Carter (left), Martin (center) and Swindell (right) all took home honors for the month of March.
April 3, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. -
Western Carolina's Tayla Carter, Adam Martin and Kristin Swindell all picked up Southern Conference Athlete of the Month honors in their respective sports as announced by the league's office Thursday afternoon.
Carter, who was named the league women's field athlete of the month, won the 100-meter dash at the 49er Classic in Charlotte, N.C., turning in a time of 11.58 seconds in the final of the event, good for the best time in the SoCon this season.
Carter, a sophomore from Marietta, Ga., also had the best time in the preliminaries of the 100m (11.67) and turned in the second-best showing in the preliminaries of the 200-meter (24.08) but did not race in the final. She was also part of the Catamounts' fourth-place 4x100-meter relay squad (46.42) at the meet. Carter was named the SoCon outdoor track athlete of the week on March 26 after that showing.
Carter is the second WCU track & field this season, first on the women's side, as Jared Johnson took home Field Athlete of the Month for the February.
Martin, a catcher and outfielder, hit .415 in 17 March games, driving in 35 runs and scoring 20 en route to earning SoCon Player of the Month. He hit eight home runs, five doubles and a triple as more than half of his 27 hits in the month went for extra bases.
The Marietta, Ga., senior opened his month with three straight multi-hit games, including a 4-for-5 performance with three RBIs and three runs scored in the Catamounts' win over No. 15 Clemson, in which he fell a triple short of the cycle.
After three hitless games, Martin finished his month on an 11-game hitting streak, turning in multiple hits in six of those contests. He was 7-for-12 with eight runs and 12 RBIs in WCU's three-game sweep of Rider, turning in two homers and a career-high eight RBIs in the middle game of the series and earning SoCon player of the week honors.
After a two-hit game against East Tennessee State, Martin hit safely in each of Western Carolina's first six conference games of the season. He was a combined 5-for-12 with nine RBIs and three home runs in the Catamounts' sweep of Wofford, posting his second two-homer game of the month in the middle game of the series. Martin was also flawless in the field in 82 total chances.
Martin is the second WCU player to be recognized by the SoCon office as Jeremy Null took home Pitcher of the Week honors for the month of February. He is only the third Catamount to earn player of the month honors since the league started recognizing monthly honors. Kenny Smith was the last position player to earn the award for the Catamounts back in March of 2007.
Swindell, who was named SoCon Women's Golfer of the Month, posted four top-10 showings in as many tries in March, highlighted by winning the Low Country Invitational. The redshirt sophomore opened her month by tying for second at the UNF Invitational, shooting a 10-over 226 for what was her best career finish at the time, to help the Catamounts to the team title. Swindell earned SoCon golfer of the week honors for her performance.
Less than a week later, the Bradenton, Fla., native tied for fourth place at the Eagle Landing Invitational, firing a 4-over 220 in her second straight event in her home state.
Swindell followed that up with her first collegiate win, edging teammate Kim Mitchell for medalist honors at the Low Country Invitational with a two-round score of 151. There were 55 golfers in the field, which included five SoCon teams.
Swindell closed her month with another top-10 showing, tying for sixth at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate with a two-round score of 154. Swindell paced the Catamounts to runner-up team finishes at each of their last two events.
Out of the 309 golfers she faced this month, only seven finished ahead of Swindell in her four tournaments.
She is the first women's golfer to earn golf of the month plaudits from the league since Josefine Sundh in September of 2009. It is also the first time since the league started awarding monthly honors a Catamount has earned the award during the spring season.