LAKE POINT, Ga. – The ASUN Conference recently announced its spring Winners for Life and Jacksonville University Athletics had three recently graduated student-athletes named to the team – men's soccer alum Sebastian Ramirez in the fall, women's basketball alum Kayla Gordon in the winter, and women's lacrosse alum Ashtyn Hiron in the spring.
The Winners for Life team honors a campus citizen that is respected as one who shares and/or demonstrates the ASUN Core Values: Education, Honesty, Student-Athlete Experience, Fairness, Health, Ambition, Respect, Diversity, Inclusion, Leadership, Responsibility, and Sportsmanship. To be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must have competed in the current academic year in an ASUN sponsored sport and be in good academic standing at his/her university.
Ramirez, who graduated with his degree in finance, played an intricate role in the team's success in recording over 1,000 community service hours. He also was very involved on campus with SAAC and helped fundraise over $3,500 the past two years for cancer research. The Cali, Columbia native has been a consistent presence on the President's and Dean's List during his time at JU. On the field, he made 14 starts and 17 total appearances this past season, scoring a game-winning goal against Stetson.
Gordon is one of the most decorated student-athletes to ever play in Jacksonville's women's basketball program. Prior to graduating with her degree in kinesiology, Gordon became the first player in program history to record over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, achieving both milestones during the 2017-18 season. She was also a vital member on the team that gave the Dolphins their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth during the 2013-14 season. As a senior, the Meridian, Miss. native was honored as the ASUN Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference selection. Off the court, Gordon held the role of SAAC Treasurer at JU and has helped with the program's fundraising efforts to help local cancer patients.
A superstar on the field for the Dolphins' women's lacrosse program, Hiron's accomplishments stretch further than earning ASUN Player of the Year & Tournament MVP. As a senior, the Perth, Western Australia native led the Dolphins to a 16-4 record and made JU's fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Hiron recently earned admission into Syracuse University's prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to pursue her Masters in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Serving as a student journalist, Hiron earned a media pass for President Obama's democratic rally in Jacksonville and also stepped in as an ESPN3 Analyst for sideline reporting and halftime interviews.
2017 ASUN Fall Winners for Life Team
Ashley Parks – Florida Gulf Coast
Sebastian Ramirez – Jacksonville
Kristi Piedimonte – Kennesaw State
Kate Mason – Lipscomb
Karen David – NJIT
Mackenzie Meisler – North Florida
Sarah Collins – Stetson
Kaleigh Kelley – USC Upstate
2017-18 ASUN Winter Winners for Life Team
Taylor Gradinjan – Florida Gulf Coast
Kayla Gordon – Jacksonville
Nick Masterson – Kennesaw State
Ryan Speer – Lipscomb
Kelly Guarino – NJIT
Tesh Hanson – North Florida
Abayomi Iyiola – Stetson
Riley Popplewell – USC Upstate
2018 ASUN Spring Winners for Life Team
Mario Leon – Florida Gulf Coast
Ashtyn Hiron – Jacksonville
Aliyah Whisby – Kennesaw State
Lee Soloman – Lipscomb
Jesse Uttendorfer – NJIT
Fynn Timm – North Florida
Brooks Wilson – Stetson
Brittany Case – USC Upstate