published Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Wommack, Kirk in SoCon hall

Class of 2011

Former UTC greats Regina Kirk and Shannon Wommack Robbins are two of the six members of this year’s Southern Conference Hall of Fame class:

Regina Kirk, women’s basketball, UTC

Shannon Wommack Robbins, track/cross country, UTC

Dexter Coakley, football, Appalachian State

Lefty Driesell, men’s basketball, Davidson

Robert Neyland, football, Tennessee

Vic Seixas, tennis, North Carolina

In a collegiate career full of awards and achievements, former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga runner Shannon Wommack Robbins said her last race was her best.

The three-time outdoor track All-American placed third in the steeplechase at the 2006 NCAA championships.

“It was kind of a sad day, too, because I knew it was my last race,” she said. “But it was my best and it was a good way to end my collegiate career.”

Robbins (2001-06) and former UTC women’s basketball All-American Regina Kirk (1985-88) will be inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame on Tuesday in Charleston, S.C.

Kirk and Robbins are two of the six inductees in this year’s class, and the first from UTC to join the Hall of Fame, which was created in 2009. They were selected out of a pool of 40 nominees that was voted on by a panel of 20 media members and league administrators.

UTC athletic director Rick Hart was among the voters and he said he gladly voted for the pair, but not just because they wore the blue and gold.

“When I submitted my ballot, I remember sending [the SoCon] a note just saying, there’s two UTC people on here but I took a lot of time to study the nominees and they deserve to be in there,” he said. “And obviously people agreed with me. I’m really looking forward to it because it’s going to be a special night for us.”

Between cross country and indoor and outdoor track, Robbins was a 19-time SoCon champion. She won multiple SoCon track and cross country athlete of the year honors and was the 2006 SoCon female athlete of the year.

“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” Robbins said of her career.

Now a physical therapist in Knoxville, Robbins has recently returned to running after taking a four-year break. After so many years of thinking nothing of doing a 10-mile run, she said getting “back to square one” has been a humbling experience.

“I catch myself sometimes thinking back to certain races and I get all pumped up about it and I try to start running that fast,” she said, laughing, “but it only lasts about a mile now.”

Kirk, a 5-foot-11 forward, remains the Lady Mocs’ all-time leading scorer with 2,376 points, second-most in SoCon history. She averaged 21.2 per game for her career and led UTC to a share of the SoCon regular-season title and the tournament title in 1986.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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