Triton athletes honored at annual banquet

    The UCSD athletic department honored the program’s top teams and individuals May 29 at the annual Athletics Recognition Banquet at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla hotel.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    The two team awards were given first. The women’s side of the fencing squad earned the John McGinnis Family-Team Grade Point Average award with a combined 3.4 GPA. The Triton Athletes’ Council then gave its TAC Spirit Award to the women’s softball team. This award not only represented spirit on the field, but also the team’s efforts to bring their spirit to other sporting events as well.

    TAC Chair Steve Martin won the Husar Family/Triton Athletic Associates Award for service to the athletic department. Besides his role on TAC, Martin is also a three-time letter-winner in track and field, served on the Associated Students Task Force to create the recently passed athletics referendum, and played an important role in the organization of Triton Tide.

    The athletic department then recognized Julie Swail, UCSD’s first and only Olympian, with the Distinguished Alumni-Athlete Award. The award is usually given to older, ex-athletes who have achieved success in various areas of research and business; Swail is the first to receive this award for her exploits on the playing field. Swail participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the U.S. water polo team that brought home the silver medal. Swail joined the U.S. squad in 1994 while playing for the Tritons.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    UCSD Athletic Director Earl Edwards presented the Meritorious Service Award for contributions to the athletic department. For the first time, this award was given to a student, Robin Shelton, for his work in support of Triton athletics. Shelton is the current A.S. commissioner of athletics and was also one of the driving forces behind the Athletic Fee Referendum. Shelton was a member of the golf team before stepping down to pursue his interests off the field.

    The next honor given was the National Collegiate Athletic Association Woman of the Year nomination from UCSD. Each year, every program in the nation nominates one female athlete for consideration as Woman of the Year. This year, women’s soccer player Julia Cuder was the Triton representative. Cuder was named first team All-America while leading UCSD to its third-consecutive national championship. Cuder’s play helped the Tritons shut out the most prolific offense in the history of NCAA soccer during its 2-0 national championship victory over Christian Brothers University.

    Baseball’s Dan O’Brien won the Excellence in Coaching Award after leading his Tritons to a fifth-place finish in the CCAA. Picked to finish last before the season started, UCSD’s amazing run finished just short with a last-game loss that kept the team out of the CCAA playoffs.

    The UCSD Athlete of the Year awards were handed out to 13 people whose performances throughout the season stood out. Erika Alfredson (women’s soccer), Kris Chiles (men’s soccer), Alexander Cremidan (baseball), Cuder, Rob Ewanio (men’s track and field), Kathleen Hentz (women’s volleyball), Raelyn Jacobsen (fencing), Emma Kudritzki (women’s water polo), Amy Mettee (softball), Jonathan Samuels (men’s water polo), Audrey Sung (women’s track and field and cross country), Jennifer Watanabe (women’s swimming) and Jamie Woods (women’s volleyball) each received the award.

    Rounding out the night were the Outstanding Senior Student/Athlete awards given to one male and one female who were not only great on the field, but excelled off the field. Volleyball’s Laura Santerre won the female award after helping the Tritons to a third-place national finish while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. Baseball’s John Beaven won the male award for being helping Tritons to a 30-23 record. Beaven’s season was even more special considering the plight of his family after Sept. 11. His father, Alan, was killed on Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

    Though the department can only honor a few individuals at such a gathering, every Triton athlete was thanked for making the 2001-2002 athletic season another year in which UCSD athletics competed with the best in the nation.

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