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Blackwood, Kracke, Smith Awarded ACC Postgraduate Scholarships

Feb. 23, 2006

ATLANTA–Georgia Tech’s all-Atlantic Coast Conference baseball player Steven Blackwood, ACC track and field champion Shanta Smith and swimming standout Ashley Kracke are the recipients of Atlantic Coast Conference postgraduate scholarship awards, announced by Commisssioner John Swofford.

The Tech trio are among 36 ACC scholar-athletes recognized by the ACC, each to receive $5,000 to use towards his or her graduate education, either through the Weaver-James Corrigan Award or Jim and Pat Thacker Award. Student-athletes receiving these awards have performed with distinction in both the classroom and in their respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.

In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, eight student-athletes will receive Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Awards. These students will be recognized for their outstanding performance in both athletic competition and the classroom throughout their collegiate careers and intend to compete at the Olympic or professional level.

Blackwood, a senior from Roswell, Ga., is a two-time All-ACC outfielder, earning first-team recognition in 2005 following second-team honors in 2004. He is a four-year starter for Georgia Tech’s nationally-ranked baseball team, which he has helped to ACC Tournament championships in 2003 and 2005, as well as NCAA regional championships in 2004 and 2005 … Blackwood entered his senior season with a career batting average of .349 and ranked 15th in Georgia Tech history in career runs batted in (169). He is also a wo-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. A biology major, he plans to attend medical school.

Kracke, a senior from Birmingham, Ala., is the top backstroke swimmer in Georgia Tech history. She currently holds the Tech school records in the 100 back (56.0) and 200 back (1:59.76) and is also part of the school-record in the 400 medley relay (3:48.63). She is an eight-time ACC finalist in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Kracke is a three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and was named a Collegiate Swimming Coaches of America Association (CSCAA) Academic All-America (honorable mention) in 2003, 2004 and 2005. After earning her degree in International Affairs and Spanish this spring, she will enroll in graduate school at Auburn University next fall.

Smith, a 2005 Tech graduate from Miami, Fla., is a three-time ACC champion in track and field, winning ACC titles in the triple jump (2002 and 2003) and 4×400 relay (2003). She is a seven-time All-ACC honoree in the triple jump, 400 meters and 4×400 relay and a two-time NCAA qualifier in the triple jump. Smith the school record in the indoor triple jump (43’4.5″) in 2004, and she owns the second-best mark in Georgia Tech history in the outdoor triple jump at 43’2.25″ (2003) while ranking among the top five in Tech annals in the 400 meters,both indoor (54.77, 2004) and outdoor (53.38, 2004). A four-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District III second team in 2004.

Recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Awards are as follows: Boston College – Kristen E. Madden (field hockey), Brooke C. Queenan (basketball); Clemson – Ashlee M. Brown (rowing), Nichole M. Carlton (swimming & diving), Bradley L. Gibson (soccer); Duke – Brendan Dewan (football), Nicole Dudek (field hockey); Florida State – Jose David Castillo (football), Andrew Joseph Diakos (track & field), Lakendra McColumn (track & field); Georgia Tech – Steven Eric Blackwood (baseball), Ashley Annette Kracke (swimming), Shanta Smith (track & field); Maryland – Kimberly Marie Francis (soccer), Brendan Michael Healy (lacrosse), Mandy Miguela Pascual (gymnastics); Miami – Rachel Joy Clausing (rowing), Kaitlin Day Kozak (volleyball), Melanie Gail Marie Schultz (cross country/indoor & outdoor track); North Carolina – Courtney J. Bumpers (gymnastics), Katy Beth Tran (field hockey); NC State – Molly A. Culberson (swimming & diving), Stefani Tramaine Eddins (volleyball), Adeola Adekunbi Kosoko (volleyball); Virginia – Katherine Avery Gordon (swimming), Jane Tyler Leachman (lacrosse), Matthew Blair Ward (lacrosse); Virginia Tech – Anat Elazari (tennis), Melissa Marie Markowski (volleyball), Carrie Ann Mason (basketball); Wake Forest – Anne Golden Bersagel (cross country/track & field); Sarah Lynne Kozey (soccer), Ariel Clare Meyers (field hockey).

Recipients of the Jim and Pat Thacker Awards are as follows: Boston College – Daniel C. Berglund (football); Duke – Kathryn Diane Ness (swimming); North Carolina – Laura Lynn Gerraughty (track & field).

Recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Awards are as follows: Clemson – Lida Ledford (soccer); Duke – Ludovic Walter (tennis); Florida State – Garrett W. Johnson (track & field); Maryland – Jason Robert Garey (soccer); North Carolina – Lindsay A. Tarpley (soccer); NC State – Ilian Iliev Evtimov (basketball); Virginia – Connor Raymond Hughes (football); Virginia Tech – James Nathaniel Anderson (football).

The 44 student-athletes will be honored April 13, 2006, in Greensboro, N.C., at a luncheon hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club. The luncheon will be held at the Koury Convention Center.


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