published Friday, May 30th, 2014

Two UTC runners, UGA's Lord academic all-district and other sports news

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga runners Lucas Cotter and Teghan Henderson were named Thursday to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 team by the College Sports Information Directors of America, and Georgia junior Brandon Lord from Baylor School was an All-District 4 choice. Cotter, a graduate student with a 3.80 grade point average, was hampered by injuries in his senior season but reached the 1500-meter final at the Southern Conference outdoor track and field meet. Henderson was a sophomore All-American and the SoCon women's runner of the year in cross country and the league's 10,000- and 5000-meter winner as a redshirt freshman in track, earning the distinction of freshman of the year. She's a business major with a 3.87 GPA. Lord has a 3.64 GPA as an applied biotechnology major.

• Carson-Newman junior decathlete Randall Freeman from Ooltewah was a Capital One Academic All-District 3 NCAA Division II honoree for track and cross country, and Bryan College seniors Alex Stephens (from Cleveland) and Anthony Simpson were College Division District 2 picks. Freeman is a graphic design major with a 3.80 GPA. Stephens, a communication studies/corporate major, had a 3.77 GPA; Simpson, a history/secondary education major, had a 3.41.

General

• The UTC athletic department earned honors this week from CoSIDA for the school's 2013 football media guide -- second best overall in the NCAA FCS -- and the 2013-14 wrestling media guide. The latter was for "best cover" in the winter at-large category. Both publications were produced by UTC's Athletics Communications and Media Relations Office headed by Dr. Jay Blackman. Blackman and Michael Vinson designed the covers for both, and staffers Anne Wehunt, Jim Horten and Tyler Brown along with Pam Henry contributed to the text of the 148-page football book. This was the UTC football guide's second FCS runner-up award in three years.

Basketball/Volleyball

• The closing of Mid-Continent College in Mayfield, Ky., has brought a women's basketball player and a volleyball player to Tennessee Temple University. Both previously played for high schools in the Nashville area. Jessica Kirby is a 6-foot-2 basketball post from Cane Ridge High School who has two years of college eligibility left; she redshirted one year and played two at MCC, where she had a parade of coaches. "I like her length and I really like her up side," Temple coach Kenrick Liburd said Thursday. "She can play off either shoulder and she's got great power. She's a decent athlete -- for 6-2, a very good athlete -- and I believe her development in our system will happen very quickly. On top of that, she's a great kid who wants to be at a Christian school." Joining Mary Willis's volleyball program from MCC is Lydia Green from Hendersonville High School. At just over 5-6, she was an outside hitter there but will be a defensive specialist at Temple -- and perhaps learn to be a setter. "She works hard and she takes direction well," Willis said. "And she will help the team with her personality. She's a very strong Christian and will help the school as well."

• Alex Kiernan from Mountain Area Christian Academy in Morganton, Ga., was one of nine women's basketball commitments to Berry College released Thursday by coach Stephanie Dunn. Kiernan averaged 17.4 points a game as a senior and 16 points, five rebounds and four steals a game for her career at Mountain Area, which made the Christian school state playoffs all four years and won a state championship. She was a two-time all-state pick and an honor student. Knoxville Webb guard Imani Smith also is among the Berry recruits. "We are very pleased with our recruiting class," Dunn said in a release. "These young ladies bring a variety of talents that will continue to keep our program strong."

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