NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Amber Hughes was selected Female Athlete of the OVC Outdoor Championship, announced by the league office on Thursday.
“I am excited for Amber,” said head coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. “She stepped up and carried the team on her back as a leader. We were thinking on using Clairwain (Dameus) in the final relay, but Amber and the squad knew she was exhausted from the Heptathlon and her other events. She showed her true leadership skill as she convinced us they would get it done and save Clairwin from another grueling event.”
Hughes recorded first place finishes in four events and placed third in another as she helped the Tigerbelles claim the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor championships last weekend. The title was the first outdoor trophy for TSU since 2008.
The Atlanta, Ga. native ran the opening leg of the winning 4x400 (3:44.96) meter relay team with Diera Taylor, Christian Pryor and Kayla Pryor, clinching the team title for the Tigerbelles. Hughes also claimed victories in the triple jump (12.90/42-04.00), 200 meter dash (23.66) and the 100 meter hurdles (13.27), in which she broke a record which stood since 1986.
“I am just proud to be a Tigerbelle,” said Hughes. “I am more excited we won the team championship. I feel very happy of the accomplishment and to represent the team. We all worked hard to win.”
This is the second consecutive year a Tigerbelle held the honors of top Female Athlete at the OVC Championships as Dameus earned the award for her performance in 2014. The back-to-back selections were the first since Dominque Ward was tabbed with the distinction in 2007.
“It gives us more motivation,” Hughes said of the recognition for her and Dameus. “We just want to keep working harder and pass on the dedication to our teammates so they can win it next.”
Hughes, along with Dameus, I'mani Davis and Flying Tiger Quamel Prince, will compete at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 28 in Jacksonville, Fla.