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Alexandra Polivanchuk, Tony Tatum named January Bison of the Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University Athletics Department recently announced the two recipients for the Bison of the Month award presented by Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) for January. Men’s basketball senior Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) and women's swimming freshman Alexandra Polivanchuk (Orebro, Sweden) were this month’s selections for their outstanding performance as Bison student-athletes.

The Bison squad as a whole picked up their game once the New Year rolled in, but it was Tatum’s consistent and tireless performances throughout the month that led the men’s basketball team to a 5-3 record and brought their season mark even at 9-9 and a South Division second place standing in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). The senior guard was one of four Bison players to average double figures in scoring as he tallied 12.0 points per game off a hot-handed 52.9 percent shooting from the field, and led the team in assists (30), steals (14) and rebounds (63). It was the degree of his outstanding performances during the toughest stretch of the month that solidified his status as Bison of the Month. Against three formidable NEAC foes, including North Division challenger Keuka College, Wells College and South Division leading Penn St.-Harrisburg, Tatum scorched the opponents for 40 points and 34 rebounds as he averaged 33 minutes per game. For his consistent performances during that stretch, the NEAC named Tatum the Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week on January 23.

“Tony had a great month leading us in rebounds, assists and steals,” said Gallaudet men’s basketball coach Jeb Barber. “He beat out other deserving athletes like Layton (Seeber) and Brandon (McMillan) who also had great months. We will need a great final month to lead us into the playoff push in his senior season.”

The New Year also brought a new face to campus, and Polivanchuk wasted no time in introducing herself to GU’s competition. In her first meet for the Bison on Jan. 21 against Hood College, Polivanchuk won three races and set a new school record in the process. The previous 100-yard IM record, set in 2008 by alumni great Carlisle Robinson, was bested by 1.06 seconds as Polivanchuk finished in a time of 1:04.69. The freshman swimmer also won the 100 butterfly (1:04.63) and the 100 backstroke (1:07.01). Two days later, Polivanchuk’s record setting and overall impressive performance earned her NEAC’s selection as the Women’s Swimming Student-Athlete of the Week for January 23. Not finished for the week, Polivanchuk traveled with her Bison teammates to Notre Dame (Md.) on Jan. 25 and won an additional four races. She swam the 1,000 freestyle to victory in 12:11.72, finishing 30 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. Polivanchuk also won the 200 butterfly (2:29.18), the 100 butterfly (1:01.69), and was a key member of the victorious 160 freestyle (1:33.22) team.

“Alexandra has been a wonderful addition to our squad this semester. She has literally injected fresh energy into both the women's and men's team,” said Gallaudet’s swimming coach Bill Snape. “She is a talented swimmer and a smart student. I expect great things from her this year at NEAC championships and into the future.”

This is the fifth Bison of the Month Award for the 2011-12 season. February's Bison of the Month will be released in March.

About GIS
GIS, a unit of the division of Administration and Finance at Gallaudet University was established to provide quality-sign language interpreting service to Gallaudet University and its constituencies. Last year, over 75,000 hours of interpreting services were provided to Gallaudet University and clients in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. The passage of the 1992 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) made equal access for all persons with disabilities the law. This law requires that "reasonable accommodation" be made to allow individuals with disabilities to participate and receive the same services and benefits available to those without disabilities. Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) can assist you with meeting the requirements of the ADA by providing quality, reliable interpreting service for your events. For more information or to contact GIS please visit its website at www.gallaudet.edu/gis.

2011-12 GU Bison of the Month award winners