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Divers double at gala awards presentation
Monday, May 09, 2016

Divers double at gala awards presentation

2016 Fredonia Athletes of the Year Meghan Bartlett and Arron Carlson flanked by coaches Arthur Wang, left, and Ryan Fuller.

Season-ending awards and presentations were made Sunday at the Fredonia Athletics Awards Gala in the Rosch Recital Hall.

Athlete of the Year recipients were junior Meghan Bartlett (Johnstown, N.Y./Johnstown) of women's swimming and diving and junior Arron Carlson (LeRoy/Notre Dame) of men's swimming and diving. Rookie of the Year honors went to freshmen Jenna Einink (Mayville/Chautauqua Lake) of women's basketball and Bobby Polachek (Kingston, Pa.) of men's ice hockey.

Julie Foster (Rochester, N.Y.) of women's cheerleading was cited as the top academic senior on a Blue Devil team, while Women's Volleyball received the award for having the highest team grade-point average through Fall 2015. The softball team received the Blue Devil Cup for its spirit and other contributions during the past school year.

Men's ice hockey coach Jeff Meredith, joined on stage by other members of the department, presented Mike Kozlowski with the Athletic Service Award. Kozlowski, who is retiring after 35 years, has served Athletics in various capacities over the years.

Bartlett and Carlson were both recognized for their achievements as divers. Both were national runner-ups at the NCAA Division III championship meet last March. In addition, Bartlett was the SUNYAC 3-meter champ and was selected SUNYAC Women's Diver of the Year, while Carlson won the SUNYAC 3-meter with a record-setting score, won the NCAA zone 3-meter title, and was chosen SUNYAC Men's Diver of the Meet.

Other Female Athlete of the Year nominees were senior Jessica DiChristopher (Cheektowaga) of volleyball, sophomore Brittany Feldman (Jamestown/Southwestern) of track and field, senior Laura Morrison (Wethersfield, Conn./Wethersfield) of cross country and track and field, and senior Sabrina Macaulay (Newark, N.Y./Newark) of women's basketball.

Male Athlete of the Year nominees also were junior Liam Kelly (Buffalo) of baseball, and seniors Collin Mulcahy (Batavia/Batavia) and Kyle Collins (Suffern/Suffern) of cross country and track & field.

In the Rookie of the Year categories, other Female nominees were Hannah Kurbs (Lockport) of cross country and track & field, Kelly Losito (Horseheads/Horseheads) of softball, and Olivia Miller (Springwater) of tennis. Miller was also a member of the women's lacrosse team.

Other Male Rookie nominees were Jake Favret (Watertown) of swimming and diving, and Luke Kuczewski (Orchard Park) and Kevin Yirinec (Fairport) of baseball.

Play of the Year and Performance of the Year awards were added to this year's event. Play of the Year went to junior Dante Williams (Buffalo) of men's basketball for his buzzer-beating game-winning shot vs. Brockport. Performance of the Year was accorded to the 2015 Women's Lacrosse Team for its NCAA Division III Tournament run ending with the program's first quarterfinal appearance.

Other Play of the Year candidates were sophomore Samuel Wilbur (Saginaw, Mich.) of men's hockey for scoring a goal from behind the net, and sophomore Steve Zaprowski (Williamsville) of baseball for a game-winning walk-off hit vs. nationally ranked Oswego.

The Performance of the Year notables also include Macaulay's 33-point game vs. Brockport in the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament, a baseball no-hitter vs. Bethany by freshman right-hander Ben Atkinson (Syracuse), and Mulcahy's stirring win in the men's indoor mile at the SUNYAC Track and Field championship meet.

Speakers included University President Virginia Horvath, Vice President of Student Affairs David Herman, and Director of Athletics Greg Prechtl, who presented Dr. Herman – who is retiring after this school year – with a plaque noting his contributions to Athletics.

Other participants:

Introductory remarks were made by senior Lauren Goeing (Clarence), a senior on the women's swimming & diving team. She also opened the gala by asking all fellow seniors to proceed into the recital hall.

A Student-Athlete Advisory Committee community service presentation was made by Mulcahy and senior Katie Devine (Clarence). Foster introduced the Play of the Year and senior Mitch Kaufmann (Red Deer, Alberta) of men's ice hockey presented the Performance of The Year.

The Rookie award nominees were introduced by last year's winners, sophomores Audrey Yokopovich (Webster/Webster Thomas) of women's soccer and women's lacrosse, and Ian Helps (Bronx) of men's basketball.

Associate Director of Athletics Megan Valentine and men's head soccer coach P.J. Gondek presented the Athlete of the Year awards.

Two Fredonia alumni, women's head soccer coach Chris Case and cross country/track and field head coach Tom Wilson, appeared at the podium to make note of special athletic achievements during the past year. Head baseball coach Matt Palisin presented the Blue Devil Cup. Director of Sports Information Jerry Reilly introduced each of the seniors, who received a gift from the department.

During a reception for seniors and their parents in the Williams Center prior to the Gala, Dr. Eileen Lyon of the Department of History and the Faculty Athletics Representative, conducted the annual Chi Alpha Sigma induction ceremony. Dr. Lyon also spoke at the gala, introduced the latest inductees, and noted other academic achievements by Blue Devil teams and members during the past school year.

Women's volleyball coach Geoff Braun was the gala director.

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