Cross country and track and field stars ran away with the bulk of the 1994-95 MIT athletic awards presented at the ninth annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence. Of the nine awards given, runners or field athletes figured in five.
Heading the list were cross-country runners Jesse C. Darley '95 of St. Paul, MN, and Agnieszka Reiss '95 of Lexington, MA, who were named the winners of the Malcom G. Kispert Awards honoring the outstanding male and female scholar/athletes of the year.
Darley, a biomechanical engineering major, is a two-time Division III cross-country All-America, who finished eighth (1993) and 10th (1994) in the NCAA Division III Championships. He has been named the constitution Athletic Conference Runner of the Year and the Conference's Scholar/Athlete of the Year.
Reiss, an electrical science and engineering major, was a four-year letter winner in cross country and won three letters in track. She was cross country team captain for three years, and track captain for two. She was the New England Women's 8 (NEW 8) Conference champion in the 1500 meters as a junior, and has twice been named to the Division III Cross Country Coaches Academic All-America Team.
The Howard W. Johnson Award to the male senior athlete of the year was presented to distance runner Ethan Crain '95 of Windham, ME. Crain has lost to a Division III runner in the 1500 meters only once in the last two years. That was when he placed second in the 1995 indoor national championships. He is a two-time All-America in track. In cross country, Crain's ninth place finish in 1994 also earned him All-America status.
Gymnast Sheila Rocchio '97 stopped the track avalanche by winning the Betsy Schumacher Award for an undergraduate female for excellence in athletic competition. Rocchio became MIT's first national gymnastics champion when she won the all-around competition at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championship in March. In addition to the all-around title, Rocchio earned All-America honors on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Recently she became the first MIT athlete to win the achievement award of the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
Three-sport athlete Andrew P. Phelps '95, from Gurneeton, IL, was named the winner of the Admiral Edward S. Cochrane Award presented to the male senior who has shown the highest qualities of humility, leadership and inspiration in intercollegiate athletics. Phelps won four varsity letters each in football, wrestling and lacrosse. He has started since his freshman year in football and wrestling, and became a lacrosse starter his sophomore year. Phelps, who never played lacrosse before he arrived at MIT, recently was named a first-team Pilgrim Lacrosse League All-Star.
Pareen S. Dhalla '95, a volleyball player from Latrobe, PA, won the Pewter Bowl Award as the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics. Dhalla was described by coach Cindy Gregory as "the heart and soul of the women's volleyball program the past two years." Dhalla was selected to the All-Northeast Region team and was named an Academic All-District performer.
Not to be outdone by their senior track and field counterparts, the two winners of the Varsity Club Awards as freshmen athletes of the year were cross country and track star Janis H. Eisenberg and three-sport athlete Michael T. Butville.
Eisenberg is the first woman ever to be named a cross country All-America at MIT. She is the first runner in the history of the New England Women's 8 Conference to be named both the Runner of the Year and the Rookie of the Year in cross country. In outdoor track the Bethany, CT, native is the NEW 8 champion in the 3000 meters, and holds the MIT record in the event.
Butville, from Levittown, PA, was a linebacker on the football team where he was an immediate starter and was the defensive rookie of the year. On the indoor track team he showed consistent improvement in the 35-lb. weight throw and the shot put. He took up lacrosse for the first time during the spring season and became an important cog in MIT's Pilgrim Lacrosse League championship team.
Henning Colsman-Freyberger '96, of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, received the Burton R. Anderson Award as the intercollegiate manager of the year. Coach Jarek Koniusz credited Colsman-Freyberger for his leadership role in setting up a 12-team fencing competition at MIT. Colsman-Freyberger also organized an MIT fencing page on the World Wide Web to assist the team in communicating with both potential student/athletes and alumni.
The Harold R. Pettegrove Award for service to intramural athletics was presented to Reginald D. Bellande '95, a mathematics major from Azuza, CA.
In addition, 13 Straight T Awards were given. The Straight T is the highest award for athletic excellence at MIT. This year's recipients were:
Kamilah Alexander '96, volleyball, American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Regional All-Star, a biology major from Grand Blanc, MI.
Ethan A. Crain '95, men's cross country, NCAA Division III All-America & Indoor Track & Field, NCAA Division III All-America in 1,500 meters, an electrical science and engineering major from Windham, ME.
Pareen S. Dhalla '95, volleyball, American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Regional All-Star, an electrical science and engineering major from Latrobe, PA.
Jesse C. Darley '95, men's cross country, NCAA Division III All-America, a biomechanical engineering major from St. Paul, MN.
Andrew A. Downer '96, squash, won more than 50 percent of his matches at No. 1 position, a civil engineering major from Windsor, CT.
Stacey Y. Dozono '95, volleyball, American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Regional All-Star, a biology major from Milwaukie, OR.
Janis H. Eisenberg '98, cross country, NCAA Division III All-America, a freshman from Bethany, CT.
Marc M. Graham '95, wrestling, New England Division III Champion, a mechanical engineering major from Garfield Heights, OH.
Rebecca J. Hill '95, soccer, National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III All-Region Team, a brain and cognitive sciences major from Wolcott, NY.
Keith H. Lichten '95, fencing, NCAA Division I All-America, an environmental engineering major from Oak Park, IL.
N. Katherine Merrilees '97, field hockey, College Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III All-America third team, an electrical engineering and computer science major from Toronto.
Sheila C. Rocchio '97, women's gymnastics, National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Division III All-America in all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise, a management major from Sherborn, MA.
John L. Wallberg '96, indoor track, NCAA Division III All-America in 35-lb. weight throw, an electrical science and engineering major from Thief River Falls, MN.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 1995.