Courtesy UT Martin
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The National Strength and Conditioning Association has recognized University of Tennessee at Martin standouts Aalia Bivens (softball), Brady Fry (track), Jack Story (golf) and Lexi Thomas (soccer) as 2020 NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year for their performance in the weight room, playing field and classroom.
The NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year program recognizes those collegiate athletes whose athletic accomplishments reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning.
Despite having her senior campaign shortened, Bivens started in all 21 games she played in for the Skyhawk softball team while posting a .273 batting average with two doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs. She tallied three multi-RBI contests while earning the program’s first OVC Player of the Week honor since 2017 after hitting .412 with three runs scored, one double, two home runs and 10 RBIs in just six games. Off the field, she is a three-time OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient.
“Aalia is pound for pound our strongest member on the team,” Gillies said. “Her commitment to her athletic development saw her transition from second base to the outfield as a junior. She is a leader to her team in all areas.”
Fry is a decorated sprinter and hurdler for the Skyhawk track and field team. Just a sophomore, Fry has posted a podium finish in eight events in his young career, including winning the 60m hurdles title at the 2019 OVC Indoor Championship. He has also posted an event title in the 400m hurdles at the APSU Governors Invitational last season.
“As a freshman, Brady made his presence known by winning the 60m hurdles at the OVC Championship,” Gillies said. “Since then, he has added two OVC runner-up finishes while battling through time lost due to sickness. Brady’s approach to training and concern for performance both on the track and in the weight room is one of the highest standards.”
Story made a push for OVC Golfer of the Year honors before seeing his senior campaign come to a sudden halt. He ranked second in the OVC with a 71.0 scoring average over nine tournaments, leading UT Martin in virtually every statistical category. He also topped the Skyhawks in eagles (8), birdies (106), par-4 scoring (3.95) and par-5 scoring (4.67) while nabbing individual championships at the Murray State Invitational and F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate earlier this season. Off the course, he is a three-time OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient.
“Jack, along with his teammates, has elevated the program’s commitment and standard to their physical preparedness,” Gillies said. “Through this commitment, Jack has won two individual titles while also helping the team capture four consecutive tournaments to finish out the fall portion of the season.”
Thomas played in 56 games while earning 29 starts in four years for the Skyhawk soccer program. One of the team’s grittiest defenders, Thomas served as the team’s de facto leader on and off the field despite being hampered by a nagging injury throughout her senior season. Along with dedicating her time on the pitch, she is also a member of the Army ROTC Skyhawk Battalion while earning a pair of OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll honors.
“Since Lexi stepped on campus, she has made a commitment to her fitness and strength,” Gillies said. “Lexi’s leadership and play were integral in the team’s 2018 OVC championship. In addition to Lexi’s athletic and academic commitments, she is also in ROTC and will enlist in the Army upon graduation. Her selflessness and dedication to others elevate all those around her.”