CWRU Athletics Announces Annual Award Winners at Virtual Awards Show

Ilissa Hamilton pitching for the Spartans

The Case Western Reserve University Department of Physical Education and Athletics announced its 2019-20 Athletic Awards Winners on Monday, May 11 via the department's first-ever virtual awards show.

CWRU student-athletes, alumni, parents and other friends of the program all come together on Monday night to watch the program, which was aired as a live premiere on the CWRU Athletics YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/CWRUAthletics. The full awards show, which included a variety of guest presenters, can be seen in the video below:

Seniors Karley King of the volleyball team, Vanessa Pasadyn of the women's cross country team, and Corri Sept of the women's swimming and diving team each received the Patricia B. Kilpatrick Award, presented to the four-year varsity participant with the highest cumulative grade point average.  All three had perfect cumulative 4.0 GPAs during their collegiate careers. The award was presented by Leena Palomo, a former CWRU women's tennis player and current Associate Professor in the School of Dental Medicine.

The 2019-20 Nancy Gray Rookie of the Year Award, presented annual to a first-year female student-athlete who has made an outstanding contribution to her sport during her first year of competition, was given to first-year Maria Pritchett of the women's swimming and diving team. Pritchett claimed an all-America honor by qualifying for the 2020 NCAA Division III Championships in the 400-yard individual medley. During the season, she broke a pair of five-year old school records, recording a time of two minutes, 5.87 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley and four minutes, 28.40 seconds in the 400-yard individual medley at the University Athletic Championships. The award was presented by its namesake, Nancy Gray, a former longtime coach and administrator at CWRU.

James Hopper of the men's tennis team was named the Robert Del Rosa Rookie of the Year Award winner, who claimed a National Doubles Championship at the ITA Cup, while finishing fifth in the singles draw at the event in the event in the fall. He also secured All-America honors by winning both the singles and doubles championships at the Fall ITA Regionals. Hopper finished the year with a 31-2 doubles record and a 21-4 singles mark, while playing at the team's no. 1 position for both. He came just two doubles wins shy and nine singles wins away from setting the program's single-season records, despite seeing his spring campaign cut nearly in half by the pandemic. The award was presented by Chris Nader, a Spartan Club Hall of Fame inductee, and an All-American wrestler for Del Rosa.

Junior Caitlyn VonFeldt of the women's swimming and diving team received the Dorothy L. Hoza Award, given to the female freshman, sophomore or junior student-athlete, who has made a strong contribution to the women's intercollegiate sports program, maintained a high level of academic achievement, shown leadership in the team, and contributed to the Department and the University. VonFeldt is a three-time All-American, which includes a pair of All-America honors this season. She has qualified for the NCAA Championships all three years of her career, including this season, when she qualified individually in the 100-yard breaststroke and as a member of the 400-yard medley relay team, before the meet was cancelled due to the pandemic. She is the current school record holder in five different events – the 200-yard backstroke, the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay. In addition, she is a two-time Academic All-UAA honoree. The Hoza Award was presented by Angie Zeuch, who is a Spartan Club Hall of Fame inductee and a former CWRU basketball player who claimed the honor herself in 2001.

The 2019-20 Arthur P. Leary Award winner, presented to the outstanding freshman, sophomore or junior male student-athlete who has demonstrated leadership in the team, maintained good academic standing in the University, demonstrated good sportsmanship, and made a contribution to the department and University, was presented to both sophomore Nick Denove of the baseball team and junior Trey Razanauskas of the men's cross country/ track and field teams. Presenting the award was Doug Leary, the son of Arthur and a Spartan Club Hall of Fame inductee for his achievements in cross country and track and field.

Denove was on pace for an All-American campaign before his season was cut short by the pandemic. Last year, he earned all-region and all-conference recognition, and this season, had already garnered National Pitcher of the Week and UAA Pitcher of the Week honors after picking up a complete-game win over the 10th-ranked College of Wooster. Over 14 career starts, he has an 8-2 record with an ERA of 1.92, including six complete games, and was 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA through three starts in 2020. Razanauskas earned all-region and all-conference honors for the second-straight season this year, after placing fourth at the NCAA Great Lakes Region Championships, and fifth at the UAA Championships during the cross country season. Last year, he was a qualifier for both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and has secured multiple track all-region and all-UAA honors over his career. He is a Van Horn Society Inductee and a UAA Presidents Council Scholar Athlete honoree.

The Emily R. Andrews Award was given to Karley King of the volleyball team, for making a strong contribution to the program, maintaining a high level of academic achievement, showing leadership in team, and contributing service to the department and University. King is a two-time Academic All-American, earning first team honors as a senior and second team honors as a junior. In addition, she has a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average at Case Western Reserve. King has also earned All-UAA Honors over her career, claiming a spot on the all-league First Team following her junior season. She completed her Spartan career with 996 kills, 274 digs and 184 total blocks over 122 matches played.

Senior Dominic Oddo of the men's track and field team received the 2018-19 the Philip K. "Nip" Heim Award, presented annually to the senior male student-athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to Case Western Reserve University through the athletics program. Oddo is a three-time national qualifier, placing 14th in the decathlon at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships and 18th in the Heptathlon at the 2019 Indoor Championships. He had once again qualified for the Heptathlon at the 2020 Indoor Championships, prior to the meet's cancellation. Oddo is the school record holder in both the indoor long jump and the heptathlon, and has garnered six All-UAA honors and one UAA Championship over his career, and was selected as the conference Rookie of the Year in 2017. He is also a multiple-time UAA All-Academic honoree.

The Andrews and Heim Awards were both presented by Lou Stark, the CWRU Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs.

The Doug Mooney Program of the Year Award, presented annually to CWRU varsity team with the highest NCAA Championship finish from the spring of the previous year through the winter of the current year, was given to both the 2019 CWRU baseball team and the 2019 CWRU football team. The 2019 baseball team made the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the program's history, going on to win a pair of postseason games, its first two since the 2014 campaign, before finishing as the regional runner-up. The team finished the 2019 campaign with a 24-15 overall record, while playing a regular season schedule that ranked as the fourth-hardest in all of Division III. The 2019 football team finished the year with a 9-2 overall record, and claimed the first outright Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship in the program's history with an 8-1 record in league play. The Spartans earned the conference's automatic berth to advance to the NCAA postseason. It was the fifth NCAA postseason berth in the history of the program, and the first-ever automatic bid to the playoffs. The Mooney Award was presented by Jim Drougas, a Spartan Club Hall of Fame member and former tennis player for Coach Mooney.

The Glenn and Peggy Nicholls Female Athlete of the Year Award, presented annually to the female student-athlete who has made outstanding contributions to her sport, was given to sophomore Anika Washburn of the women's soccer team. Wasburn earned a place on the All-America Second Team and was selected as the University Athletic Association's Most Valuable player, becoming the first player in the program's history to win the honor. In addition, she claimed spots on the All-UAA and All-Region First teams. She started all 19 games for the Spartans, setting program single-season records with 14 goals, 33 points and seven game-winning goals, as she led her team to just the second NCAA postseason berth in the program's history. She was also selected to the Academic All-America Second Team following the season. Glenn Nicholls, the former Vice President for Student Affairs at CWRU and one of the award's namesakes, presented the honor.

Junior Colt Morgan of the CWRU football team was named the Dr. David Hutter Male Athlete of the Year. Morgan broke multiple program career and single-season records, en route to earning All-America honors in 2019. He became just the third player at his position in program history to be named an All-American, and just the fifth player overall at any position in CWRU history to claim a spot on the D3football.com All-America team. The wide receiver claimed all-region and all-conference first team honors for the second-straight season, setting a program record with 1,186 receiving yards, and finishing with 89 receptions and 15 receiving touchdowns, each the second-most in program history. Despite only being a junior, he broke the school record for career touchdown catches during the year, and will enter his senior season with 34 career scores. He is also currently fourth in program history with 175 career receptions and 2,331 receiving yards. The Hutter Award was presented by former CWRU men's tennis player CJ Krimbill, who claimed the honor twice himself during his collegiate career.

The Bill Sudeck Outstanding Student-Athlete Award honors the individual who best exemplifies the attributes of the Case Western Reserve University student-athlete in the spirit of legendary coach, mentor and friend William "Bill" Sudeck. Coach Sudeck spent more than half his life - 46 years - shaping the young minds of cross country, basketball, and track and field athletes. The award is given to the student-athlete that has demonstrated and achieved significant athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, engagement in campus activities, and has shown leadership in athletics and in the classroom.  Considered the program's most important award, senior Ilissa Hamilton of the softball team claimed the 2019-20 honor. Hamilton is a three-time All-UAA selection, including a nod to the first team in 2018 and 2020. In addition, she has claimed UAA Athlete of the Week honors five times over her career. While her regular season accomplishments have been impressive, she saved some of her best work for the postseason, where she earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the 2018 Notre Dame Regional and Most Outstanding Pitcher honors at the 2018 Super Regional, leading the Spartans to the only World Series berth in the program's history. Hamilton is the program single-season record holder with 21 wins and 184 strikeouts, and finished her career with a 37-15 record, a 2.73 earned run average, and 326 strikeouts. Moreover, she has excelled in the classroom, recording a perfect 4.0 grade point average during her three years as a Biomedical Engineering Major at Case Western Reserve, and earning a spot on the Academic All-America First Team in 2019. The Sudeck Award was presented by Jim Wyant, a Spartan Club Hall of Fame inductee and former runner for coach Sudeck, in addition to serving as the Chair of the Board of Trustees at CWRU.

The CWRU Association of Student-Athletes presented the Ultimate Spartan Awards, given to the varsity athletes who best represent the spirit of CWRU.  Winners this year included Alicia Marie Gonzales of the women's basketball team, Olivia Battistoni of the women's cross country team, Molly Whelan of the women's soccer team, Melissa Cuellar of the softball team, Caitlyn VonFeldt of the women's swimming & diving team, Shreya Ramani of the women's tennis team, Taylor Jackson of the women's track and field team, Katie Kaminski of the volleyball team, Casey McConihe of the baseball team, Josh Levy of the men's basketball team, Jack Begley of the men's cross country team, Brennan Ryan of the football team, Andrew Englemeyer of the men's soccer team, Eli Rose of the men's swimming and diving team, Matthew Chen of the men's tennis team, Jonathan Haling of the men's track and field team and Alec Hoover of the wrestling team.

In addition, Head Wrestling Coach Danny Song presented awards to the participants with perfect attendance in the CWRU Leadership Academy, known as 'The Program.'  Perfect attendees of the Program included Matthew Chen, Jonathan Powell, Diego Maza, John Kasner and Neil Mabee of the men's tennis team, Bailey Hagedorn and Marlee Dingle of the volleyball team, Nicole Cardwell of the women's tennis team, Alec Hoover and Andrew Hoover of the wrestling team, Trey Razanauskas of the men's cross country and track and field teams, and Kiera Olson and Grace Kemerer of the women's cross country and track and field teams.

The Award Show concluded with the 2019-20 CWRU Athletics Highlight Video, which can be seen below: