COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recently announced its annual All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year awards and Salisbury University had two student-athletes recognized in senior softball catcher Lauren Brenneman (York, Pa.) and senior men’s tennis player Evan Thomas (Salisbury, Md.). The pair is among 232 collegiate student-athletes from 106 schools around the country honored with this award. The Sea Gull pair was nominated by SU Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Matt Nein. This marks the second consecutive year a pair of Salisbury student-athletes were honored with the award, as last year field hockey midfielder Kandice Hancock (Westover, Md.) and men’s basketball guard Greg Palmer (Salisbury, Md.) received the distinction.
“The advantages of strength training and conditioning cannot be denied in collegiate athletes,” NSCA executive director Robert Jursnick said. “These student-athletes attest to this understanding, and are to be applauded for their hard work and dedication.”
Brenneman and the No. 12 SU softball team currently boast an impressive 23-2 record; the Sea Gulls are riding a 23-game win streak after dropping the first two contests of the season. The York, Pa., native has played and started in all 25 contests for the maroon and gold while compiling a .405 batting average, eight home runs, 32 RBI and four stolen bases. Brenneman provides a solid backstop to SU’s pitching staff that currently boasts the 10th best ERA in all of Division III, as she calls the pitches for Salisbury’s four pitchers. Defensively, Brenneman has a perfect fielding percentage as she has 141 putouts and 23 assists in 164 chances in 2010. Throughout her career at Salisbury, Brenneman has been named first-team All-Capital Athletic Conference two times, been named to the All-Region team twice and was a second-team All-American in 2009.
“Lauren is a tireless workhorse in the weight room and on the field,” said Nein. “Every day she brings a positive attitude and strong work ethic. The desire to become the best athlete possible helped Lauren garner the honor of second-team All-American for the 2009 softball season. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Lauren over the past three years.”
Thomas and the No. 14-ranked SU men’s tennis team currently boast an impressive 11-5 overall record, and 4-1 record in the CAC. The 2010 campaign has featured a number of contests against nationally-ranked programs, with the Gulls gaining key experience as they look to claim their first CAC championship since 1999. In singles play this season, Thomas has compiled a 9-5 record, including 6-3 at No. 3 singles. Thomas and doubles partner Scott Burtzlaff (Clarksville, Md.) are ranked as the No. 3 doubles pair in the Atlantic South Region. The two have put together a 12-4 record thus far this season, including 9-3 at No. 1 doubles. Throughout his four-year career, Thomas has garnered All-CAC honors six times, including three first-team honors.
“Evan is a very dedicated athlete who works extremely hard day in and day out in the weight room and on the tennis courts,” said Nein. “His strong leadership skills and desire to be the best have also influenced his teammates to strive for excellence. A three-year all-conference player in both singles and doubles, Evan is a true catalyst for success and has been an absolute pleasure to work with over the past four years.”
The NSCA All-American Athlete of the Year Award recognizes student-athletes' dedication to strength training and conditioning. This program is in its 32nd year and is made possible by a grant from Power Systems, Inc., a Knoxville, Tenn., fitness product leader. For more information, please visit www.nsca-lift.org.