Department of Athletics holds annual awards ceremony













LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates College celebrated the year in sports Sunday night at the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building with the annual Department of Athletics Awards Ceremony. Kevin McHugh, who is completing his first year as Director of Athletics and Chair of the Physical Education Department, served as master of ceremonies.

The traditional array of awards were given in recognition of the top achievements of the past year, encompassing the Spring 2007, Fall 2007 and Winter 2007-08 athletic seasons.

The first award of the night, the Department Service Award, went to diving coach Mike Bartley, who has tutored a steady of stream of excellent divers, including seven-time All-America Andrew Hastings '02, six-time All-America Kara Seaton '05, and six-time All-America Kelsey Lamdin '09, in his 17 years coaching at Bates. Bartley was presented the award by first-year head swimming coach Peter Casares.

Next came a tip of the cap from Assistant Director of Athletics Marsha Graef to the 14 All-America awards claimed by the Bobcats in the past year: Isabel Alexander '09 (indoor track and field), Meg Coffin '08 (women's basketball), Katelyn Drake '10 (women's swimming and diving), Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10 (women's track and field), Sylvan Ellefson '09 (Nordic skiing), Noah Gauthier '08 (both outdoor and indoor track and field), Kelsey Lamdin '09 (women's swimming and diving [two awards]), Kathryn Moore '07 (women's track and field), Jaclyn Olson '07 (women's rowing), Nicole Ritchie '09 (women's rowing), Molly Wagner '08 (women's lacrosse) and Ricardo Weisskopf '08 (men's squash).

The Milt Lindholm Scholar-Athlete Awards, given to the varsity male and female senior letterwinners who have maintained the highest cumulative grade point average, were up next, presented by head men's and women's tennis coach Paul Gastonguay '89. The winners for the Class of 2008 are Danilo Acosta (men's tennis) and Elizabeth Murphy (women's track and field).

The George Wigton Scholar Award was presented next, by assistant director of athletics and head football coach Mark Harriman, to Caryn Benisch '09, who will participate in a reserach project that links sport and education in the spirit of Coach Wigton's lifelong commitment to leadership and participation in athletics.

The Class of 2007 Senior Citations, the highest athletic honor given by Bates, were awarded next by McHugh. Receiving plaques that will also be on permanent display at Alumni Gymasnium were Katie Franklin (softball), Kathryn Moore (track and field), Zak Ray (men's basketball), Terence Ryan (football) and Rob Stockwell (men's basketball).

Next up were the Senior Sportsmanship Awards, given to the male and female student-athletes who have most demonstrated the ideals of sportsmanship in their careers at Bates. Casares presented the women's award to Emilie Swenson of the women's swimming and diving team, and the men's award went to Sean Wilkinson of the men's squash team, presented by interim squash coach Marc Kannegieser.

Finally the Athlete of the Year Awards were announced. The Female Athlete of the Year Award, presented by women's track and field coach Jennifer "Jay" Hartshorn, went to Isabel Alexander '09, an all-around standout in her sport whose highlights included All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 800 meters, as well as making nationals last spring and finishing ninth in the 400-meter hurdles.

Head Nordic skiing coach Becky Woods '89 presented the Male Athlete of the Year Award to Sylvan Ellefson '09, whose outstanding season included All-America honors at the all-divisions NCAA Skiing Championships, as well as the first two Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association circuit wins ever by a Bates skier.