Photo Courtesy: SAU Athletics (Mike Jones)
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (SAU) - After more than three weeks of voting that began with each Great American Conference institution voting for it's top athletic moment of 2012-13, and wrapped up with 11 winners facing off for the league's overall top moment, Southern Arkansas' Mickey Hammer and his individual win the GAC Men's Cross Country Championships emerged as the winner of the GAC Facebook Fan Moment of the Year vote, collecting 29 percent of the vote.
Hammer and the Muleriders kept the moment in the lead over the final six days of the balloting. Close to 1,000 votes came into the conference's Facebook page over the course of the project. Ouachita Baptist's moment - The Tigers' men's basketball capturing the GAC Tournament crown by beating the top two seeds, Harding and Arkansas Tech, en route to the title - finished in second. Harding's moment - Rhodes Field House winning the "Best Road Trip Destination in College Basketball" contest - placed third.
Leading up his win at GAC Championships, Hammer won three GAC Runner of the Week awards in 2012. He owned the fasted 8K time in the league throughout the regular season. He garnered the GAC Runner of the Year award and All-Region honors. In two years in the GAC, he picked up seven Runner of the Week awards. He graduated SAU as the record holder for the 8K and the 10K. Off the course, Hammer received the 2013 GAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He also won the 2013 Auburn Smith Award - the most prestigious award available to student-athletes at Southern Arkansas.
He graduated Cum Laude with a degree in exercise science. During his time at SAU, he earned a spot on the Dean's List four times. He became the recipient of the distinguished Outstanding Student Award for the College of Education. Hammer received a nomination for Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
He has offered his time to the Marshall Physical Therapy Clinic and assisted with in-patient and out-patient therapy. Active in the community, Hammer also participated in the Ace Project that worked on reconstructing different areas on SAU's campus. He earned an Exercise Science internship at the Spectrum Sports Performance in Winter Park, Fla.