October 16, 2008

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(Kansas City, MO) - Finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer and women’s soccer divisions were announced today, launching a nationwide balloting process to determine the 2008 award winners for the nation’s premier tribute to NCAA Division I collegiate seniors.

This marks the second year for both soccer divisions.  An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.  This prestigious awards program was launched by Lowe’s, an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during the 2001-02 basketball season, added six additional sports in 2007 (including soccer), and has expanded this year to include NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision seniors.
The 2008 women’s finalists are: Yael Averbuch (University of North Carolina), Stefanie Baduria (Loyola Marymount University), Lizzie Barnes (United States Naval Academy), Brittany Bock (University of Notre Dame), Jenae Gibbens (Cal State Fullerton), Candace Gonzales (Georgia State University), Kerri Hanks (University of Notre Dame), Molly Johnson (Clemson University), Christie McDonald (Duke University) and Yolanda Odenyo (Oklahoma State University).

The 2008 men’s finalists are: Matt Besler (University of Notre Dame), Sam Cronin (Wake Forest University), Dylan Curtis (University of California Davis), Michael Fucito (Harvard University), Adam Gartner (Eastern Illinois University), A.J. Glubzinski (United States Military Academy), Garret Guthrie (University of Missouri - Kansas City), Yohance Marshall (University of South Florida), Dylan Sheehan (Brown University) and O’Brian White (University of Connecticut).

These 20 names (10 from each division) will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 16 and concluding November 19.  Votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award.  Fans can vote online during this time period at http://www.seniorclassaward.com. Winners will be announced during the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship in Cary, North Carolina, scheduled for December 5-7, and during the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship in Frisco, Texas, scheduled for December 12-14.

“Lowe’s is incredibly proud to announce the 2008 finalist class for men’s and women’s soccer,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising.  “These 20 student-athletes represent all that is great about collegiate athletics.  Each is to be admired for their commitment and dedication not only to soccer, but to the classroom and their community.”
Finalists were selected from a list of 30 candidates in each division, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete.  Each finalist displays numerous accomplishments across all four award pillars: classroom, community, character, and competition.