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Sam Ahrenholz, son of Kevin and April Ahrenholz of Vinton, was the winner of the 2018-19 Brad Davis Southeaster Conference Community Service Leader of the Year. This is awarded to one male and one female athlete (from all sports) in the Southeast Conference (SEC), which encompasses 14 universities (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbuilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M).

Arhenholz is a middle-distance runner for the University of Florida and a senior and joins just 4 other Gators to receive the honor since it began in 1996.

Arhenholze will be awarded in a ceremony on May 30th in Destin, Florida at the SEC Awards Banquet.

Commissioner Greg Sankey and the league office announced the winners. According to the conference's release, a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities chose Ahrenholz for the award, Ahrenholz will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC.

Also named was Auburn equestrian rider Megan Rauh. "Megan and Sam have made a commitment to making their world a better place with a dedication to service in their communities," said Sankey. "Megan and Sam reflect a devotion to a well-rounded college experience that is typical of student-athletes across the SEC and they represent all that can be achieved by the young people in our Conference. I congratulate them, their families and the universities they represent on this prestigious recognition."

Ahrenholz participated in various projects and completed a total of 580 community service hours since 2014.

Some of those projects include mentoring at Newberry Christian Community School, volunteering at The Salt Church, North Florida Regional Medical Center, and Climb For Cancer Sports Camp, and serving as president of Salt Company Organization a campus ministry at the University of Florida.

"(Florida track and field Head) Coach (Mike) Holloway, (former volunteer assistant) Coach Holland (Sherrer), and Coach Homewood my high school coach these men day in and day out model how to walk in integrity and maximize the blessings we have been given," Ahrenholz said. "These men also taught me the influence one can have in another's life as they significantly influenced mine.

The influence of my coaches' words, as well as the words of my four supportive parents and eight grandparents showed me anyone can positively impact other people. I serve because I am trying to maximize the gifts I have been blessed with, and I hope my life will positively impact others, just as my coaches and family have influenced me."

Ahrenholz has also been successful in the classroom, making the Dean's List five times since fall of 2016 and garnering a U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Individual honor.

In a tweet the Ahrenholze sent he said, "I told all my friends in high school and junior high, even elementary school, I was going to be an athlete here. For that dream to become a reality, I'm just so grateful."

"It is a huge honor and I am quite proud of him" said his father Kevin.

Ahrenholz's track team has won the team national championship (indoor and outdoor seasons) since he joined the team in 2015.

Sam's accomplishments include:

Leadoff leg for No. 9, t-No. 10 DMR teams on UF's All-Time Indoor Top 10Leadoff leg for Florida's school record outdoor DMR team2018 USTFCCCA All-Academic IndividualTwo-time SEC Academic Honor Roll

Collegiate PR | 1,500m: 3:45.52; Mile: 4:11.03; 800m: 1:51.64
High School PR | 400m: 49.65; 800m: 1:52.7

2018: Finished eighth in the 1,500m at SEC Outdoor Championships and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary after converting from the 800m during the offseason ... Helped Florida's DMR team to a fourth-place finish at SEC Indoor Championships ... Led off for the No. 9- and t-No. 10-ranked DMR teams on UF's All-Time Indoor Top 10 (9:39.49 / 9:40.05) ... Also helped the outdoor DMR team break the school record (9:35.90) at National Relay Championships ... Ran a season-best 1,500m time (3:45.52) at Tom Jones Memorial and a season-best mile time (4:11.03) at Razorback Invitational ... USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual ... SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll.

2017: Competed in four indoor meets and two outdoor meets ... Ran an 800m PR (1:51.64) in the prelims at SEC Indoor Championships ... SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll.

2016: Joined the team in January, redshirted.

HIGH SCHOOL/PREP: Attended Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa ... Helped the Cedar Falls 4x400-meter relay team capture the 2014 IAHSAA Class 4A Track & Field Championship.

To see a clip of Sam running and his comments click here

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Comments (1)

Congratulations to Sam! What a great honor!
By: Mary And Dave Horst on May 10th 5:17pm

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