CSU Hosts Tennis Legend, Recognizes Female Athletes at Annual Event

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Today Columbus State University Athletics hosted its fourth annual Girls in the Game luncheon. Attended by more than 400 CSU supporters, the keynote speaker of this year's event was tennis hall of famer and two-time U.S. Open Champion, Tracy Austin.

The luncheon recognized CSU's female athletes and the role athletics has played in their lives. Eight exceptional women - one selected from each of CSU's female sports teams - were honored as part of the event's first ever scholarship program. The Girls in the Game Scholarship Award recognizes athletes for distinguishing themselves in the areas of leadership, service, and scholarship.

"Girls in the Game has become a marquee CSU Athletic event showcasing the commitment and success of our outstanding female student-athletes," said Todd Reeser, Director of Athletics. "During their CSU experience, athletes truly define scholarship, service, and leadership, which are key elements we hope to instill through their participation on Cougar teams. On behalf of our outstanding Girls in the Game committee, we thank Tracy Austin for her message on values of the athletic experience and the importance of investing in female athletics."

CSU softball player Madisyn Brown was selected as the inaugural Girls in The Game Scholar-Athlete. Brown, a freshman from Locust Grove, Ga., was nominated by her coach, Brad Huskisson. As the winner, she received a $2,500 scholarship

Receiving $500 scholarships, runners up for the award were Jordan Booker, from CSU's women's golf team, and Eva Salazar Torres, a runner on CSU's cross country, track, and field team. Other honorees were Riley Clark, Jastonie Hill, Naomi Holloway, Beatriz Lopez, and Shayna Otinger.

Prior to and following the luncheon, keynote speaker Tracy Austin offered tennis clinics to the community. An adult clinic was held in the morning at Green Island Country Club, and a free youth clinic sponsored by the Columbus Regional Tennis Association (CORTA) was held in the afternoon. CSU's nationally ranked men's and women's tennis teams assisted with the afternoon youth clinic.

Launched in 2015, the Girls in the Game Advance Initiative Luncheon brings together those who are passionate about supporting sports programs for girls. The mission is to advance and provide support to CSU female student-athletes, so they may reach their full potential academically and athletically, while empowering them to become leaders in life. Past speakers at the event included Brandi Chastain, FIFA Women World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, as well as Annika Sörenstam, World Golf Hall of Famer and LPGA legend.

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