Friday, May 4, 2012
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College Department of Athletics and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted the Ninth Annual WESPY Awards (Westminster Exceptional Sports Performances of the Year) Thursday night at the Orr Auditorium. The WESPYs honored team MVPs for all 18 varsity sports teams, as well as several annual awards and recognition of top athletic achievements throughout the 2011-12 academic year.
Highlighting the event was the awarding of the David B. Fawcett and Marjorie A. Walker Awards, given annually to honor and acknowledge those individuals who best exemplify the qualities of fairness, sportsmanship, leadership, determination and competitiveness. The Fawcett Award was given to senior football player Shawn Lehocky (Conway, PA / Freedom) and the Walker Award was presented to senior women's basketball and track & field member Emily Dolsak (McDonald, OH / McDonald).
Four-time letterman Lehocky was a three-time All-PAC Honorable Mention. He was the first quarterback in school history to rush for 100 yards and pass for 100 yards in the same game. Lehocky finished sixth all-time in career passing. He was the team captain as a junior and senior. An economics major, he earned Academic All-District, was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Semifinalist, was on the PAC Academic Honor Roll, and was on the Dean's List multiple times. He was named PAC SAAC Student-Athlete of the Month (10/11). Lehocky is part of the Mortar Board and Pi Sigma Pi national honor societies.
Dolsak, a four-year letterwinner in both basketball and track & field was a four-time All-PAC Track & Field First Team and PAC Champion in discus. She holds the school and PAC discus record. She was named PAC Athlete of the Week in both basketball and track & field. She was the team captain in basketball as a junior and senior. She was a national qualifier in track in 2012. A double major in mathematics and economics, Dolsak is a multiple Dean's List honoree. She earned Academic All-District in Track & Field and was also tabbed PAC SAAC Student-Athlete of the Month. She has been on the PAC Academic Honor Roll multiple times and also a four-time SAAC representative. Dolsak is the Kappa Mu Epsilon honor society treasurer and the Omicron Delta Epsilon honor society vice president. She is a member of the Pi Sigma Pi honor society and volunteers at the Learning Center, as a tutor, and with Habitat for Humanity.
The WESPY Award, given for the top single-event athletic performance by a Titan male and female athlete of the year, was voted on by the entire campus community via e-mail ballot.
The men's WESPY went to senior JJ Faltot (Mercer, PA / Mercer). Faltot showed to be the fastest man in the PAC with an exceptional All-PAC 1st Team performance at the PAC Championship meet. He won both the 100m and 200m dashes and anchored the Titans' first-place 4 x 100m sprint relay team. J.J. and his relay teammates broke the school record with their performance in that relay event. J.J. also ran a leg on the team's runner-up 4 x 400m relay team. Overall, he scored 24.5 points at the meet to lead the Titans to their second straight PAC championship.
The women's WESPY went to senior Caitlin Lehberger (New Wilmington, PA / Wilmington). Lehberger earned All-American honors in three events at the NCAA D-III Championships. She finished second in the country in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, setting new school records in each event in the process. She also placed 6th in the 200 individual medley on the way to scoring the 9th highest individual point total of all competitors at the meet. Her individual performance also placed Westminster 17th overall of all teams entered in the national championships.
The Senior Scholar Athlete Awards are given annually to the graduating senior male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point averages. The men's award went to cross country runner Morgan Hanes (McKean, PA / General McLane), an international politics major with a 3.875 GPA. The women's award was a three-way-tie with women's soccer and track & field participant Tyler Dever (Political Science/3.843), women's soccer player Sam Killmeyer (English/ 3.870), and volleyball player Tara Ott (Communication Studies/3.843).
The following is a list of all other awards presented at Thursday's ceremony:
Towering Titan Faculty Award - Dr. Helen Boylan Funari, Associate Professor of Chemistry.
Honorary Titan Award - David Peluso, Assistant Coordinator in Information Systems.
Comeback Athlete of the Year, women and men - Junior Jenn Cantella (Freedom, PA / Freedom), soccer/basketball; Senior Steve Perrotta, (New Castle, PA / New Castle), baseball.
Team Comeback of the Year, women and men - Softball: After trailing PAC foe Thiel on the road by five runs in the last inning, the Titans staged a huge two-out comeback by scoring six runs to take an 8-7 lead. Thiel tied the score at eight to send the game into extra innings. The Titans rallied again to score four more runs to complete the 12-8 comeback win; Football: After falling behind 14-0 midway through the second quarter against PAC foe Waynesburg, the Titans came back to score 22 unanswered points to take an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter. A big homecoming crowd was then sent home happy as the Titans held off a late Waynesburg rally to complete the come-from-behind 22-20 win at Burry Stadium.
Team Performance of the Year, women and men - Both men's and women's track & field teams for their first-place finishes at the PAC Championships. Both set a handful of school, stadium, and PAC records in the process. Women's track and field won its fourth PAC Championship in the past five years. The team won seven championships in nineteen events at the meet, four on the track including both relay events and three in the field events. The Titans outscored the runner-up team by 50 points; After an improbable worse to finish in 2011, the men's track & field teams ran away from its PAC rivals in 2012 and outscored the runner-up by 59 points. The team won six championships in nineteen events at the meet, four on the track including the sprint relay and two in the field events.
Unsung Hero, women and men - Senior Tamber Schaef (Guys Mills, PA / Maplewood), Volleyball; senior Jason Mezyk (Pittsburgh, PA / Baldwin), men's soccer.
Rookie of the Year, women and men - Freshman Jenny Jones (Erie, PA / Fort Leboeuf), women's track & field, cross country; freshman Jake Pletz (Venetia, PA / Peters Township), men's swimming and diving.
Exceptional Two-Sport Student-Athlete, women and men - Senior Emily Dolsak (McDonald, Ohio/McDonald), women's track and field and basketball; junior Adam Carswell (Painesville, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin), men's track and field and basketball. This marked the fourth straight year for Dolsak and second for Carswell.
Baseball MVP - To be determined.
Women's Basketball MVP - Courtney Zitt (Latrobe, PA / Greater Latrobe)
Men's Basketball MVP - Adam Carswell (Painesville, OH / Notre Dame Cathedral Latin)
Women's Cross Country MVP - Jenny Krueger (Adamsville, PA / Conneaut Lake)
Men's Cross Country MVP - Aaron Sutton (Warren, OH / Howland)
Football MVP - Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, OH / Salem)
Women's Golf MVP - Pam Bonneau (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township)
Men's Golf MVP - David Mlinarich (North Huntingdon, PA / Norwin)
Women's Soccer MVP - Tyler Dever (Salt Lake City, UT / Highland)
Men's Soccer MVP - Jason Mezyk (Pittsburgh, PA / Baldwin)
Softball MVP - To be determined
Women's Swimming MVP - Caitlin Lehberger (New Wilmington, PA / Wilmington)
Men's Swimming MVP - Mike Barringer (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman)
Women's Tennis MVP - Alex Bailey (Murrysville, PA / Franklin Regional)
Men's Tennis MVP - Drew Trifelos (Newark, Ohio/Granville Christian Academy)
Women's Track and Field MVP - Mallory Mack (Carnegie, PA / Chartiers Valley)
Men's Track and Field MVP - J.J. Faltot (Mercer, PA / Mercer)
Volleyball MVP - Jessie Szakacs (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty)
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.