Southeast Women's Track Team Wins OVC Sportsmanship Award
May 23, 2007
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - On Wednesday the Ohio Valley Conference announced the Southeast Missouri State University's women's outdoor track and field team as the recipient of the 2007 Team Sportsmanship Award for women's outdoor track and field.
Voted on by the student-athletes and coaches of the respective sports, the team awards are bestowed upon the Conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans.
"Sportsmanship is a core value of the Ohio Valley Conference," said OVC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, "and the team awards are a primary means of celebrating those student-athletes and coaches who perform with distinction. Anytime you are recognized by your peers, it is truly an honor. I congratulate the Southeast Missouri's women's outdoor track and field program for their pursuit of excellence."
The Southeast Missouri State women's squad finished third at this year's O'Reilly OVC Outdoor Championships.
"The sportsmanship award is a tribute to the young ladies in our program," Southeast Missouri head track and field coach Joey Haines said. "Even though we didn't win the OVC championship this year, our young women proved they could fight for the championship but still be good sports. This group has been honored for academic achievement, placed third in the OVC championships and earned the sportsmanship award. We are certainly proud of the overall accomplishments of our women's team."
"Obviously we are very proud of our women's track team," Southeast Missouri Director of Athletics Don Kaverman said. "The team has excelled not only on the track but in the classroom and in sportsmanship. They represent all that we strive to achieve in our athletic program at Southeast. They are a real credit to the athletic program and the University."
Implemented in August 2005, the team honors are the most recent addition to an awards program that recognizes and celebrates sportsmanship within the Conference. In 1998, the league established the Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a male or female student-athlete of junior or senior status who best exemplifies the characteristics of the late Morehead State student-athlete, coach and administrator. Five years later, the Conference added the OVC Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the member institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.
In 1995, the Ohio Valley Conference implemented a first-of-its-kind "Sportsmanship Statement," a policy promoting principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one's opponent. The statement answered the challenge of the NCAA Presidents Commission to improve sportsmanship in collegiate athletics, and has become a model for others to follow across the nation.