Athletic Department Holds Annual Celebration of Excellence
HANOVER, N.H. - The Dartmouth College Department of Athletics honored eight student-athletes Monday evening at the annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence held inside Leede Arena.
The highlight of the night was the presentation of the Kenneth Archibald Prize to senior men’s squash player Chris Hanson.
Dartmouth's highest athletic honor, the Kenneth Archibald Prize, is presented annually to “the member of the graduating class who has been four years in attendance, who has been the best all-around athlete, regard also being had to moral worth and high standing in scholarship." The winner traditionally exemplifies all that we hope and expect of the men and women who put on the Dartmouth uniform and take to the field of play. This student-athlete is to be of exemplary athletic skill, of great academic prowess and of high moral character.
A four-time first-team All-Ivy honoree and three-time first-team All-American, Hanson competed at the top spot for Dartmouth throughout his four years. In 2013, he received the Skillman Award for sportsmanship, becoming just the second member of the Big Green to earn the award in its 31-year history. He has also excelled in the classroom, receiving Academic All-Ivy honors three times and twice being named a CSA Scholar Athlete. As a co-captain this season, he was named team MVP for a fourth straight year.
“I feel proud and honored that I got a chance to work with Chris over the past four years,” Dartmouth men’s squash head coach Hansi Wiens said. “He is one of the best athletes that I have ever met, but it isn't his athleticism that makes him an exceptional player. It is his work ethic, dedication and love for the game that have led him to become one of the strongest and most competitive players I have ever met. He has set a high standard for future student-athletes to live up to.”
The Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award, given "to one male and one female of the junior class, who have combined outstanding performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics", was presented to Lindsay Holdcroft of the women’s hockey team and Michael Runger of the football team. Holdcroft, a double major in biology (pre-med) and psychology with a 3.62 GPA, is a three-year starter who twice earned All-Ivy honors. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native has been named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week twice and ECAC Goaltender of the Week four times. She was invited to the U.S. National Team selection camp and invited to USA Goalie Development Camp as one of the top 10 netminders in the country.
Runger earned the men’s Class of 1948 award after maintaining a 3.75 GPA as an economics major. He has been an Academic All-District selection and FCS Athletics Directors Academic All-Star. On the field, Runger led the Big Green’s defensive efforts with a league-best 98 tackles, making at least double-digit stops in six of the 10 games, helping him earn a spot on the All-Ivy First Team. And in the season finale at Princeton, he recorded 17 tackles, the most by an Ivy player all year.
Evan Diamond of the men’s skiing team received the Class of 1950 award for the "student-athlete who has demonstrated the most extraordinary commitment to community service." A senior intern for Dartmouth Students Teaching in the Arts, he helps to coordinate fellow classmates in local elementary and middle school classrooms to teach a core curriculum subject through an art form. Diamond also visits the Indian River School in Canaan, N.H., to spend time with his seventh-grade ‘at-risk’ mentee. Last summer, he was selected to volunteer as a DarDar Intern in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, through the Dickey Center for International Understanding. While living in Mbgala, Tanzania’s largest slum, he taught grades 3, 5 and 6 in English, Math, Science and Geography. After graduation, he will serve as a Teach For America corps member for the next two years, teaching sixth-grade science at Roxbury Prep’s Dorchester campus in Boston.
The Timothy Wright Ellis Award for the man who best shows the "extracurricular and scholastic drive, spirit, loyalty and amiability which made Tim such a well-known member of the community" went to Garrett Wymore of the football team. Wymore is an exceptional student as a double major in economics and neuroscience while maintaining a 3.90 grade-point average. In 2012, he was named Academic All-District, Academic All-Ivy, an Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star and to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society. A Rhodes Scholar applicant, he started eight of the 10 games this past fall on the gridiron and was second on the squad with four tackles for a loss of a team-high 47 yards. In his career, he recorded 131 tackles, broke up six passes and forced a fumble.
Katie Sullivan of the women’s cross country and track & field teams was the recipient of the Agnes B. Kurtz Award, presented to the "woman who best combines proficiency in athletics with dedication to the furthering of women's athletics." The award is nominated and voted on by the captains of Dartmouth’s women's teams. Seen as the team matriarch, Sullivan, the first to encourage teammates with an inspirational note, and the first to deliver a pre- or post-race pep talk. Noted by the staff that without her positivity, enthusiasm and sense of humor, this team wouldn’t be the family that it is today. A leader of the “Girls on the Run” program, she shares her love of the sport and promotes teamwork, leadership, dedication and hard work with young girls in the community.
The Alfred E. Watson Trophy for the finest male athlete of the year went to junior Nejc Zupan of the men’s swimming and diving team. As the 2012 Phil Moriarity Ivy League Swimmer of the Meet, Zupan set Ivy League Championship records in the 200m and 400m IM as well as the 200m breaststroke. He is the owner of eight school records and two Karl Michael pool records. This season, he set records in each of the breastroke and IM events and was a member of two record-setting relays. He became the first Dartmouth swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships in over 30 years, earning a berth in four different events and achieved All-American honors in the 200m breastroke with his eighth-place finish at the national championships.
The Class of 1976 Award for the outstanding female athlete of the year was presented to junior Abbey D'Agostino of the women’s cross country and track & field teams for the second straight season. D’Agostino became the only American collegiate woman in history to win both the 3000M and the 5000M in a single career, something she was able to accomplish on consecutive days at the NCAA National Championship Meet in mid-March. She is the only Ivy League woman ever to win a distance championship on the national level, a feat she has now done three times in the last 11 months. During the cross country season, she won all but one race she lined up for, finishing as the national runner-up by the slimmest of margins in Louisville. That second-place showing was the best ever by an Ivy League woman at the NCAA Cross Country Championship Meet. The owner of numerous Dartmouth, Ivy League and NCAA records, she has been stellar away from competition as well, earning the 2012 USTFCCCA Division I Women’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year honor.
The Big Green Cup is in its fourth year and is sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The Cup is awarded to the winningest varsity program in a year-long competition. Points are earned as athletes are encouraged to support one another at athletic events, achieve high academic standards, compete at the highest level in their sports and serve the community. The winner of the fourth annual Big Green Cup was the field hockey team.