GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG Department of Athletics recently recognized its student-athletes at the UNCG Senior Banquet at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons. Men’s cross country and track athlete Joey Thompson and women’s soccer goalkeeper Kelsey Kearney earned UNCG’s male and female Spartan Awards.
The Spartan Awards are based on leadership, academics and community service and nominees are made by UNCG coaches. The department’s executive staff votes to determine the winners.
Thompson wrapped up his career in fine fashion, finishing third at the Southern Conference Cross Country Championship to help the Spartans to their first-ever team title. He took third at the NCAA Southeast Regional and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, winning the NCAA Elite 89 Award, given annually to the individual with the highest GPA at the finals site of each NCAA championship. He set a pair of school records during the track season, turning in new marks in the distance medley relay in indoor track and a new record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in outdoor track. He is one of six UNCG student-athletes that will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla., later this week.
Kearney finished her career as arguably the best keeper in program history. A four-time All-Southern Conference selection, Kearney graduated as the Spartans’ all-time leader in career goals against average, shutouts and minutes played. She turned in three of the top four single-season GAAs in school history and matched the school record with 12 shutouts in 2010, when she helped the Spartans to a top-10 national ranking. She earned all-region honors and was a third-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American that year, as well. Kearney was the MVP of the 2010 SoCon Championship.
The seniors from every UNCG athletics team were recognized on stage in the Sheraton’s Imperial Ballroom.
In addition, the men’s golf team was recognized for winning the department’s Community Service Award for the second straight year, while the women’s soccer team was honored for winning UNITY, a program in which Spartan teams accumulate points for attending home events of other UNCG teams.