Senior Jasmine Trier plays with the children at the House of Tiny Treasures last month.
Jan. 4, 2011
HOUSTON - Senior track and cross country runner Jasmine Trier was selected to represent the University of Houston as one of 12 student-athletes that received the Conference USA Fall Spirit of Service award.
C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced a winner from every member institution, and it was Trier who stood out for the Cougars.
"I was really surprised," Trier said. "I didn't even know there was an award for this. It's amazing. I feel really honored to be recognized by the entire conference."
The C-USA Spirit of Service Award is designed to recognize the community service efforts of the league's student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport. The Spirit of Service award will be presented three times throughout the season, the fall honorees represent the league's fall sports: football, soccer, volleyball and cross country.
Trier began volunteering at the Texas Children's Hospital more than a year ago after finding a volunteer position she felt passionately about. When not training for cross country or indoor and outdoor track, Trier finds time once a week to help with Radio Lollipop, a radio show played throughout the hospital to entertain the patients. From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Trier would come in and help with the broadcast and visit the patients.
"You don't do good things to get noticed," Trier said. "But often times when we do good things it gets noticed. It's really rewarding for us to see that what we contribute really does help. We all have to hear plenty of bad stuff, so this is an honor to be recognized this way."
When head cross country coach Ryan Turner allowed his team to make its own decision about its community service project this fall, Trier knew she wanted to take her team to visit the little ones she spends so much time with. Due to TCH's inability to handle large groups of visitors at once, Trier divided up her team and scheduled different sessions for her teammates to make trips to TCH. She decided on a fun project patients in every age range could help with. She and her teammates helped the youngsters create Cougar masks not quite a week prior to Halloween.
The Track and Field program has one of the most active community service programs at UH, but Trier took the initiative to take her service and the service of her teammates to a new level this year. In fact, just before leaving for her holiday vacation, Trier volunteered to help distribute toys and play with the children at The House of Tiny Treasures.
"I love it," Trier said. "That's why I'm in school to do what I do. This is my passion."
Trier competed for Houston in all seven races this season. She opened her senior campaign on a hot streak, posting three-consecutive top-35 finishes. In the Cougars' longest race of the season at the LSU Tiger Cross Country Festival (8K), Trier posted a 34th-place finish with a time of 23:00.41 to help Houston take second. She shined in the Conference USA Championships, posting her season-best 5K time (19.28). Her performance in the NCAA South Central Regional Championship helped the Cougars to the fourth-highest finish in program history since the formation of the south central region.
"This is a very humbling experience for Jasmine," Turner said. "It's not in her character to do anything for her personal satisfaction; she is always giving to others. This award is a symbol of her compassion and the values that her parents have instilled within her. We are very lucky and proud to have her in our program at the University of Houston."
Conference-USA Spirit of Service Award Winners
Rachel Fuller, East Carolina, Women's Soccer
Jasmine Trier, Houston, Women's Cross Country
Jordan Hilgefort, Marshall, Men's Soccer
Dominik Riley, Memphis, Football
Cheta Ozougwu, Rice, Football
Joe Cooper, SMU, Men's Soccer
Austin Davis, Southern Miss, Football
Julia Whitrock, Tulane, Women's Cross Country
Brandi Neilson, Tulsa, Women's Soccer
Tucker Stone, UAB, Men's Soccer
Kristin Fisher, UCF, Volleyball
Jonny Moore, UTEP, Football