The Rensselaer 2016-17 senior student-athletes were recognized at the annual banquet held at the Hilton Garden Inn May 11, with nearly all the senior student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff members, and numerous members of the President’s Cabinet in attendance. Each student-athlete was presented a senior gift by President Shirley Ann Jackson and Lee McElroy, director of athletics.
Also as part of the event were senior reflections from Colleen Morris and Ryan Buss, and the newest members of Olympia, the athletic department’s student-athlete honor society, were honored. Forty individuals were chosen from this year’s senior class.
Other highlights of the event included the awarding of the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) Team of the Year, which was presented to the 2016 men’s cross country team. Among the accomplishments of that team, which was coached by John Lynch, were a Liberty League Championship, a win at the Saratoga Invitational and Siena Meets, two second-place finishes, including one at the NCAA Atlantic Regional, and a ranking of ninth in the country following the regional. Individually, there was one All-America, the league’s Coach of the Year, four All-League First Team and three Second Team selections.
Also honored were women’s soccer player Ali Zumpetta and men’s soccer player Nick Revano, who were named the Henry Kumpf Award winners. The Kumpf Award is given annually to a senior student-athlete who has demonstrated a strong degree of motivation, desire, and determination in contributing to the success of the team. Phil Laware, lead groundskeeper, was honored with the Tom Sheehan Award. The Sheehan Award is presented to recognize an individual outside of athletics who has made outstanding contributions to the department.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Segio Merino presented the Annual Strength and Conditioning Career Athlete Awards, which are given to two senior student-athletes who, during their athletic careers, have been leaders in the strength and conditioning environment. This year’s honorees were Carly Kirchner from women’s lacrosse and Ryan Buss.
Buss, who played football, and Katie Rooney, who played women’s hockey, were both awarded Perseverance Awards for overcoming significant physical or personal obstacles and demonstrating exceptional effort in exhibiting their commitment to their teammates and the Institute.
Those inducted into Olympia were: Ryan Buss, Alex Greenidge, Jim Krecek, Steve Mills, Connor McCrum, Claire Cecilio, Richard Dong, Andrew Klobucher, Siena Sara, Chaz Bell, Matt Hall, David Gibbs, Breanainn McNeally, Jake Weidner, Cori Winslow, Kensey Waterman, Laura Horwood, Adam Aponte, Justin Valente, Sam Lawrence, Thomas Desmond, Ben Fazio, Matt Cicciu, Brian Crowley, Garrett Davis, Madeline Dery, Mary West, Allison Thayer, Andrew Gondek, Devon Baughen, Stephanie Caudle, Morgan Kollmeier, Melinda Wilson, Max Drexler, Sam Keller, Mike Pesanello, Colin Smith, Erik Trinkle, Brian Hatcher, Jonathan Luster, Nathan Kane, Riley Bourbonnais, and Aaron Schauger.
Watch a video of some of the student-athletes’ reflections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2irmRt6vcw