Tennessee’s Phoebe Wright ought to be running with an extra spring in her step this week at the Sea Ray Relays.
Wright, a distance-running All-American on the Lady Vols track team, was named Tuesday as female winner of the Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
The honor comes with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Wright, from Signal Mountain, has a 3.96 grade average with a double major in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
“I was really honored just to be nominated, let alone to win it,’’ Wright said Tuesday. “I’ve met some really amazing athletes and some really amazing people competing in the SEC.’’
Wright qualifies on both counts. Shes’ as competitive on the track as in the lab.
She won the 800 meters at the recent NCAA indoor national championships and has been a key member of UT’s record-setting distance-medley relay.
“We are extremely proud of the manner in which she continues to represent the university,’’ said J.J. Clark, UT’s director of track and field.
Wright plans to graduate in December and apply the scholarship to grad school at UT in the fall of 2011.
Her line of study will be geared toward pharmaceutical research.
“I would like to make drugs for brain disorders and Parkinson’s disease,’’ she said.
This week at Sea Ray she’ll settle for a competitive race, regardless of the distance.
“I’d like to get in a fast race, from the 400 to the 800 to the 1,500 depending on where the fast competitors are,’’ she said.
The male McWhorter award went to Auburn swimmer Jordan Anderson.
Sea Ray Start: Wednesday’s schedule at Tom Black Track is devoted to the women’s heptathlon (2 p.m.) and men’s decathlon (2:30 p.m..
The meet continues through Saturday with more than 1,200 athletes competing.
Wells Honored: UT senior Evander Wells is the SEC men’s co-runner of the week after posting a nation-leading 20.47 in the 200 meters last weekend.