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Friedel, Gates Named Top Senior Athletes

Brandon Friedel and Taylor Gates were named the most outstanding senior student-athletes at Arkansas Tech University for the 2009-10 academic year on Monday night at the Senior Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet at the Chambers Cafeteria East Dining Hall.

Friedel, a member of the men's basketball team, earned the most outstanding senior male student-athlete award.

Gates, a member of the softball team, took home the award for most outstanding senior female student-athlete.

Tech coaches nominate student-athletes for the awards, and the Arkansas Tech Faculty Athletic Committee selects the winners based on the nominees' academic record, community service, leadership and athletic accomplishments.

Friedel was a four-year letterman for the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys basketball program from 2006-10. He is one of just 30 Tech men’s basketball players to ever accumulate 1,000 or more career points, and his 233 career 3-pointers rank fifth in school history. A native of Victoria, Texas, Friedel was named All-America, All-NCAA Division II South Region and All-Gulf South Conference in 2009-10. He was selected as GSC West Division player of the year, and he earned GSC All-Academic team membership for a third consecutive year. His play during his senior season helped the Wonder Boys finish 30-2 overall, win the GSC West Division and GSC Tournament titles and achieve the No. 1 national ranking in NCAA Division II men’s basketball for seven weeks.

Tech won a total of 77 games during Friedel's career. The Wonder Boys also won the GSC Tournament in 2009, and Friedel was part of the first two NCAA Tournament teams (2009 and 2010) in Tech men's basketball history.

Friedel is also a member of the Health, Physical Education and Wellness Science (HPEWS) Club, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Dean’s List. Son of Jill and Tom Friedel of Victoria, Texas, Friedel is majoring in health and physical education.

Gates is a four-year letter winner for the Arkansas Tech softball team. She helped the Golden Suns win back-to-back GSC West Division championships in 2008 and 2009. Arkansas Tech won a total of 117 games during Gates' four years with the program.

A native of Paris, Texas, Gates appeared in 188 games and started 176 for the Golden Suns. She had 94 career hits, eight career home runs, 53 career runs batted in and 53 career runs scored.

A former secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Gates has also been active in the Chamber Choir, the Spanish Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She earned the B.J. Burton Memorial Scholarship, a Paris (Texas) Education Foundation Scholarship, an academic scholarship, a choir scholarship and a softball scholarship at Arkansas Tech.

Gates earned a spot on the Arkansas Tech Dean's List in multiple semesters. She has also qualified for the GSC Academic Honor Roll in each of her four seasons at Tech and she was a member of the 2009 GSC All-Academic team. Gates is majoring in vocal music education and Spanish. Her parents are Tonya and Tim Gates.

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