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April 28, 2011

2011 Season - Somers recipient of Merle Chapman award

Augustana senior Matt Somers was selected as one of two winners of the Merle Chapman Leadership Award in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the 2010-11 school year. Somers was presented the award at the CCIW's year-end Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) luncheon in Naperville, Illinois.

Augustana senior Matt Somers (Naperville Central, Naperville, Ill.) was selected as one of two winners of the Merle Chapman Leadership Award in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the 2010-11 school year. Senior Amy Walsh (Gary Grove, Cary, Ill.) was the other recipient of the honor for the Vikings. Somers and Walsh were presented the award at the CCIW's year-end Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) luncheon in Naperville, Illinois.

The Merle Chapman Leadership Award, which began during the 2002-03 academic year, is named after the longtime football coach/director of athletics at Millikin University who served as the second commissioner of the CCIW. Chapman was the CCIW commissioner from 1997 through 2002. The award identifies the student-athletes from the eight member institutions who best exemplify the traits that Chapman displayed and encouraged during his three-plus decades of service as teacher, coach and mentor.

His influence among athletes, coaches and administrators in the CCIW is still being felt to this day. Those traits include loyalty, enthusiasm, and commitment to academic, athletic and personal excellence, leadership and sportsmanship.

Somers has been a four year member of the Vikings' track & field team where he competes in the sprint events. As a freshman, he was a member of the NCAA qualifying and CCIW champion 1600 meter relay team for both the indoor and outdoor season. The outdoor 1600 relay team went on to place sixth at the NCAA Division III national meet. Individually, Somers finished fifth in 400 at both the indoor and outdoor conference meet. For his contributions during that season, Somers was named co-most valuable freshman. As a sophomore he was a member of the distance medley relay team that took second at the indoor conference meet and he individually placed fifth in the 400. As a junior, he placed seventh in 400 at the conference indoor meet and was a member of the 1600 meter relay team that placed fourth.

Somers has been very active in the S.A.A.C. organization. He is currently the president of the Augustana chapter of the organization. He also participates in Athletes-Giving-Back (A.G.B.). He is a four year letter winner Augustana's legendary track program. A business administration and marketing major, Matt is the son of Mike and Nancy Somers of Naperville, Illinois.

Walsh has been a four year member of the Vikings' track & field team where she competes in the hurdle events. She has served as team captain for both the indoor and outdoor teams as senior. In the recently completed indoor campaign she was named the winner of the Erica Vortman Viking award for spirit and leadership. As a junior she won the co-MVP award during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and placed second in the CCIW outdoor meet in 400 hurdles. She was also the recipient of the Jack Swartz award during the winter of her junior year.

She has been very active in the S.A.A.C. organization and also in Athletes-Giving-Back (A.G.B.). She is a four year letter winner and the daughter of Ray and Kathy Walsh of Cary, Illinois. Walsh will graduate in May with degrees in biology and psychology.