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Randolph Named SAC Athlete of the Year

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Athletic Directors from the South Atlantic Conference have selected Mars Hill’s Jonas Randolph and Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kate Griewisch as the league’s top athletes of 2011-12, it was announced on Tuesday.

Randolph, the SAC Male Athlete of the Year, starred on the football field for MHC, while Griewisch, the SAC Female Athlete of the Year, was a standout cross country runner at L-R. Both student-athletes were seniors in 2011-12.

Mars Hill Head Football Coach Tim Clifton stated, "Jonas is very deserving of this award. Anyone who leads the league and nation in rushing and wins the Harlon Hill Trophy deserves to be the SAC Athlete of the Year. It is a great honor for Jonas and our institution for him to be selected with this honor."

Randolph rewrote the SAC’s rushing record book in 2011 while leading Mars Hill to a share of the conference title and its first-ever selection to the NCAA Division II Football Championship.  The Daleville, Ala., native led Division II with 2,170 rushing yards and had the highest per-game rushing average of any NCAA division at 197.27 on his way to winning the prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy.

He was the first player in SAC history to win the award, which recognizes the top player in Division II.

Randolph’s 2,170 rushing yards in 2011 were a SAC single-season record.  He also broke the conference’s all-time rushing record, finishing his career with 5,608 yards. 

His 373 rushing yards against Tusculum Oct. 29 were the most ever in the conference and the ninth-highest single-game total in Division II history.  He had six games of over 200 yards rushing in 2011 and two where he eclipsed the 300-yard mark.

In addition to the Harlon Hill Trophy, Randolph was selected as the SAC Offensive Player of the Year, the Super Region II Offensive Player of the Year, and an All-American by a host of publications and membership organizations.

Randolph is the first Mars Hill student-athlete to be named SAC Athlete of the Year since Walt Baxley in 2005-06.

Griewisch won the 2011 Food Lion SAC Women’s Cross Country Championship individual medal for the second time in three seasons and placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship in Spokane, Wash.

She also won the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship for the third-consecutive year, and was named to the All-SAC First Team for the fourth year in a row.

The Banner Elk, N.C., native’s impressive finish at the NCAA Championship also earned her All-America honors for the third-straight year.

Griewisch’s list of accolades in 2011 included being named the SAC Runner of the Year and the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Athlete of the Year.

It marked the third-straight season Griewisch had received the award from the USTFCCCA.

Griewisch excelled in the classroom as well, earning the 2011 SAC Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

Greiwisch becomes Lenoir-Rhyne’s first SAC Athlete of the Year selection since Roman Davis in 2004-05, and just the second SAC Female Athlete of the Year pick in school history, joining Traci Hyman who won in 1999-00.

In addition, Griewisch was recently selected by the SAC Senior Woman Administrators Committee as a nominee for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

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