

Men’s Indoor Track and Field: Josh Awotunde

Volleyball: Mikayla Shields

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