Athletic Department Announces Annual Awards at Year End Banquet

NEW PALTZ, NY — The SUNY New Paltz Athletic Department announced their annual award winners at the Athletic Department Reception this past Friday, May 12. Honors were given for team Most Valuable Players (MVP), along with the annual Department Awards.

The following student-athlete’s were named as their team MVP for their respective season in the 2005-2006 athletic year. Ryan Shanks (Men’s Soccer), Winnie Lento (Women’s Soccer), Nicole Kovac (Field Hockey), Sean Brown (Men’s Cross Country), Kate Choromanski (Women’s Cross Country), Christina Mazurowski (Women’s Volleyball), Dana Lim (Women’s Tennis), Amber Sohns (Women’s Basketball), John Hauser (Men’s Basketball), Joanna Masterson (Women’s Swimming), John Fleckenstein (Men’s Swimming), Lauren Motzkin (Softball), Pedro Medina (Men’s Volleyball), and Bill Kelts (Baseball).

The Donald Bishko Award is given to the male and female athlete who has the highest grade point average at the conclusion of each semester. Sophomore setter Katie Becofsky (Altamont, NY) of the Women’s Volleyball team and sophomore pitcher Neal Rosengren (White Plains, NY) of the Baseball team were the recipients of this academic recognition.

The New Paltz Team Academic Award is given to the men’s and women’s teams that have the highest grade point average at the conclusion of each semester. To be considered for the team prize a team must have a minimum of ten members. This year’s winners were the Baseball Team, for the spring and fall semesters of 2005, Women’s Volleyball, for Spring of 2005, and Field Hockey for Fall of 2005.

The Kenneth F. Burda Sportsmanship Award is given to a male and female athlete, who in the estimation of the Department, has displayed the elements of commitment, fair play, and service to his/her team. Junior Ashley Williamson (Holland Patent, NY) of the Women’s Swim team and senior catcher Eric Velazquez (Chestnut Ridge, NY) from Baseball received this year’s honors.

The Athletic Director’s Award, given to the person or persons, who in the estimation of the Director of Athletics, has provided dedicated service to the Department, was awarded to senior middle hitter Christina Mazurowski (Tonawanda, NY) of the Women’s Volleyball team.

The awards for most outstanding female and male athlete of the year, the Carol Eckman and Floyd Patterson Awards, were given to Masterson and junior third baseman John DeKams (Kings Point, NY) of the Baseball team, respectively.

The Department’s most prestigious award, the Heinz Ahlmeyer Award, given to a junior or senior athlete with two or more years of varsity participation whose dedication, perseverance, and service throughout his or her athletic career at SUNY New Paltz has been an inspiration to both his or her teammates and fellow students was awarded to John Hauser of the Men’s Basketball team. Past winners include Bryan Smith (Men’s Soccer, 2005), Kent Yeung (Men’s Swimming, 2005), Lisa Taub (Field Hockey/Softball, 2004) and Allison Taub (Field Hockey/Track and Field, 2004).

A moment of silence was held for Floyd Patterson, who passed away earlier this week, Thursday, May 11. Patterson was a Gold Metal Winner in Boxing at the 1952 Olympics and was the youngest Heavy Weight Champion at 21 years of age until Mike Tyson broke that record in 1986. Patterson was a two-time champion, the first in history, and held the title for a total of five years throughout his career. Patterson was 71 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer.