At an informal gathering on May 4 in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated the end of a successful athletic year by giving out its annual end-of-the-year awards. Tuesday night’s gathering concluded with the showing of the 2009-10 athletic highlight video produced by junior baseball player Matt Baden (Sunderland, Md./Huntingtown).
Director of Athletics and Recreation, Scott Devine exclaimed, “Congratulations to all the major award winners Tuesday night. It is a special opportunity to be able to gather the student-athlete population and give these individuals the proper recognition they deserve.”
“I would like to give a special thank you to Matt Baden for putting together an excellent highlight video,” added Devine.
This year’s program included the awarding of two new honors – the Legacy Award and the Rookie of the Year Award. These two awards were suggested by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
The highlight video will be on display at Cole Cinema in the Campus Center on Monday, May 10 at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm and again on Tuesday at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. The video will also be shown in Library 321 on Tuesday at 11:00 am.
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Majoring in chemistry with a minor in Spanish, senior women’s soccer defender Karisa Carroll (Long Island, N.Y./Ward Melville) earned 2009-10 St. Mary’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors after posting a 3.712 GPA. A four-year letter winner for the Seahawks, Carroll was named to the Dean’s List every semester and was a 2008 NSCAA/adidas® College Scholar All-East Region honorable mention choice.
Carroll was also a three-year letter winner for the women’s lacrosse program (2007-09) and garnered IWLCA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2009. A St. Mary’s Senior Scholar, she is a member of two honor societies – Chi Alpha Sigma (for college athletes) and Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership). On the field, Carroll was a two-time all-region selection in lacrosse and a two-time all-conference pick in soccer.
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Baseball’s senior pitcher/infielder Jon Gill (Owings Mills, Md./The Park School) is the recipient of this year’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award after posting a 3.772 GPA as an economics major. A two-year member of Chi Alpha Sigma, Gill is also a four-time Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) All-Academic selection. He was a two-year team captain, posting a 5.16 ERA in 40 career appearances while owning a .250 career batting average.
First-year assistant athletic trainer Jessica Pope was recognized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with the SAAC Service Award for athletic training efforts this year. Pope established the 1st Annual Seahawk Superstar Challenge – a field day of sorts for the athletes – this spring and brought in a new perspective to the training room with her background in nutrition.
First-year Kelly Heyde (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) is the recipient of this year’s inaugural rookie of the year award after a phenomenal season for the Seahawk women’s swimming program. Heyde automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in the 400 individual medley with an NCAA ‘A’ cut and school record time of 4:28.39. The 2010 CAC Rookie of the Year, she captured the 200 butterfly as well as the 200 and 400 IM events in leading St. Mary’s to its third consecutive second-place finish at the CAC championships.
Finishing her rookie campaign undefeated in all individual events, the 5-2 IM/butterfly/freestyle specialist established two conference records, breaking the oldest standing league record from 1993 in the 400 IM. Heyde was twice named the SMCM athlete of the month in December and February while three times earning conference swimmer of the week honors.
The team co-MVP, she set school records in the 200 fly and 400 IM as well as a pool record at the Franklin & Marshall College Invitational in the 400 IM. Her name is already listed on the SMCM top five list for 10 events while boasting two top 16 times in Division III during the regular-season.
Athlete of the Year
Senior swimmer Rachel Hotchko (Yakima, Wash./A.C. Davis) finished her career as a three-time NCAA qualifier, becoming the only Seahawk to accomplish this feat. As a nine-time CAC champion, Hotchko is the three-time defending conference champion in the 100 butterfly. Having won 22 All-CAC awards, she leaves the Seahawk swimming program as the holder of five school records, three conference records and one CAC championship meet record as well as being on the St. Mary’s all-time top five list in six events.
This season, Hotchko owned the 16th fastest time in Division III in the 100 fly with her school record time of 56.63. Selected as a team co-MVP this season, the 5-10 butterfly/freestyle specialist helped the Seahawks to three consecutive second-place finishes at the CAC championships. She garnered All-CAC honors in the 100 freestyle, finishing second in NCAA provisional time, and in the 50 freestyle in 2010.
Athlete of the Year
This is the fourth consecutive year that a men’s basketball player has been selected as the St. Mary’s Male Athlete of the Year and the second year in a row that senior guard Camontae Griffin (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar) has earned the award. Griffin was named to the NABC All-Middle Atlantic Region Second and D3hoops.com All-Middle Atlantic Region First Teams this season. A two-time first team All-CAC choice, he led the Seahawks to the program’s second trip to the “Sweet 16,” the program’s third CAC championship title and back-to-back conference regular-season titles.
As one of the program’s most prolific scorers, Griffin eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in just two years and finished his career with 1,156 points. The 5-9 guard spent the entire 2009-10 season leading the conference in scoring with 21.6 points per game, ranking him 18th in Division III. As a starter in all 30 games, he finished second on the team and in the league with 64 steals for a 2.1 average. Griffin ranked among the top five league players in free throw percentage as well, owning a third-best percentage of .839. He tallied a school record 51 points in leading the Seahawks to their second consecutive Pride of Maryland title.
Senior Sophia Esparza (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) is hands-down one of the top three players to have passed through the St. Mary’s women’s soccer program. Esparza was a standout player in every game, serving as the Seahawks’ go-to player. The program has never had more success than it has during Esparza’s career. The 5-7 midfielder is the only player in program history to be a four-time first team All-CAC selection and just the fourth player to earn NSCAA all-region (2008) honors.
The 2006 CAC Rookie of the Year, Esparza guided the Seahawks to their first two trips to the CAC championship match (2006 and 2008) and helped them win the league title in 2008. In 2008, she was also part of the team’s first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament as well as the team’s first-ever national rankings. Esparza and her classmates tallied a four-year overall record of 36-30-7 (19-9-3 CAC) against the strongest schedules in program history, including a 10-game unbeaten streak for the first 10 games of 2008.
Scott Devine, the Director of Athletics and Recreation, named senior men’s lacrosse player Ryan Alexander (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) the recipient of the 2009-10 Athletic Director’s Award for demonstrating unselfish dedication to Seahawk athletics on and off the field.
St. Mary’s Athletes of the Month
The athletic department would also like to recognize the seven Seahawks who were named athletes of the month throughout the 2009-10 athletic year. First-years Lauriann Parker (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) and Kelly Heyde (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) as well as senior guard Camontae Griffin (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar) were each twice selected as the monthly award winners this year.
September – Junior
outside hitter Claire Kodan - Volleyball
October – First-year forward Lauriann Parker – Field Hockey
November – Senior guard Camontae Griffin – Men’s Basketball
December – First-year Kelly Heyde – Women’s Swimming
January – Senior guard Stephanie Saint-Aubin – Women’s Basketball
February – Senior guard Camontae Griffin – M. Basketball; First-year Kelly Heyde – W. Swimming
March – Senior attacker Nora Fallon-Oben – Women’s Lacrosse
April – First-year midfielder Lauriann Parker – Women’s Lacrosse