The Gulf South Conference has announced its annual Top Ten Award winners, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville was represented by two-time honoree cross country runner Josh Moshier and softball player Mary Kelley. The awards are based on athletic, academic and extracurricular achievement during the 2011-12 academic year, and they honor the top five male and top five female student-athletes in the league.
The Top Ten are selected with the assistance of an advisory committee representing the athletic directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletic representatives and presidents from randomly selected GSC schools, and that group makes a recommendation to the commissioner of the conference who has the final decision.
Moshier – who also was named to the Top Ten in 2010 – has been a mainstay as a leader of the men’s cross country and track and field teams over the last four years, earning more accolades and having accomplished more than any runner in the history of the UAH program. The Port Byron, Ill., native paced the Chargers to their second-ever GSC Championship while claiming the individual title.
He went on to lead UAH to the first NCAA South Region Championship in program history by finishing a program-best second overall, which sent the squad to their third NCAA Championship in the last five years. His time of 32:11 on the 10,000-meter course at the region championships shattered the school record by 11 seconds, earning him his third All-South Region honor. Moshier is the only member to be on both GSC Championship teams, while also being the only team member to compete at all three NCAA Championships in UAH history.
Off the course, Moshier’s academic record speaks for itself, as he has maintained a 3.86 GPA while majoring in physics, with minors in mathematics and economics. Along with balancing outstanding academics and superior athletic achievement, he served over 150 students and had over 600 appointments as a tutor on-campus. For that, he received recognition as the UAH Student Success Center’s top tutor in 2011-12. In the community, Moshier worked as a youth camp leader in the summer of 2009, 2010 and 2011 for Riverdale Rams Basketball and Hoops for Hope.
Earlier this year, Moshier was announced as a winner of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. In addition, he was bestowed the UAH Athletics’ President’s Award – the top academic award for a UAH student-athlete. Moshier was named an Academic All-American on the track in 2010, while earning a spot on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team for cross country in 2008, 2009 and 2011. For the third time in his career, he landed on the 2011 Academic All-GSC team, adding to his 2008 and 2009 honors.
In just two seasons in the Blue and White, Kelley has made a huge impact on the field as she has earned All-American status after both of her freshman and sophomore campaigns. This season she was among the best in the league as she led the GSC with 23 doubles and ranked fifth with a .394 batting average. Additionally, she was fourth in both on-base percentage and RBI as she earned All-GSC recognition for a second consecutive year.
Balancing her athletic prowess with her academic abilities, the Mobile, Ala., native was selected by CoSIDA to the Capital One Academic All-District Team, and the finance major was also a GSC All-Academic Team honoree while landing on the conference’s Academic Honor Roll for the second straight year.
Earlier this spring, Kelley was announced as the winner of the prestigious Pamela Mitchell Scholarship. The award is given to a returning female student-athlete based on the recipient’s ability to combine the best elements of mind and body to achieve distinction for her achievements and the determination to be a future leader in her chosen career, and it is the highest honor at UAH that can be bestowed upon a female student-athlete.
Kelley has also secured the Palle Marie Berry Scholarship that is given annually to a softball student-athlete who has shown the drive and passion for success in the way she practices and plays, and she has demonstrated the determination, hustle and grit that define the award.
In her free time Kelley has been a strong member of the community, performing numerous charitable acts. She has volunteered for her church’s prison outreach ministry, and after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, she helped make shoe box gifts for those affected. She has also joined with her teammates, hosting a group of children with special needs at the UAH Softball Complex, and she was an active participant in the community events the team took part in at the 2011 Division II Softball Championships.
A leader on campus, also, Kelley was a group leader at UAH’s annual Girls in Science and Engineering Day, helping to encourage and inspire girls in grades three, four and five in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
This year marks the third in a row that UAH has had a representative on the GSC Top Ten.
The Top Ten will be honored and the prestigious Commissioner’s Trophy winners announced at the league’s annual Awards Banquet on June 25 in Birmingham.
Courtesy UAH Media Relations