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24 Wildcats to be Inducted into Frank G. Ham Society of Character

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics will induct 24 student-athletes into the 2021 class of the Frank G. Ham Society of Character.
 
The Society of Character annually honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named for Ham, a longtime UK administrator. 
 
The following is an alphabetized list of this year’s induction class and highlights of their accomplishments. 
 
Renee Abernathy, Softball

  • SEC First-Year Honor Roll member in 2019
  • Was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2020
  • Is one of UK’s leading hitters in the 2021 season so far, including launching her first-career HR.
  • Tabbed her first-career hit in a top-15 match-up against #7 Minnesota at last year’s NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Clearwater, Fla.
  • Has started every game for Kentucky in 2021
  • Major is Human Health Services and has done extensive preparation for a career as a physician

Grace Baalman, Softball

  • 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Honor Roll
  • SEC Freshman of the Week (3/20/18)
  • In her first-career start, threw a complete-game shutout at San Diego State, becoming the first player to do so since 2013 at Kentucky.
  • Has pitched in three NCAA Super Regionals and three NCAA Regionals
  • Budding artist with a major in Art Studio

Rachel Boice, Cross Country/Track and Field

  • Versatile contributor to the cross country and track teams, competing in the 800-meter run, 1500m, mile run, 2000m steeplechase and 3000m steeplechase along with the cross country events
  • Second place in the 2000m steeplechase at the UTSA Invitational and third in the 3000 steeplechase at the UK Invitational as a freshman
  • Top-five finisher in the mile at two meets
  • Biology major with a goal of becoming a pediatrician
  • Earned her way on the 2019 and ’20 SEC Fall Sports Academic Honor Rolls, the 2020 Spring Sports Honor Roll, and the 2018-19 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll
  • Has participated in a wide range of community service

 
Bailey Bonnett, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier
  • 2018, 2019, 2020 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team
  • 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year
  • Two-time All-SEC Second Team and seven-time SEC Championship bronze medalist
  • Eight-time All-America
  • Member of the 2021 SEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship team
  • Owns the school record in the 400-meter individual medley and contributed to the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard medley relay school records
  • Early Education major who plans to become a teacher

 
Alex Degen, Baseball

  • Named to the 2020 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team
  • Has completed well over 100 hours of community service at Kentucky
  • Deeply involved with the Ronald McDonald House, where he has served dinner, cleaned residents’ rooms, washed dishes and more. The social work major also has served at a local elementary school as a mentor for children with difficult home situations and who were showing signs of falling behind in school, as well as with God’s Pantry
  • Excelled on the diamond in the shortened 2020 season, posting a 2.51 earned run average with a save in five appearances. He struck out 19 batters and walked just four in 14.1 innings as one of the Wildcats’ most effective arms out of the bullpen
  • Social work major with a goal of working with children

Lauren Denham, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2021 SEC Community Service Team selection
  • 2020 Team Spirit award recipient at the team banquet
  • 2018, 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • Contributed more than 212 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving more than 200 hours mentoring a child at Amachi Central Kentucky
  • Set two personal records this season in the 1,000 freestyle (10:06.79, Jan. 23, 2021) and the 1,650 freestyle (16:49.21, Nov. 21, 2020)

 
Sarah Fite, Women’s Golf 

  • Working on a degree in Kinesiology and plans to pursue a career in strength and conditioning
  • Made the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll in 2020
  • Appeared on the Dean’s List three times
  • Two-year member of UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including serving as historian in 2020-21
  • Active member in the community, including volunteering with the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, God’s Pantry and Christmas with Santa
  • Appeared in 14 career events in four-year career, including two top-10 finishes and two top-20 showings

 
Blair Green, Women’s Basketball

  • Two-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll who has been a model student-athlete on and off the court for the Wildcats
  • A Kentucky native that has been incredibly active in community service since arriving on campus, volunteering regularly at the UK Children’s Hospital, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Lighthouse Ministries and many more
  • Coaches rave about her being the ultimate teammate, who is always willing to lend a helping hand or do whatever is asked of her for the team to be successful
  • Is having her best season yet as a Kentucky Wildcat, averaging 5.9 points per game with 1.1 assists per game and hitting over 33 percent from long range
  • Had a career-game against Vanderbilt this season, scoring a team-best 22 points with five rebounds and hit a career-best four 3-pointers.
  • Followed that performance with another team-high 18 points against Auburn with two 3-pointers and three rebounds.
  • Was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2019 after a rookie season averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

 
Hayley Griesser, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2020 Bob Bradley Scholarship Award recipient at the team banquet
  • 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • Earned personal records each season in the 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley
  • Contributed more than 314 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving more than 280 hours mentoring a child at Amachi Central Kentucky
  • Has a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a passion for a future career in speech pathology

Cam Hill, Baseball

  • Three-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll
  • The “Junior of the Year” by the Community and Leadership Development faculty
  • Plans a career in law enforcement
  • Has devoted extensive time to community service with initiatives such as God’s Pantry, the Miracle League, Ronald McDonald House, the Jessie Rees Foundation/NEGU, Full Circle Supports and Jessamine Youth Sports (Nicholasville, Ky.).
  • Despite injuries that prematurely ended both the 2018 and 2020 seasons, Hill has shown tremendous leadership by remaining engaged with his teammates and coaches throughout practices and games as he worked his way through rehabilitation

Jaclyn Hill, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2021 SEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Champions
  • 2020 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team
  • 2020 All-America
  • 2020 NCAA Championships qualifier
  • 2019, 2019 CSCAA Scholar All-America Honorable Mention
  • 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • Kinesiology major with a goal of becoming a physical therapist

 
Cara Hudson, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2020 All-America
  • 2020 Bob Bradley Scholarship Award recipient at the team banquet
  • 2020 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team
  • 2020 NCAA Zone C Diving Championships qualifier
  • 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2019 First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • Contributed more than 150 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving at the East Maxwell Church and Sayre Christian Village

 
Olivia Huffman, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2020 Five-Minute Fast Track Research Competition finalist
  • 2020 Bob Bradley Scholarship Award recipient at the team banquet
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2019 Midwestern Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium presenter
  • 2017-20 Bluegrass Spirit Scholarship recipient
  • Member of Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Member of the 2021 SEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship team
  • Contributed more than 160 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving at Amachi Central Kentucky, Lexington Humane Society, etc.

 
Lauren Johnson, Softball

  • Member of the 2018 SEC First-Year Honor Roll and 2019, 2020 SEC Academic Honor Rolls
  • Was UK’s leading hitter at the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, batting .600 on the weekend with five runs scored, six hits, three doubles two RBI and a pair of walks
  • A true postseason player, as she was Kentucky’s leading hitter in the Lexington Regional with a .500 average, 5 hits, 2 runs scored, 4 RBI, a double and a triple
  • Can play any position on the diamond defensively, as she is making the move to second base in 2021 and is batting .517 so far this season
  • Major is Integrated Strategic Communications

Shawn Lawson, Football

  • Two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll
  • University of Kentucky Honors Society
  • Sociology major with aspirations of becoming an astronomer and a business owner
  • Very active in community service, volunteering to pack food at food pantries, donating personal food to UK Food Pantry and clothes to the UK Closet and volunteering as a peer advocate, reaching out to students to check on their mental health
  • Three-year member of the football team

 
Payton Neff, Women’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2020 Bob Bradley Scholarship Award recipient at the team banquet
  • 2019 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team
  • 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • Member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi
  • Contributed more than 135 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving at Amachi Central Kentucky, Best Buddies and Hope Center
  • Psychology major is headed for occupational therapy school

 
Mallory Peyton, Softball

  • Human Health Sciences major has been accepted into Optometry School
  • Has extensive experience working with and shadowing in the field of vision care
  • After optometry graduation, plans to special in orthokeratology
  • Led the SEC in home runs in 2020 with 11 long balls in the first 24 games of the season before COVID ended the year prematurely.
  • SEC Freshman of the Week (5/7/18)
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Honor Roll, and 2019, 2020 SEC Spring Honor Roll member
  • Entered the season with 31 career home runs, ranking her inside the top 10 all-time at Kentucky.

Peyton Rimko, Women’s Soccer

  • 2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • Started eight games during the 2020 fall season, without missing a minute of action in those eight games for 786 minutes on the defensive line
  • Contributed more than 25 hours of community service during her time at Kentucky, serving at the Lexington Hope Center, Lexington Nursing Home, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Senior Citizen Pen Pal
  • Management major plans to earn her law degree and master’s in business administration

Cameron Scheitzach, Volleyball

  • Recognized as one of the team leaders
  • Overcame a broken finger in 2019 to play a big role in the 2020-21 season
  • Member of the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2018
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2019-20
  • Community service includes the Hope Center, Habitat for Humanity, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Special Olympics
  • Kinesiology major, plans to obtain a Masters of Public Health and eventually become a Physician’s Assistant

 
Hank Siefert, Men’s Swimming & Diving

  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier
  • 2021 SEC Community Service Team selection
  • 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • 2018 CSCAA Scholar All-American First Team
  • Owns the school record in the 200-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle
  • Owns the second-best time in school history in the 500 freestyle, the fifth-best time in school history in the 1,650 freestyle and the seventh-best time in school history in the 1,000 freestyle

 
Hailee Sigmon, Rifle

  • A decorated performer who has had an amazing career with the Wildcats, earning numerous All-America honors.
  • Was a part of the 2019-20 team that was arguable one of the greatest collegiate rifle teams ever, going undefeated during the season, winning the GARC regular-season and tournament championships, and earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Rifle Championships, that were postponed due to the pandemic
  • As a junior last season, she was a second-team Collegiate All-American in both smallbore and air rifle and earned her career-best mark in air rifle during the NCAA Qualifier
  • As a sophomore in 2018-19, she scored 590 or high in air rifle an impressive seven times and was an All-American in smallbore and All-GARC Second Team in smallbore
  • Made her mark on campus as a freshman, competing in 14 matches and earning honorable mention All-GARC in air rifle.
  • Has been very active in the Lexington community since arriving on campus, helping with God’s Pantry Food Bank and other volunteer organizations.

 Alli Stumler, Volleyball

  • 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year
  • 2018, 2019 and 2020 All-SEC
  • 2019 AVCA Second Team All-America
  • AVCA National Player of the Week (10/1/19)
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Honor Roll, 2019 and 2020 SEC Fall Honor Roll
  • Has done community service with several organizations
  • Elementary Education major

Rikke Svejgård Nielsen, Women’s Golf 

  • Pursuing a degree in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology and plans to attend Medical School
  • Aspires to be a doctor with interests in brain or heart surgery and chiropractic medicine
  • Currently boasts a 3.711 grade-point average with English as a second language
  • Made the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll in 2020 and was a member of the 2018-19 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • Five-time Dean’s List selection
  • Active member in the community, including volunteering with the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, God’s Pantry, Christmas with Santa and coaching young golfers with Kenneth Hansen Golf
  • Appeared in 21 career events in three-year collegiate career, including three top-10 finishes, seven top-20 showings and an individual championship in the fall of 2018
  • Member of the Danish national team since 2015

 
Lauren Tharp, Volleyball

  • Career-high 18 digs in UK’s match vs. Indiana on Sept. 14, 2019 in Memorial Coliseum
  • 2018 SEC First-Year Honor Roll member
  • Made 17 starts and appeared in 30 matches as a freshman for the 2018 SEC championship winning team
  • Has played in every match the last two seasons for Kentucky as a defensive specialist
  • Averaging 1.88 digs/set this season
  • Has community service with several organizations
  • Goal is to become a special education teacher

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