Georgia senior Gunnar Bentz — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick
The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 2018 SEC women’s and men’s swimming and diving community service teams are as follows:
Christina Lu, Senior, Diver, Alabama
Lu worked extensively with Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama during her senior season, leading the Crimson Tide in community services hours. A member of Alabama’s NCAA Zone B Championships squad, she is a CSCAA Scholar All-American and a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Lu has been named to the President’s List (4.0 GPA) and the Dean’s List (3.5 or better GPA).
Chelsea Tatlow, Senior, Back/Free/IM, Arkansas
Tatlow participated in Summer Service Learning in Belize. She baked cookies and delivered them to firefighters. Tatlow worked as a horseback riding therapy clinic volunteer and a food recovery program. She donated spaghetti to raise money for wheelchair ramps. Tatlow was a part of Louise Thaden Day – Ninety Niners Fundraiser. She has worked with the Equestrian Bridges Church, the Equestrian Bridges Therapeutic Riding Center, the Yvonne Richardson Center Christmas, bingo and home school PE potluck dinner, and the Leadership Academy. Tatlow is a Swimming and Diving Community Service Coordinator. She has worked with Special Education at the Springdale Junior High, the Book Hogs Read to Win Program at Butterfield Elementary, the Relay For Life Cancer Society and the Sweat Hogs Salute to Excellence Program at Folsom Elementary. Tatlow donated funds for the Salvation Army and the 7Hills Homeless Shelter. She filled backpacks for Girls On The Run. Tatlow has volunteered for Habitat For Humanity, the Veteran’s Hospital, the Bentonville Half Marathon, Special Olympics, the Operations Baton Rouge Flood Victims, and the Shop With Razorbacks at Toy-r-Us. She has also worked with the Razorback Reads at Springdale Public Library, the Fayetteville Food Hub, the Fayetteville Underground, and the Fayetteville Park and Recreation. Tatlow has served as Lake Manager – Lake Wedington (Search and Rescue). Tatlow is a three-time SEC Women’s Swimming and Diving Community Service team member as well as a two-time CSCAA First Team Scholar All-American and a 2017 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll selection. She has been named to the Dean’s List all seven semesters and to the Chancellor’s List six semesters. The 2015 Hogspy Rookie of the Year, Tatlow qualified and competed at the NCAA Championships each of her first three seasons as a Razorback.
Erin Falconer, Junior, Auburn
Falconer participated in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee community service trip this past summer, volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity House and then at the Birmingham Zoo. She has also volunteered at the Lee County Humane Society and the Lee County Blessings in a Backpack program through the Jason Dufner Foundation. Falconer was a group leader for Connect in the Auburn Athletics Dept., mentoring freshman and transfer athletes at Auburn as they acclimate to their new lifestyle on campus. She also volunteered at the city of Auburn Downtown Trick or Treat. A 2017-18 team captain, Falconer is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She served as a swim instructor for Swim Across America in Lincolnshire, Ill., (2015). Falconer was a 2016 USA Swimming Olympic Trials Qualifier.
Hannah Burns, Junior, Breaststroke/IM, Florida
Burns has worked with the Gator Club, spending time visiting sick children at UF Shands Hospital, including playing games and reading with them. With the Reading Club, she helped local Gainesville children with homework. As a Gator Mentor, Burns has spent time mentoring youth in Gainesville. During the Irma Cleanup, she helped clean up debris at Eastside High School in order to help them open quicker after the storm. Burns served as a volunteer at the Human Foosball Tournament, which helped raise funds and awareness for a rare chromosome disorder. She also volunteered with Trunk or Treat, passing out candy on Halloween along with the rest of the Gator Swimming & Diving program. Burns was a part of the Shands Visit, spending time visiting sick children at UF Shands Hospital. She has also volunteered reading to children at the Hidden Oak elementary school. Burns was named to the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll, the 2016 CSCAA Scholar All-American Team, and the 2016 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
Megan Kingsley, Senior, Georgia
Kingsley has volunteered with Girl Power Day, teaching girls what it means to be a woman and a strong leader. She has worked with the Humane Society, taking care of animals before and after surgeries, making them feel loved and cared for. With the Athens Area Homeless Shelter, Kingsley has babysat while moms take personal improvement courses. She has been involved in Prom and Homeruns for Home Town Rivals fund raisers with Special Olympics at UGA. Kingsley has also worked with Relay for Life for cancer awareness and Walk For Wishes, with funds raised helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. She is a LEAD member, learning how to be a better leader in athletics and the community. A three-time All-American, Kingsley is No. 3 in the 200 fly, No. 6 in the 100 fly, and No. 7 in the 200 IM in UGA history. She has been a part of one NCAA team title (2016) and one SEC team title (2015). Kingsley has been named a CSCAA Scholar All-American as well as to the SEC and UGA Academic Honor Rolls.
Ann Davies, Senior, Breaststroke/IM, Kentucky
Davies has spent several hours volunteering at Amachi Central Kentucky, a mentoring program that pairs positive adults with children who have been affected by incarceration. She went on a week-long service trip to Panama, volunteering in the community. Davies volunteered for God’s Pantry Backpack Program, helping pack and deliver backpacks to children in need. She has worked with the Salvation Army and served dinner to homeless people at the Hope Center. Davies also has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and spent time at local schools, helping students with homework and reading. A 2016 Olympic Trials Qualifier, she was a scorer at the SEC Championships in each of her previous three seasons. Davies, a 2017-18 team captain, was named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and twice to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
Jane MacDougall, Senior, Freestyle, LSU
MacDougall is a certified Special Olympics Coach, teaching those with special needs, teaching them how to swim at least once a week and coaching them during meets. She collaborates with Banana Bread Books, a startup company that looks to give back to Baton Rouge through sales of Banana bread. By selling bread, the bakery gives back through donations of school supplies and other things essential for elementary education. MacDougall has put in over 20 hours of community service since the start of the season. She is a representative for Women’s Swimming and Diving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. MacDougall has participated in the LSU Boozar, an event that allows underprivileged children to trick-or-treat on LSU’s campus.
Payton Conrad, Junior, Diving, Missouri
A fixture in the Columbia community since she arrived on campus, Conrad has spent extensive time volunteering at the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She made weekly visits to the hospital this past fall and last spring, accumulating more than 50 hours of volunteer work, including almost forty hours while in season in the fall of 2017. Conrad has also volunteered her time with Swim Across America, Girls on the Run Buddy Night and at the Paxton-Keeley Elementary School Carnival.
Katie Shannahan, Junior, Butterfly/IM, South Carolina
Shannahan has worked with the University of South Carolina Dance Marathon. In 2017, South Carolina Dance Marathon raised their highest total to date, $703, 289, for the children being treated at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. She has also been a volunteer for Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The events are staffed and coordinated by volunteers to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer. Shannahan has participated in the Pawmetto Lifeline, a not-for-profit animal rescue organization solving pet overpopulation in the Midlands through adoption, medical, rescue collaboration and education efforts. She is a member of the 2017 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
Alex Cleveland, Senior, Freestyle/ Backstroke, Tennessee
Throughout her life, Cleveland and her family have worked as puppy raisers with Canine Companions for Independence, an organization that trains assistance dogs. This academic year, she has been training a dog named Picket. (She has helped raise other dogs on campus during her athletic career.) Cleveland coached young swimmers with the Emerald Youth Foundation, a Knoxville leadership program for urban youth. She volunteered alongside the team at the Man Run, a 5K organized by the University of Tennessee Medical Center that raises proceeds to benefit prostate cancer research and educational programs. Cleveland also visited the Tennessee School for the Deaf. She will be working with the Peace Corps in Africa after graduation in May. Cleveland was a member of the 2015-16 VOLeaders Academy, a leadership through sports training program. After a year of classes and training, the group traveled to work with youth and non-profit organizations in Rio de Janeiro before the Olympic Games. She is a 2017 CSCAA All-American and a 2017 CSCAA Scholar All-American. Cleveland was named to the 2016 and 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll and the 2015 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
Esther González Medina, Senior, Swimmer, Texas A&M
An active member of the Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), González Medina has served at Aggies CAN, Aggies READ and Aggies MOVE. She has also assisted with the Ronald McDonald House Charities by making families feel at home at local hospitals and delivering toiletries and snacks to patients and families in the maternity and paternity units. González Medina also worked at BUILD by painting shipping containers that were converted to medical units for developing countries. She and her teammates served at the Twin City Missions food bank, Relay for Life and the S.O.S. (Save Our Streets) Ministries. A two-time team captain, González Medina has been named to the SEC Honor Roll, the AD Honor Roll and the College Swim Coaches All-Academic team 2017 Dean’s Development Council Scholarship recipient. Passionate about physical therapy, González Medina has volunteered at the Beutel PT Clinic on campus and at St. Josephs Regional Hospital.
Luke Kaliszak, Senior, Sprinter, Alabama
Kaliszak led the Crimson Tide efforts in the community efforts during his senior season. He took part in the Crimson Tide’s Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts and worked with the local Special Olympics. Kaliszak also took part in the Crimson Tide’s annual Halloween Extravaganza efforts. He is a 2017 First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, a 2016 NCAA 200 medley relay champion and a 2017 NCAA 200 medley relay runner-up. Kaliszak is a three-time top-5 NCAA finisher in the 200 freestyle relay and a 10-time All-American. He is the Alabama record holder in the 100 butterfly and as part of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Kaliszak is ranked second all-time at Alabama in the 100 backstroke with a 44.91. He claimed a career-best fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke at the 2017 NCAA Championships and a career-best fifth-place finish in the 100 butterfly at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Grant Schenk, Senior, Auburn
Schenk is the 2017-18 Student Athlete Advisory Committee President. He has volunteered at the Bravehearts Center for Place and Purpose and served as the lead coordinator SAAC Campus Food Pantry Initiative, which set goals, created awareness and determined key items needed for donation. Schenk is also the lead coordinator of SAAC Annual Clothing Drive, which aided those affected by various national disasters in the U.S. and the lead coordinator of SAAC “It’s the Little Things” Outreach in which he delegated and organized information to team representatives to collect hotel toiletries from travel to benefit women’s shelters in the Opelika community and Salvation Army emergency relief packs. He is the lead coordinator of SAAC Monthly Service Project, which included creating an event for elementary school children to come and experience what a student-athlete’s life would be like. Schenk coordinated with the Auburn Dept. of Sports Physiology to create a presentation on healthy living and exercise. He also presented to students about the character traits, Auburn Creed, and moral values needed to be successful in the classroom and on the field of play. Schenk served as lead coordinator for SAAC Valentine’s Day Veteran Affairs Outreach in Tuskegee and the co-lead coordinator for SAAC Angel Tree. He volunteered at the city of Auburn Downtown Trick or Treat and at the Lee County Humane Society. Schenk is a member of the 2017 Mortar Board National Honor Society, Sphinx Chapter and was a part of the 2016 NCAA Leadership Forum. He was a USA Swimming Olympic Trials Qualifier in 2012 and 2016.
Ben Lawless, Senior, Freestyle, Florida
Lawless, an All-American, has recorded 30.5 hours of community service this year, while also being in competition. At Natural Gym Fitness, he informed children of the importance of healthy eating and working out. Lawless also demonstrated workout tips to the children of Gainesville. After being hit by Hurricane Irma in September, he helped clean up debris at Eastside High School in order to help them open quicker after the storm. Lawless worked the Human Foosball Tournament, which helped raise funds and awareness for a rare chromosome disorder. He volunteered with Trunk or Treat along with the rest of the Gator Swimming & Diving program, passing out candy on Halloween. Lawless gave a tour of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to kids in the Boys & Girls Club. At the Gator Swim Camp, he helped younger swimmers from all over the country with their skills and what it means to be a Gator.
Gunnar Bentz, Senior, Georgia
Bentz has been a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for three years, serving as Co-President this year, and has been involved and planned with multiple community groups. With the Clarke County Mentoring Program, he has encouraged good behavior and companionship with a middle school mentee. Bentz has worked with Special Olympics at UGA, involved in Prom and Homeruns for Home Town Rivals fund raisers. With the UGA HEROs (Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out), he has helped spread awareness and raise money for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Georgia. Bentz has volunteered with Learn, Play Excel, speaking to local students about the importance of education, perseverance and pursuing their dreams. He has worked with Relay for Life for cancer awareness; UGA Miracle for fund raisers for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; It’s On Us to raise awareness and fight against sexual assault on college campuses; and Safe Routes to School, which encourages walking and biking to school to promote healthy habits. Bentz holds school records in the 200 fly and the 200 IM and on the 400 and 800 free relays. A member of the U.S. National Team, he is the first UGA male swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Bentz has earned 15 All-America honors and 16 top-8 finishes at the SECs. He is a CSCAA Scholar All-American and has been named to the SEC and UGA honor rolls.
Isaac Jones, Senior, Distance, Kentucky
Pursuing a career as a teacher, Jones has spent numerous hours volunteering at multiple schools in the Lexington area, mentoring students and assisting teachers. He has volunteered with the Salvation Army, the Tri for Sight, the Iron Horse Half Marathon, the Ronald McDonald House and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Jones was named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and twice to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll. A 2017 team captain, he is a school record-holder in both the 500 and 1,650 freestyle races.
Thomas Smith, Junior, Backstroke, LSU
Smith collaborates with Banana Bread Books, a startup company that looks to give back to Baton Rouge through sales of banana bread. By selling bread, the bakery gives back through donations of school supplies and other things essential for elementary education. He also spends time reading to elementary students at University Terrace Elementary School. Smith currently serves as the VP of Student-Athlete Welfare on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has participated in the LSU Boozar, an event that allows underprivileged children to trick-or-treat on LSU’s campus.
Anthony Ashley, Junior, Backstroke/IM, Missouri
A constant presence in the Columbia community, Ashley has spent numerous hours volunteering with The Food Back for Central & Northeast Missouri. With The Food Bank, he helped sort and package food for area residents in need, including school-aged children, veterans and seniors. Ashley, a team captain, has participated in Swim Across America the past two years.
Bryce Kananowicz, Senior, Freestyle/Backstroke/IM, South Carolina
Kananowicz has recorded nearly 340 community service hours for several groups throughout his collegiate career, including: Blue Ridge Hospice; Crescent Moon Hospice; Relay for Life; Lakeshake; Pawmetto Lifeline; Gamecock Swim Camp and CRISIS Hotline. He has also worked with Pawmetto Lifeline, a not-for-profit animal rescue organization solving pet overpopulation in the Midlands through adoption, medical, rescue collaboration and education efforts. Kananowicz is a two-time member of the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
Ty Powers, Junior, Breaststroke/Freestyle, Tennessee
Powers has participated in the ABC (Anti-Bullying Campaign) at Coulter Grove Intermediate. He has volunteered alongside the team at the Man Run, a 5K organized by the University of Tennessee Medical Center that raises proceeds to benefit prostate cancer research and educational programs. Powers visited the Tennessee School for the Deaf and helped with a community holiday meal helping those less fortunate in the Knoxville community. He also participated in Voloween, a Halloween event for children of staff and faculty on the Tennessee campus. Powers was named to the 2016 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Duncan Mulleady, Senior, Swimmer, Texas A&M
A two-time SEC Community Service Team honoree, Mulleady serves as the Selfless Service Chair of the Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has served in a variety of ways in Bryan-College Station communities, including the Big Event, Aggies READ and Aggies CAN. Mulleady assisted with the Sexual Assault Research Center at multiple athletic events. He and his teammates helped feed the less fortunate at the Twin City Mission soup kitchen, and they volunteered at the Special Olympics on campus. Mulleady has gone to multiple local elementary schools to encourage young people to read. He is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and has been named to the Texas A&M AD Honor Roll seven consecutive semesters.
Press release courtesy of the SEC.