VOLUME 33, NUMBER 28 THURSDAY, May 9, 2002
ReporterSports Recap

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UB honors athletes at annual awards banquet

Head track-and-field and cross-country coach Dick Barry, who will retire at the conclusion of the spring track-and-field season, was honored for 17 years of service to UB at the annual Athletic Awards Banquet.

Barry's tenure at UB included 13 conference titles, five "Conference Coach of the Year" honors and 10 All-Americans. His men's cross-country team earned the Athletic Director's Award for its performance during the 2001-02 season, while senior thrower Sarah Fletcher, a member of the women's track-and-field team, earned honors as "Female Athlete of the Year."

Freshman wrestler Kyle Cerminara was named "Male Athlete of the Year" after going unbeaten in the Mid-American Conference and earning a berth to the NCAA Championships in his first season of collegiate competition.

The men's cross-country team jumped from 10th place in the MAC in 2000 to a fifth-place finish this past fall. Junior Jerimie Slick earned first-team All-MAC honors and qualified for the Division I National Championships, the first UB cross-country athlete to do so in more than 30 years.

In addition, teammate Todd Ludden earned second-team All-MAC honors.

Fletcher, meanwhile, may still have the best to come as she completes her senior season. Already a three-time MAC champion (two indoor 20-pound weight throw titles and the 2000 outdoor hammer title), she recently broke the MAC and UB all-time record in the hammer with a distance of 187-10 at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, finishing second. That mark provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Division I Championships at LSU at the end of May, with the MAC Championships still to come, beginning today and running through Saturday.

This season, Fletcher broke the discus and hammer records at UB and led the Bulls to the women's championship at the nine-team McDonald's Invitational at Ohio University.

Cerminara, meanwhile, became the first person to earn "Athlete of the Year" honors in his or her first year at UB since women's swimmer Inger Rooneem (1997-98). He earned the recognition after a 26-13 regular season in which he captured the 197-pound title at the MAC Championships as the No. 1 seed after sweeping all five of his conference matches in the regular season. He is the second-straight wrestler to earn the award after heavyweight John Eschenfelder took home the trophy last year.

At the NCAA Championships in Albany, Cerminara went 1-2 and nearly went the distance with Iowa State's Cael Sanderson, the only wrestler in NCAA history to go unbeaten for four seasons.

Other major award winners included:

  • Clifford C. Furnas Post-graduate Scholarship: Carrie Quinlan, swimming
  • Intercollegiate Athletics Board (IAB) Student Athlete Leaders: Male (tie), Gabe Cagwin, basketball and Joe Freedy, football; Female, Larissa LaCour, volleyball
  • Unsung Hero Award: Rebecca Ashare, volleyball
  • Blue and White Club Community Service Award: Larissa LaCour, volleyball
  • Athletes for Athletes Attendance Award: Women's swimming—captains Gigi Tapia and Carrie Quinlan

The sport-by-sport award winners:

Men's Cross Country
Top Newcomer: Steve Strelick
Most Improved: Eric Czubaj
Coaches Award: Jerimie Slick
MVP: Todd Ludden

Women's Cross Country
Top Newcomer: Jenny Koeppel
Most Improved: Jessica Moldovan
Coaches Award: Hollie Rhodes
MVP: Melissa Burrows

Top Newcomer: J.J. Gibson
Most Improved: Chad Bartoszek
Coaches Award: Joe Freedy
MVP: Chris Shelly
Dominic Grossi Award: Tim Hedges

Women's Soccer
Top Newcomer: Brenna McJury
Most Improved: Paula Sinclair
Coaches Award: Robin Aparo
MVP: Devon Russell

Men's Soccer
Top Newcomer: Dave Pidgeon
Most Improved: Dan Wielechowski
Coaches Award: Mike Peplinski
MVP: Kevin Pitra

Women's Volleyball
Top Newcomer: Katie Henry
Most Improved: Becky Ashare
Coaches Award: Alexis Bouie
MVP: Lindsay Matikosh

Women's Basketball
Top Newcomer: Allison Bennett
Most Improved: Rachel Martin
Coaches Award: Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe
MVP: Jessica Kochendorfer

Men's Basketball
Top Newcomer: Turner Battle
Most Improved: Kevin Swoffer
Coaches Award: Clement Smith
MVP: Darcel Williams

Women's Indoor Track and Field
Top Newcomer: Charisse Everett
Most Improved: Faith Thompson
Coaches Award: Laura Olson
MVP: Christina Keck

Men's Indoor Track and Field
Top Newcomer: Pete Zaccariello
Most Improved: Steve Esler
Coaches Award: Joe Loiacono
MVP: Joe Clark

Women's Swimming
Top Newcomer: Tracy Hoover
Most Improved: Bethany Miller
Coaches Award: Katrina Sinclair
MVP: Jennefer Brankovsky

Men's Swimming
Top Newcomer: Aviv Oren
Most Improved: Jon Yarger
Coaches Award: Alan Lowe
MVP: Aviv Oren

Top Newcomer: Kyle Cerminara
Most Improved: Garrett Bontempo
Coaches Award: Ben Cooper
The Bob Rich Outstanding Wrestler Award: Kyle Cerminara

Top Newcomer: Phil VanHorne
Most Improved: Adrian Daniels
Coaches Award: Tim Sova
MVP: Brandon DiCesare

Women's Crew
Top Newcomer: Kali Spoto
Most Improved: Michelle Schwach
Coaches Award: Karey Smollar
MVP: Sarah Viera

Top Newcomer: Stacey Evans
Most Improved: Ann-Marie Magur
Coaches Award: Melissa Pace
MVP: Breanna Nasti

Men's Tennis
Top Newcomer: Nick Zieziula
Most Improved: Randy Rocchio
Coaches Award: Justin Brtko
MVP: Fery Kasiman

Women's Tennis
Top Newcomer: Michelle Kollarova
Most Improved: Jen Wong
Coaches Award: Shani Amarasinghe
MVP: Karen Maynard

Men's Outdoor Track and Field
Top Newcomer: Bryan Weinstein
Most Improved: Tom Abbey
Coaches Award: Ben Cady
MVP: Byron McKinney

Women's Outdoor Track and Field
Top Newcomer: April Pabilonia
Most Improved: Meagan Rogers
Coaches Award: Alison Laske
MVP: Sarah Fletcher

Top Newcomer: Bryan Aweh
Most Improved: Kara Teske
Coaches Award: Candace Faubert
MVP: Nick Greiner  


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