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  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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Cougar Ruler

March 7, 2005

Cougars Up For Regional Awards
        Three Southern Illinois University Edwardsville track and field student-athletes and a coach are among the nominees as the USTCA (United States Track Coaches Association) Athlete and Coach of the Year.
        Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) is among the nominees on the women's side. The Great Lakes Valley Conference Athlete of the Year qualified for this week's NCAA Indoor Championships, including the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 4X400-meter relay.
        The NCAA meet begins Friday in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
        "Tai has worked very hard to earn the honors being given to her now," said Coach Ben Beyers. "She's only a sophomore, so as long as she stays focused and dedicated, her future will continue to be extremely bright."
        Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) and Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) were nominated on the men's side. Both will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
        Coach Ben Beyers also has been nominated as the region's top coach.
        "Honestly I'm a little embarrassed to be receiving all this individual attention. But as I've said in the past, these awards are based more on the accomplishments, dedication, and hard work of the entire coaching staff, the success of the teams, and the support of the administration as a whole. Without my fellow coaches Dave Astrauskas and Eileen McAllister, as well as Kevin Koller our graduate assistant and Camee' Williams our volunteer assistant, none of the success which has led to this recognition would be possible. I'm just happy to be a part of such a wonderful group of people," said Beyers.
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