Student-athletes honored at annual banquet

The annual Sweet Briar College athletics banquet was held on Thursday, April 28, at The Conference Center. The department presented its six major awards along with varsity letters and individual team awards.

Athletics director Teresa Boylan (from left), Nene Jones and Coach Danielle Delude.
Athletics director Teresa Boylan (from left), Nene Jones and Coach Danielle Delude.

The prestigious Crysler Four-year Achievement Award was presented to Nene Jones ’16. The award honors an outstanding four-year varsity athlete who has demonstrated continuous commitment, leadership, sportsmanship and achievement in sport. Not only has Jones starred on the softball team for the last four years, but she also stepped up and joined the soccer team this past fall. With a consistently positive and supportive presence to balance her athletic ability, Jones has cemented her legacy at Sweet Briar.

Lacrosse and field hockey standout senior Reba Gagne was presented with the Athlete of the Year Award. The award is given to a student-athlete from any class who demonstrates outstanding achievement in sport. This was Gagne’s first year playing field hockey and she started all nine games for the Vixens. The Old Lyme, Conn., native leaves Sweet Briar with 57 career lacrosse goals and 12 assists, including 16 goals and three assists this season.

Senior three-sport athlete Hannah Oybkhan was named the Class of 1977 Sportsmanship Award winner. Oybkhan has been anchoring the defensive efforts of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams since her first day on campus. But this year when her team needed her most, Oybkhan joined the swim team and dedicated her winter to honing a skill she hadn’t practiced in years.

The Coaches Award is given to a graduating athlete who has been at the College for a minimum of three years and has demonstrated dedication, sportsmanship and excellence in sports at Sweet Briar. The award isn’t presented every year, but this year senior Ashley Federico warranted the honor. A dedicated and hard-working student-athlete, Federico’s talents shined through on the soccer field for the past four years and also on the lacrosse field this year.

Caroline Thomas was presented with the Jean Pschirrer First-year Athlete Award for her commitment and performances with the soccer and swim teams this year. The award is given annually to a first-year student-athlete who demonstrates dedication, motivation, sportsmanship and true love of her sport.

The Whiteman Scholar-athlete Award was presented to senior swimmer and lacrosse player Lydia Fleck. Not only has Fleck impressed as one of the Vixens’ top swimmers these past four years, but she’s also been a star in the classroom. The engineering major is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership society, has been on the Dean’s List for six semesters and was a recipient of the Anne Gary Pannell Scholarship her sophomore year. Fleck has already accepted a job as a mechanical engineer in the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipyard.

The Susan Lehman Courage Award has historically been presented to an athlete/athletes who have demonstrated courage above and beyond the usual rigors of training and competition. It recognizes athletes who have made a courageous comeback after suffering a setback such as injury, illness, academic difficulties or personal tragedy. The award honors Susan Lehman, chaplain of Sweet Briar College from 1985 to 2001, dedicated supporter of student-athletes at the College, and a daily example of personal courage.

Because of this year’s unique circumstances, the courage award is dedicated to every participating student-athlete during the 2015-16 school year. A wall medallion will be placed in the FAC lobby that’s dedicated to everyone who sacrificed so much this year.

The student-athletes selected Marta Campbell as this year’s Robert Barlow Award winner. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member for their outstanding service, support and devotion to athletics at Sweet Briar. Campbell works hard behind the scenes to keep the athletic facilities looking great and always does so with a smile on her face and an energetic personality.

Along with the major awards, each coach selects a Pink and Green Award winner for their team. Below is a list of winners for each team.

Pink and Green Award Winners:

Field hockey: Katie Torretti
Soccer: Ashley Federico
Swimming: Hannah Oybkhan
Lacrosse: Elizabeth Phaup
Softball: Tessa Crawford
Tennis: Samantha Yew

Major Award Winners:

Crysler Award: Nene Jones
Athlete of the Year: Reba Gagne
Coaches Award: Ashley Federico
Jean Pschirrer First-year Athlete Award: Caroline Thomas
Class of 1977 Sportsmanship Award: Hannah Oybkhan
Whiteman Scholar-athlete: Lydia Fleck
Susan Lehman Courage Award: One team