Bates, Coleman earn 2018-19 XULA Medals of Honor

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NEW ORLEANS — Mikayla Bates of women’s basketball and Keairez Coleman of men’s track and field were Xavier University of Louisiana’s 2018-19 Medal of Honor recipients Wednesday evening during Athletic Honors Night, a department ceremony which honored all nine XULA teams.

The Medal of Honor was presented to the senior female and male student-athlete who best define the qualities of scholarship, athletics, leadership and service.

Bates, from Baton Rouge, La., and a graduate of University Lab School, was voted to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference All-Defensive team each of the past two seasons. An accounting major, Allen is a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, a three-year member of the GCAC Honor Roll and a four-year member of XULA’s Sister Grace Mary Flickinger Honor Roll. Bates was XULA’s Female Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017-18.
During the summer of 2017, Bates was selected one of Northwestern Mutual’s top 10 interns nationwide.

Coleman, a biology major from Harrisville, Miss., and a graduate of Mendenhall High School, scored points for the Gold Rush in three events during four years of competition at the GCAC Outdoor Championships, including a triple jump title in 2017 and a runner-up finish in 2016. He was All-GCAC three consecutive years. Coleman is a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr.

Sports Scholar and a three-time Flickinger Honor Roll member. This past summer was a McNair Scholar in the University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology/Physical Therapy.

The other eight awards were evenly divided by four teams. Women’s tennis, women’s track and field, men’s basketball and men’s tennis received two honors apiece.

The additional recipients were:

•  Male Athlete of the Year:  Santiago Perez, tennis (Pereira, Colombia) . . . Finalists were Shane Buchanan, track and field (Kingston, Jamaica/Kingston College) and William Loyd, basketball (Baton Rouge, La./Madison Preparatory Academy).
•  Female Athlete of the Year:  Charlene Goreau, tennis (Toulouse, France/Raymond Naves School) . . . Finalists were Kayla Black, volleyball (Spring, Texas/St. Pius X High School) and Shalysa Wray, track and field (Waterford Portmore, Jamaica/St. Jago School).
•  Male Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Gabriel Niculescu, tennis (Bucharest, Romania/A.D. Xenopol School) . . . Coleman was a finalist.
•  Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Janelle Jones, track and field (Baton Rouge/Episcopal High School) . . . Finalists were Bates and Brianna Pace, track and field/cross country (Junction City, Kan./Junction City High School).
•  Male Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Khalil McCoy, basketball (Suwanee, Ga./Newnan High School) . . . . Finalists were Donovan Armstrong, basketball (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock High School) and Samir Chikhaoui, tennis (Lille, France/St. Remi School).
•  Female Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Yi Chen Pao, tennis (Taichung City, Taiwan/National Shan-Hua School) . . . Finalists were Adili Rikondja, volleyball (Inglewood, Calif./Culver City High School) and Maya Trench, basketball (Edgard, La./West St. John High School).
•  Male Newcomer of the Year:  Loyd . . . Finalists were Buchanan and Perez.
•  Female Newcomer of the Year:  Wray . . . Finalists were Angelica De Vincenzis, tennis (Montebelluna, Italy/Primo Levi School) and Beatrice Formilan, volleyball (Santorso, Italy/Liceo Scientifico Tron).

The event began with a half-hour social with food on the concourse of the Convocation Center. That was followed by awards on the floor level of the facility, where XULA President Dr. Reynold Verret and Horn addressed the student-athletes and guests.

“Xavier is proud of our student-athletes and how well they balance the demands of academics and athletics,” Horn said. “This was another great night to celebrate our department’s accomplishments. We were blessed to have many championships and accomplishments during the year.”

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