Albritton named Miss 12 Hours of Sebring
By Barry Foster, News-Sun correspondent
SEBRING – The 61st running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring will have a new race queen, but as many of her predecessors, this year’s Miss 12 Hours of Sebring is no stranger to the race.
“I have been coming to the Race every year for the last 21 years,” said Ricki Albritton from her cell phone on campus at the University of Florida.
In short, that means she has been at the races each year since she was born. Her father and mother, Scott and Diana Albritton, generally view the action from a motor home parked along the front straightaway at the Sebring International Raceway.
Albritton will receive the tiara and scepter from longtime friend and last year’s queen, Hannah Shoop. When asked if Shoop had given her any advice, Albritton’s answer was simple and direct.
“She told me I’m going to meet a lot of people and have a lot of opportunities to represent the track. She said it will be a lot of fun,” Albritton said. “I told her ‘I’m ready.’ ”
Because she is a Race fan, the Sebring native said she also has followed the sport. On track, it has been Audi that captured her heart as her favorite competitor.
“It is so exciting that they are going to be here with two of their new cars,” she said.
Audi has been successful in 10 of the last 12 years at the endurance classic and will bring a pair of their e-Quatro machines for the last appearance of Le Mans Prototype cars in competition here.
Last year Albritton worked with Fast Lane Promotions, which manages the activites for the raceway’s “Grid Girls.” That gave her the opportunity to meet driver, team owner and actor Patrick Dempsey.
“That was really cool,” she said. “I met him in one of the suites and had my picture taken with him.”
Also like many of her predecessors, Albritton said serving as an ambassador as the Race Queen has been a lifetime ambition.
A local girl, Ricki Albritton is no stranger to local radio listeners – under the name Ricki V, she ran the popular Friday Night Party program on 99.1 FM WWOJ playing requests and doing dedications.
“I still consider that the highlight of my career,” she said.
Albritton was a “most valuable player” and captain of the volleyball team during her years at then-South Florida Community College. Since that time she has moved on to UF where her career in broadcasting has taken off, working both the campus television station WUFT-TV as an entertainment reporter as well as ESPN Radio 850/900 in Gainesville.
The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring will run March 13-16; the American Le Mans Series cars will be here Feb 5-8 for its annual winter test. This year’s race will be the last run under the ALMS banner.
Courtesy of News Sun.com
SFCC Honors Student Athletes
AVON PARK — May 11, 2011
Each year the coaches at South Florida Community College look for three important qualities in potential student athletes: Academic capability, athletic ability, and to be good citizens and representatives of the college in the community.
Dr. Stephens congratulated the SFCC Lady Panther Volleyball team, Lady Panther Softball team, and the Panther Baseball team at SFCC’s annual athletics banquet for their academic and athletic achievements.
“I hope you take what you’ve done, learned, and accomplished during your time at SFCC and continue your strive for excellence,” said Rick Hitt, athletic director. “Just remember, no matter where life takes you, you’ll always be a Panther.”
During the SFCC athletics banquet, each athlete was honored with a participation award from his or her coach. Athletes who received special awards were:
Volleyball: Best Offensive Player- Kalee Schlabach; Best Defensive Player- Melissa Tullo; Most Valuable Player- Ricki Albritton; and Coach’s Award- Shelby Flint
Softball: Pitcher of the Year- Nicole Helms; Best Defensive Player- Laura Lovell; Most Valuable Player- Ashlee Quigley; and Coach’s Award- Laura Lovell
Baseball: Most Improved Player of the Year- Eric Bailey; Offensive Player of the Year- Kyle Newton; Top Gun Award- Andres Lopez; Co-Defensive Player of the Year- Brandon Kirby; Co-Defensive Player of the Year- Brett Clements; and Coach’s Award- Brett Clements
Scholastic Athletes of the Year: (given to a male and female sophomore with the highest cumulative GPA): Male- Cody Higgins and Female- Laura Lovell
2011 SFCC Panther of the Year: Ricki Albritton.
South Florida Community College (SFCC) graduates will celebrate their self-determination, diligence, and long hours of study when they are honored during commencement on Wednesday, May 4, 6:45 p.m., in the Theatre for the Performing Arts, Highlands Campus, Avon Park.
Over 818 students will have met SFCC graduation requirements by the May commencement. Of these, 719 will receive their Associate in Arts degrees, Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees, vocational certificates, or college credit certificates, and 99 will be graduates from SFCC’s Adult Education program. Approximately 239 plan to walk across the stage during commencement.
The commencement keynote speaker will be graduating student Ricki Albritton of Sebring. During her time at SFCC, Albritton has played on the Lady Panthers Volleyball team, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, and serves on the Student Government Association (SGA). She also spends much of her time volunteering with her church as a youth leader by helping middle and high school students with relationship building and teaching volleyball. She is a camp counselor during the summer at Lake Denton and works as a disk jockey on Friday nights for WWOJ. She plans to attend the University of Florida (UF) in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications. “What I’m going to miss most about SFCC are my fellow volleyball teammates and being so involved in the community,” said Albritton. “But I’m really excited to continue my education at UF because my whole family attended college there.”
Albritton was recently honored with the Joseph E. Johnston/Bette L. McDearman Student Services Award for outstanding academic achievement and involvement in student-related activities on campus, outstanding leadership ability both on and off campus, and her contribution to fellow students and the college.
Marshals for this year’s graduation are SFCC faculty members Lena Phelps, Elizabeth Andrews, Ellen Thornton, Tanna Markel, Dr. Brian Deery, and Felecia Dozier. Rhonda NeSmith and Deborah Florence will provide American Sign Language interpretation during the graduation ceremony.
Graduation rehearsal will take place Wednesday, May 4, at 10 a.m., in the Theatre for the Performing Arts. A reception immediately following the graduation ceremonies will be held in the Catherine P. Cornelius Student Services and Classroom Complex. For more information about the commencement process, contact the SFCC Welcome Desk at 863-784-7405.