COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M student-athletes Brittany Parker and Jake Gibbons were recognized with the Distinguished Letterman Awards on Wednesday night during the seventh-annual Building Champions Awards held virtually on the Texas A&M YouTube channel.
Awards were also presented for various academic, service, leadership and athletic endeavors.
Distinguished Letterman Awards
Brittany Parker (Track & Field), Jake Gibbons (Swimming & Diving)
The Distinguished Letterman Award is the highest award presented to a student-athlete once a year by the athletics department. The individual is someone who displays extraordinary talents in the areas of athletics, scholarship, leadership and service.
Parker, a member of the women's track and field team has created several service opportunities for fellow student-athletes, including the SAAC service ambassador Program. During the 2019 season outdoor track and field season she finished sixth in the 800m at the SEC Outdoor Championships and was an NCAA West Regional Qualifier in the 800m. Parker finished ninth in the 800m prelims at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Gibbons has been a team captain for the men's swimming and diving team his junior and senior season. He has also served as the SEC SAAC Chair representative and is a member of the NCAA Division I SAAC. While maintaining a 3.78 GPA Gibbons has been a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and a recipient of the Brad Davis Scholarship. Gibbons is also a member of the SEC Community Service Team.
Bill Erwin Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Raena Eldridge (Swimming & Diving), Ashley Driscoll (Track & Field/Cross Country), Jon Bishop (Track & Field/Cross Country)
The Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award recognizes a male and female student-athlete who balances athletics and scholarship while maintaining a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Eldridge has been captain of the women's swimming and diving team for two years. As a junior she was named First Team CSCAA Scholar All-American and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She has maintained a 3.975 GPA while double majoring in Animal Science and Genetics. In the pool Eldridge earned an NCAA B-cut finishing third in the 100m freestyle at the Art Adamson Invitational, she also registered B-cuts in the 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke at the SEC Championships as a junior.
Driscoll is a member of the women's cross country and track and field teams. Recently she was one of 21 women across the country to receive a $10,000 NCAA postgraduate scholarship. She will graduate in May in Biomedical Sciences with a 3.98 GPA. Driscoll finished the 2019 outdoor season as the eighth best 10,000m and ninth best 5,000m performer in Aggie history. She was also an NCAA Outdoor West Regional qualifier in the 10,000m. Driscoll also qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships after finishing 11th at the NCAA South Central Regionals.
Bishop is a member of the men's cross country and track and field teams. He was named the 2020 SEC Indoor Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the year. Bishop holds a 3.936 GPA and is pursuing a degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences with a Computational Emphasis. Previously he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was honored with the Classroom Excellence Award for outstanding work in advanced calculus. In cross country Bishop earned All-SEC honors finishing 14th at the 2019 SEC Cross Country Championships and placed 11th at the 2019 NCAA South Central Regional.
Newcomers of the Year
Deborah Acquah (Track & Field), Demani Richardson (Football)
This award recognizes a freshman or transfer student-athlete in his or her first year at Texas A&M who has made significant athletic contributions.
A junior college transfer, Acquah made an immediate impact in her first season on the women's track and field team. During the 2019 outdoor season she earned First Team All-American honors finishing third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a school record long jump mark of 6.63m/21-9. Acquah continued her dominance in the 2020 indoor season as she set school records in long jump and triple jump in consecutive weeks of competition. She won the SEC long jump title and finished runner-up in triple scoring 18 points for the Aggies at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Richardson, a true freshman on the Texas A&M football team started 11 of the 12 games he played and finished third on the team in tackles. He paced all defensive backs with 71 total tackles, including 38 solo and 33 assisted. For his efforts Richardson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team by the league's coaches.
Lohman Inspiration Awards
Rhian Murphy (Equestrian), Micheal Clemons (Football)
The Lohman Inspiration Award recognizes a student-athlete at Texas A&M who has demonstrated integrity and tenacity in overcoming incredible challenges in pursuit of his or her education. This person makes a commitment to working with and learning from others, as well as being a good role model for others who struggle.
As a member of the Equestrian team Rhian Murphy is the ultimate team player. After undergoing a full hip replacement in May, Murphy was diligent and committed to rehab. She was able to start the very first meet of the fall where she won her point and was awarded MVP by the judge. Murphy holds a 10-9-4 career record on the flat.
Overcoming the loss of his father and helping his mother raise his brother, Clemons is the definition of inspiration. He was a starter on the defensive line for the Aggie football team and also led the team in community service hours. He has earned his degree from Texas A&M with one year of eligibility left.
Nye Academic Center Awards
McKinzie Green (Basketball), Clifford Chattman (Football)
This award honors a male and a female student-athlete who has demonstrated consistent dedication to their academics by utilizing resources, improving their academic performance, always giving their best effort and having the discipline needed to be successful in the classroom while upholding the Aggie Core Values of Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity and Selfless Service.
Green, the only freshman on the women's basketball team has never missed a day at the Nye Academic Learning Center. She continues to stay committed to her school work by asking questions, showing up and giving it her all each and every day. Green was also named the Nye Academic Student Athlete of the Month for February and is a communications major.
Chattman, a defensive back on the Aggie football team will graduate this summer with a degree in RPTS. He has utilized the resources at the Learning Center and as a result has consistently put in extra effort to do his work the right way. His dedication to stay extra hours and show up after practices has proven his commitment to not take any shortcuts. He is always willing to help with a community service event when asked and gives a positive attitude each and every time.
Selfless Service Award
Brittany Parker (Track & Field)
The Selfless Service Award is presented to the student-athlete who participates in the highest number of service hours for the academic year.
Parker is also heavily involved with SAAC and is an active member on the executive board as the VP of selfless service. She has completed nearly 100 service hours this academic year and has been accepted to physical therapy school at Texas Woman's University in Houston to pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
Athletes of the Year
Jazmine Fray (Track & Field), Hollan Hans (Volleyball), Shaine Casas (Swimming & Diving)
This award is presented to the top male and female student-athletes based upon athletic excellence over the past year.
As a member of the women's track and field team Fray had a dominant senior season winning the 2019 NCAA Outdoor 800m title and contributed the key leg towards pushing the 4x400m relay team to a national title. She ended her collegiate career a perfect 2-0 on the final day of the NCAA Championships. During the regular season, she won every 800m final she entered including the 2019 SEC Outdoor 800m title. She finished her career as the school's 800m record holder at 2:01.18.
Hans has rewritten the Texas A&M volleyball record books over the course of her four year career. She was unanimously voted MVP for the past two season by her teammates. As a senior she was named to the All-SEC team, AVCA South All-Region Team and AVCA All-American Second Team. Hans ranks second all-time in Texas A&M history in total attempts, service aces and points.
Casas, a member of the men's swimming and diving team won the SEC title in 200 IM and 200 Back, breaking Ryan Lochte's SEC record. He was lead off leg of the SEC Champion 200 medley relay and was awarded SEC Commissioners trophy as the top-point scorer at the 2020 SEC Meet. Casas ranked first in the 200 IM and 200 Back, third in 400 IM in the final NCAA rankings. He was also a member of four relays that ended the season with the top eight times in the country.