Big Green athletes honored at Celebration of Excellence
By Caroline Buck, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
On Monday night, the Dartmouth Athletic Department honored eight student-athletes at the annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence in Leede Arena. The night’s highest honor, the Kenneth Archibald Prize, was awarded to Peter Williamson ’12 of the men’s golf team. The award is given to “the member of the graduating class who has been four years in attendance, who has been the best all-around athlete, regard also being had to moral worth and high standing in scholarship.”
Williamson is a three-time Ivy League champion and has finished in the top 10 in 30 of 36 career tournaments. Last weekend, Williamson tied for fifth place at the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“There will never be another Pete Williamson in the Ivy League,” men’s golf coach Rich Parker said. “The award tells the whole story. A golfer won athlete of the year. Amazing.”
Abbey D’Agostino ’14 was recognized as the outstanding female athlete of the year with the Class of 1976 Award. D’Agostino was a three-time All-American and four-time Ivy League champion this year, collecting two titles in outdoor track and one in both indoor track and cross country. D’Agostino also placed third at the NCAA Championship in cross country and anchored Dartmouth’s women’s distance medley relay squad to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. D’Agostino also broke school records in seven different events this season, and her 5,000-meter time of 15:23.35 places her eighth all-time in NCAA history.
Lucky Mkosana ’12 of the men’s soccer team received the Alfred E. Watson Trophy as Dartmouth’s outstanding male athlete. Mkosana’s 34 career goals and 78 career points are both program records, and Dartmouth won two Ivy League championships and twice advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament during his time playing for the Big Green. The 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year, Mkosana also became the first player in Dartmouth history to be named to the All-Ivy first team four times and was drafted in the second round, 23rd overall, in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire.
The Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to a male and female student-athlete in the junior class who has “combined outstanding performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics.” Sarah Leonard ’13 of the women’s tennis team and Josh Konieczny ’13 of the lightweight crew team were the recipients of the award.
Leonard, a philosophy major who holds a 3.88 GPA, was named first team All-Ivy this year and garnered second-team honors her freshman and sophomore years. In 2010, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast recognized Leonard as Rookie of the Year. Leonard hopes to attend law school after Dartmouth.
Konieczny, who has achieved a 3.91 GPA as an economics major, currently rows in the stroke seat of the top varsity boat and has the highest erg score ever recorded by a Dartmouth rower. In 2011, Konieczny helped his team earn silver at the Eastern Sprints and bronze at the IRA National Championship.
Konieczny said that being a Dartmouth student-athlete means being committed to excellence, and he advised underclassman athletes to find pride and fulfillment in academics and athletics.
“Dartmouth is one of the finest institutions in the world for academics and athletics,” Konieczny said. “We are all here to compete and succeed at the highest levels.”
The Timothy Wright Ellis Award is given to the male student-athlete who best demonstrates “extracurricular and scholastic drive, spirit, loyalty and amiability” and was given to Adam Rice ’12 of the men’s soccer team. Rice has achieved a 3.97 grade point average while also serving as director of Athletes United and working with Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth. Rice won the Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete award his junior year as well as the men’s soccer team’s Norman Grant Clark Award.
Sarah Plumb ’12, a co-captain on the women’s lacrosse team, was honored with the Agnes B. Kurtz Award for the female athlete who “best combines proficiency in athletics with dedication to the furthering of women’s athletics.” Plumb was Ivy League Player of the Year this year after leading her team to the program’s first Ivy Tournament championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Class of 1950 Award, given to the student-athlete who has shown exceptional dedication to community service, was presented to Laura Hempel ’12 of the women’s cross country and track and field teams.
Hempel has balanced three terms of athletics with a leadership position on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and volunteers with the Special Olympics, David’s House and Dancing Through the Decades. She also coordinates the local chapter of Girls on the Run, an organization that mentors elementary school girls to help promote healthy habits and a positive self-image.
In addition to the individual awards presented, the men’s alpine skiing team was awarded the Big Green Cup, given to the varsity program that earns the most points by attending athletic events, performing community service, achieving academic success and competing athletically at a high level.