BRENTWOOD, Tenn. --- Tennessee State women’s track and field All-American Amber Hughes (Atlanta, Ga.) added a prestigious honor to her resume by earning Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year for 2016-17, the OVC office announced on Wednesday.
Hughes, who won the honor after a vote by the conference’s athletic directors and sports information directors, will receive her award on June 2 at the OVC’s annual Honors Brunch at DoubleTree Nashville Downtown. It marks the 13th major OVC award for Hughes in her career.
Hughes is the second-ever Tennessee State University female student-athlete to win the award since its inception in 1981. Fellow track star Clairwin Dameus was TSU's first female award winner when she took home the honor last year.
Throughout the year, the senior from Atlanta, Ga. has been a dominant force for the Tigerbelles. During the indoor season, she repeated as OVC Track Athlete of the Year and OVC Field Athlete of the Year – the only student-athlete in conference history to accomplish the feat. Hughes went on to win four gold medals at the OVC Indoor Championship as well as an individual silver and one with the 4x400m relay team en route to Female Athlete of the Championship honors.
Continuing her indoor season, Hughes secured USTFCCCA Second Team All-America honors for the triple jump after placing 11th at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.
Hughes continued to reel in honors during the outdoor season, winning OVC Field Athlete of the Year. At the OVC Outdoor Championship, Hughes accounted for three individual gold medals, plus one in the 4x400m relay, as well as one individual bronze. She was again awarded Female Athlete of the Championship.
For her career, Hughes has won 26 OVC individual gold medals.
Hughes has two more opportunities to don the TSU uniform in competition. She will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round set for May 25-27 in Lexington, Ky. and hopes to qualify for the NCAA National Championships scheduled for June 7-10 in Eugene, Ore.
Other nominees for this year’s award included Austin Peay senior basketball center Tearra Banks, Belmont sophomore basketball guard Darby Maggard, Eastern Illinois senior tennis athlete Kelly Iden, Eastern Kentucky junior distance runner Charlotte Imer, Jacksonville State junior pitcher Whitney Gillespie, Morehead State senior golfer Anna Magnusson, Murray State junior golfer Moa Folke, SIUE senior pitcher Haley Chambers-Book, Tennessee Tech sophomore soccer player Kari Naerdemann and UT Martin distance runner Ann Asipan.
As a whole, TSU has now had four OVC Athlete of the Year honorees: Carlos Rogers (1994 – Men’s Basketball), Charles Anthony (2005 – Football), Clairwin Dameus (2016- Women’s Track and Field) and Amber Hughes (2017 – Women’s Track and Field).
AMBER HUGHES MAJOR OVC AWARDS
2017 OVC Female Athlete of the Year (All Sports)
2017 OVC Outdoor Championship MVP
2017 OVC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
2017 OVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
2017 OVC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year
2017 OVC Indoor Championship MVP
2016 OVC Outdoor Championship MVP
2016 OVC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
2016 OVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
2016 OVC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year
2015 OVC Outdoor Championship MVP
2014 OVC Indoor Freshman of the Year
2014 OVC Outdoor Freshman of the Year