WHITTIER, Calif. - The Whittier College Department of Athletics and the Purple & Gold Club hosted the 2008-09 All-Sports Awards Banquet this evening to recognize the Poet student-athletes for their achievements from the past school year. The evening culminated with the announcement of the four major awards: The Male & Female Freshman of the Year, the Male & Female Team Sport Athlete of the Year, the Male & Female Individual Athlete of the Year and the Male & Female Presidential Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The event featured speeches by Whittier College Director of Athletics Robert Coleman, Whittier College President Dr. Sharon Herzberger and Whittier College Alumni, Dan Trujillo.
WC honored a number of student-athletes throughout the evening. As a whole the Poets had 33 All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honorees, four all-region selections, two All-Americans and two NCAA qualifiers.
Freshmen Nicole Beauchamp and Patricio Carregha earned the Freshman Athlete of the Year Award.
Beauchamp had a sensational freshman season for the swimming & diving team. She was the lone Poet to earn all-conference honors. She qualified for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships with a third place dive and improved to a second place finish at the SCIAC Championships. Throughout the year she finished in first place in the 1 Meter Dive in four conference meets.
Carregha was equally impressive. He earned second-team all-conference honors in soccer. He led the team with five goals and also helped the tennis squad to its best season in school history. He played the majority of the season at No. 3 singles but also saw time at No. 2 and No. 4 singles. His overall record was 13-8 (second best on the team) and he added 14 wins in doubles competition.
For the second consecutive year Kourtney Zilbert was named the Female Team Sport Athlete of the Year. She earned the award as a freshman in 2008 and as a sophomore had just as a remarkable year. She was named first-team all-conference and third-team all-region by D3hoops.com. She earned SCIAC Athlete of the Week honors for the week ending February 24, led the team in points (14.0) and rebounds (8.2) and scored 20 or more points four times on the year.
She started and played in all 26 games on the year and collected nine double-doubles.
On the men's side two student-athletes garnered the award. It was the first time there were two winners of the Team Sport Athlete of the Year Award since the 2003-04 Banquet.
Seniors Michael Archuletta and Anthony Cappelletti shared the honor. Archuletta helped the Poets to one of their best basketball seasons in recent memory. He was named first-team all-conference for the second consecutive season and averaged a team-high 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Cappelletti also earned his second straight all-conference award after he led Whittier in virtually every offensive category. He batted .439 with 10 homeruns, 42 runs batted in, 65 hits, 48 runs scored and 17 doubles. He reached base safely in 35-of-39 games and had a hit streak of 16 games. In addition, he had multiple hits in 20 games this year which includes eight games with three or more hits.
The track & field team came away with a pair of winners of the Individual Athlete of the Year Award. TC Collymore won the men's award for his all-conference performance in the Triple Jump and Long Jump. Despite being hampered by an injury during the conference championships he finished fourth in the Long Jump and third in the Triple Jump.
Throughout the year he found himself in the Top 5 in nearly all his meets. Twice he finished first in the Triple Jump and finished first on one occasion in the Long Jump.
Freshman Michele Callaway had a year to remember. She began in cross country were she finished third overall at the SCIAC Championships to earn all-conference honors. As an encore she earned All-West Region honors and qualified for the NCAA Championships becoming the first Whittier NCAA Qualifier in cross country since 1996. She was also named to the 2008 All-Academic Team.
During track & field season she broke a 28-year record in the 5000m race. The previous record was 18:19.14 but Callaway's new mark bettered that by over one minutes. At the Occidental Invitational on May 9 she ran a blistering 17:16.05 which hit the NCAA provisional mark. That was the fastest time by a freshman this year.
She continued to etch her name in the school record books with a 4:37.91 in the 1500m race. That time also hit the NCAA provisional mark and qualified her for the Untied States Track & Field Junior National Championships.
The final awards of the evening were presented to Shuree Gangloff and Lance Franey. The two seniors earned the Presidential Scholar Athlete Awards for the achievements on and off the field. Gangloff was a two-time SCIAC Champion in the Discus and also added an all-conference honor in the Shot Put this season. She held a 3.71 GPA, was a four-year letter winner and majored in Kinesiology.
Franey was the lone senior on the tennis team and helped the team to its best season ever. He went 13-8 in singles competition, 15-6 in doubles play, was a two-year letter winner, majored in Child Development and held a 3.72 GPA. He was also the student speaker at the banquet.