Student-Athletes Receive Honors
HADLEY, Mass. – A total of 929 student-athletes have been named to the 2014 NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team by the conference office today. To be honored, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35. A transfer student must have completed one year of study at the institution.
Of the 929 student-athletes named to the team, 282 were honored for the second time in their career, while 176 were recognized for the third time. In addition, 57 members of the group garnered both All-Academic and All-Conference accolades this winter, led by 15 student-athletes from Williams and 11 from Amherst. A total of 40 individuals were named to both the All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic Teams by the conference.
Five individuals were selected to all three squads. That elite group included junior Leah Puklin (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) of Connecticut College (women’s squash), senior Jennifer Krakower (Montreal, Quebec) of Middlebury (women’s ice hockey), senior Mary Foster (Wallingford, Conn.) of Wesleyan (women’s squash), senior John Steele (Merion Station, Pa.) of Wesleyan (men’s squash), and senior Alyssa Northrop (Brooklyn, N.Y.) of Williams (women’s squash).
The 2014 Winter All-Academic Team includes one NESCAC Player of the Year, two NESCAC Defensive Players of the Year, a Richey Award winner, an NCAA Elite 89 Award Winner and 36 All-Americans.
Senior Hannah Brickley (Melrose, Mass.) of Trinity was selected as the NESCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, while earning All-Academic Team honors for the second time in her career. Brickley, the first women’s basketball player from Trinity to be named Player of the Year, helped her team to a program-best 7-3 record in conference play this season, as it hosted its first NESCAC quarterfinal game and advanced to the NESCAC semifinal round for the second time in program history. She averaged 14.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, as both statistics ranked sixth and fourth, respectively, among league players. This was the first All-NESCAC recognition for Brickley in women’s basketball as she was also named First Team All-NESCAC in volleyball this past season.
Trinity senior Catalina Pelaez (Bogota, Colombia), who was the recipient of the Richey Women’s Squash Award, earned a spot on the All-Academic Team. This season, she finished the year with a mark of 16-1 as she helped the Bantams win their third College Squash Association National Championship and received First Team All-America recognition for the fourth time in her career.
Senior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) of Bates was named NESCAC Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year and landing on her second straight All-Academic squad. The guard led the league in scoring with 21.6 points per game, which was nearly six points ahead of the next player, while recording 6.0 rebounds per game and shooting 81.0 percent from the free throw line. After pacing the conference in steals per game (2.83), she also became the first Bates player to be named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Bowdoin’s John Swords (Sudbury, Mass.) was named NESCAC Men’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year, while making his second consecutive All-Academic Team appearance. The center paced the Polar Bears in scoring with 14.2 points per game and rebounding with 9.7 boards per contest, which was good for second in the conference. He also led the league in field goal percentage, shooting a red-hot 68.0 percent on the season. Swords provided a defensive presence in the lane for NCAA-qualifying Bowdoin, as he ranked third in the NESCAC with 2.52 blocks per game. He was the first Polar Bear to be named Defensive Player of the Year.
Williams sophomore Jake Tamposi (Hernando, Fla.) was awarded the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Elite 89 award. The award recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Tamposi was also an All-American in the 200-yard Medley Relay.
Eighteen NESCAC All-Academic indoor track and field student-athletes earned All-America status at the recent NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Tufts and Williams had five individuals receive recognition. Jumbo senior Graham Beutler (Weston, Conn.) and sophomores Mitchell Black (Brunswick, Maine) and Alex Kasemir (Highland Park, Ill.) were members of the All-American 4x400 Relay, while Beutler and Black earned All-America status in the 400 and 800 meters, respectively. Other Tufts’ student-athletes to achieve the designation were senior Jana Hieber (Goffstown, N.H.) in the Pentathlon and sophomore Veer Bhalla (West Windsor, N.J.) in the 800 meters. Senior Brianne Mirecki (East Lyme, Conn.) of Williams was a two-time All-American in the Mile Run and the Distance Medley Relay. She was joined on the All-Academic team by Distance Medley Relay teammates, senior Kaleigh Kenny (Glen Rock, N.J.) and sophomore Lacey Serletti (Wynnewood, Pa.). Eph seniors Jenna Adams (Littleton, Colo.) and Annie Lynch (New York, N.Y.) earned All-America recognition in the Pole Vault and as a member of the 4x400 Relay, respectively. Bates had three members of its All-America men’s and women’s Distance Medley Relay, seniors Ben Levy (Belmont, Mass.) and Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) and junior Mark McCauley (Cumberland, Maine), receive All-Academic recognition. Senior Frances Onyilagha (Little Rock, Ark.) and sophomore Emily Tolman (Scarborough, Maine) were two members of Colby’s All-America women’s 4x400 Relay, while Middlebury junior Alison Maxwell (Port Angeles, Wash.) and sophomore Alexandra Morris (London, England) made up half of the Panthers’ women’s Distance Medley Relay that achieved All-America status. Connecticut College senior Michael LeDuc (Canton, Conn.) was a dual All-American in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.
In the pool, 18 NESCAC student-athletes earned both All-Academic and All-America awards. Leading the way was Amherst, which had seven student-athletes on both lists. Senior Tyler Bulakul (Bangkok, Thailand) finished in the Top 8 in the 100- and 200-yard Butterfly, while junior Connor Sholtis (Evansville, Ind.) received All-America recognition in the 200-yard Freestyle and as a member of the 800-yard Freestyle Relay along with senior Nick Egan (Pleasant Hill, Calif). Junior Sabrina Lee (Palo Alto, Calif.) was a member of two All-America relays, the 200-yard and 400-yard Medley Relays. Seniors Lizzy Linsmayer (Denver, Colo.) and Colin White (Evanston, Ill.) were All-Americans in 1-Meter Diving, while senior Allison Merz (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) was a member of the All-American 800-yard Freestyle Relay. All four members of Williams’ women’s All-American 200-yard Freestyle Medley Relay, senior Alyssa Levine (Berkeley, Calif.) and sophomores Katherine Bennett (Arlington, Va.), Breanna Nguyen (Longwood, Fla.) and Faye Sultan (Abu Hasaniya, Kuwait) landed on the All-Academic list. Bennett and Nguyen also earned All-America recognition in the 200-yard Backstroke and as a member of the 800-yard Freestyle Relay, respectively. Junior Thad Ricotta (Katy, Texas) was a member of the 200-yard Medley Relay and achieved All-America status in the 200-yard Butterfly. Connecticut College and Middlebury had a pair of swimmers land on both squads, as well. Senior Julia Pielock (Deerfield, Mass.) and sophomore Sam Pierce (Windsor, Conn.) of Connecticut College were members of the 200-yard Freestyle relay, while Pielock also received All-America status in the 100-yard Freestyle. Middlebury seniors Ian Mackay (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Andrea Tibbetts (Dover, Mass.) were All-Americans in the 100-yard Butterfly and the 200-yard Medley Relay, respectively.
Founded in 1971, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) consists of 11 liberal arts colleges and has consistently reflected its commitment to the values of athletics and academic achievement. The member colleges of the conference are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.