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Furman Student-Athletes Recognized With University Leadership Awards

Sir Paladin
Sir Paladin

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Five Furman student-athletes and one Paladin team have been recognized for exemplary leadership by the Shucker Leadership Institute at its annual awards banquet, held on campus Sunday night.

Women's soccer player Virginia Poe, football player Wade Smith, softball player Lauren Duggar, women's cross country and track athlete Savannah Carnahan, and men's basketball student assistant Tyler Eckstein comprised the group of students who garnered awards, along with the Furman football team.

Poe and Smith received C. Dan Joyner Outstanding Female and Male Leader Awards, respectively, for positively impacting their teams as a role model, resource, motivator, and encourager.

Duggar collected the Hall of Leaders Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership, which is presented to a select group of seniors who have demonstrated outstanding involvement with campus life and extracurricular activities and who, through this service, have exemplified a four-year commitment to the positive enhancement of the Furman campus.

Carnahan was accorded the Winston Babb Memorial Award for the junior class, which is given by the Furman Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa to the woman in each class who has demonstrated the most outstanding qualities of leadership, scholarship, and service to the university.

Eckstein was recognized with the Unsung Hero Award, presented annually to students who, through their behind the scenes involvement with student life, have exemplified a commitment to enhancing Furman campus life.

The Paladin football team was awarded the Max and Trude Heller Commitment to Community Award, which is presented to the campus group who, through actions of service to the community, has reflected the ideals of good citizenship.  Furman claimed a share of the 2018 Southern Conference Championship and placed eight members on the All-SoCon teams.

Poe started all 19 matches and helped the Furman women's soccer team to the Southern Conference Tournament finals this past season. A native of Jacksonville, Ala., Poe guided the Paladins to a 12-7-0 record, including victories in seven of their last nine matches. She netted three goals, highlighted by the game-winning score in a 2-1 victory over the Mercer Bears.

A three-year letterman who played the bandit position and also contributed on special teams, Smith saw action in 19 games.  He registered eight tackles in 2018, including three in Furman's 34-14 win over Wofford.  Smith was a member of the Paladins' 2018 SoCon Championship team and 2017 squad that advanced into the second round of the FCS playoffs.  A four-time member of the SoCon Academic All-Conference Team and SoCon Academic Honor Roll, he holds a 3.86 GPA in mathematics-economics.

Furman softball's starting center fielder in 84 of the last 85 games, Duggar helped propel the Paladins to a 41-15 record a year ago while stealing a SoCon-leading 31 bases. A native of Moore, S.C., she earned the ScanSource Student Athlete Leader of the Month in March and ranks second on her team with two triples this season. Duggar serves as the president of Furman's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served on the Furman Student-Athlete Advisory Committee leadership board for the past three years. She is a member of FCA, the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society, and Theta Kappa Alpha Honor Society.

A two-time All-American, Carnahan boasts a 3.9 GPA and is a double major in chemistry and applied mathematics.  She finished 20th at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships and placed 15th in the 5,000m at last year's outdoor track national championships.  A native of Cumming, Ga., Carnahan has been named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll and to the USTFCCA All-Academic Team for cross country and track and field.  She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, volunteers with the Greenville Children's Hospital, and is involved with the Furman Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. 

Eckstein, a senior from Durham, N.C., is a business administration major and has served the Furman men's basketball program for four years.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information