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UF Track & Field and Women’s Golf: Chantz Sawyers and Lauren Waidner Tabbed as Nominees for SEC Brad Davis Community Service Leaders Award

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY MORGAN PERRY

The duo will receive $5,000 post-graduate scholarships for their outstanding community service achievements

Track and Field athlete Chantz Sawyers and women’s golfer Lauren Waidner have been named the UF nominees for the Southeastern Conference Community Service Leaders of the Year, the league announced Thursday. This annual award recognizes the outstanding community service achievements of one male and one female student-athlete at each of the league’s member institutions.

As Florida’s nominees, Sawyers and Waidner will receive $5,000 post-graduate scholarships to be used within five academic years of receipt of the award.

Sawyers has served more than 18 hours of community service, including stints with several elementary schools where he mentors kids about the importance of maintaining good grades and making healthy decisions. Additionally, Sawyers volunteered during the Climb for Cancer Brandon Ling Memorial Sports Camp, UF’s annual sports camp for kids battling cancer. He served as a group leader during the camp, mentoring kids and helping modify games and activities to ensure safety while providing a fun experience.

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As a member of the Florida track and field team, the seven-time USTFCCCA first team All-American ran third leg on UF’s school-record and third-fastest 4×400 relay team in indoor track and field history, which clocked a time of 3:01.43. Outdoors, he served as second leg for school-record and fourth-fastest outdoor 4×400 relay squad in collegiate history, with a time of 2:59.60.

Waidner contributed over 230 hours of community service, with 100 hours dedicated to the UF Health Streetlight program where she volunteered weekly with chronically- and critically-ill adolescents. Another 80 hours were clocked conducting research to gather data on the community impact within the UF HealthStreet COVID-19 program. Waidner also participated in Shands Hospital visits, Alachua County Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics Basketball, Gator Tracks, and Climb for Cancer Sports Camps.

There is no shortage of collegiate accolades to accompany her service. Waidner acted as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee women’s golf representative and was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2018, 2019, and 2020. She was named to the Dean’s List four times throughout her UF career and was tabbed a Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar in 2019. Waidner was the women’s golf team selection for the 2019 Florida Way Award and was tabbed a member of the 2019 and 2020 SEC Community Service Team by the league’s coaches. At the 2020 East Lake Cup, Waidner was announced as the Tom Cousins Award Recipient.

This is the 26th year that the SEC Brad Davis Leaders of the Year award has existed. A Florida student-athlete has claimed the overall award five times.

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