TEN FINALISTS SELECTED FOR 2008 LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FOR NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL

April 17, 2008

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(Kansas City, MO) - TEN FINALISTS SELECTED FOR 2008 LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD IN NCAA® DIVISION I BASEBALL; NATIONWIDE VOTING TO DETERMINE WINNER


Award to be Presented by Lowe’s at 2008 NCAA®  Men’s College World Series®  in June

(Kansas City, MO) – Ten senior student-athletes, who are among the nation’s top baseball players on the field and also excel in the classroom, have been selected as finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the baseball division. Nationwide balloting begins today to determine this year’s winner, who will receive the award during the NCAA Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.


The finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These four primary areas of criteria include: classroom, community, character and competition.


An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has developed into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award, which launched in 2001 with NCAA basketball, is now in its second year for baseball. University of Alabama infielder Emeel Salem won the inaugural baseball division award in 2007.


The 2008 finalists are: Jason Buursma, Bucknell University; Eitan Barbalat, Bradley University; Jarod Freeman, University of Oklahoma; Ryan Hastings, University of Illinois, Charlie Mellies, Wake Forest University; Josh Meents, U.S. Air Force Academy; Rob Musgrave, Wichita State University; Brett Scott, Kansas State University; Cole St. Clair, Rice University; and Tyler Stovall, Central Michigan University.


These ten names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award baseball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning April 17 and concluding June 2. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website http://www.seniorclassaward.com, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.


“These young men are outstanding student-athletes who deserve recognition for their achievements on the field and off the field,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is dedicated to honoring senior collegians who are making an impact on others with their talents. We look forward to an exciting finish to the NCCA college baseball season and crowning our award winner at the Men’s College World Series.”


The 2008 award winner will be announced and presented with the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award trophy during championship weekend at this year’s NCAA Men’s College World Series® in June. The Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Team, based on final results of the balloting, also will be recognized.

 

The idea of an award to salute collegiate seniors was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. It was inspired by the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. The Senior CLASS Award was formed to honor senior NCAA student-athletes who fulfill their entire collegiate athletics eligibility, earn a college degree and give back to their community.


Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, extended the award in 2007 to include six other NCAA sports: men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer.