Capping a sports season for the ages, men's swimmer Todd Johnson '08 and women's lacrosse and soccer player Nicole Tetreault '08 received the 2008 Jack B. Riffle Awards at the College's senior varsity athlete awards dinner on May 22.
Johnson is the sixth men's swimmer selected to win the Riffle and the first since 2002. He earned All-America honors at the 2008 NCAA Division III men's swimming and diving championships, finishing in eighth place in the finals of the 100-yard backstroke. He received honorable mention All-America awards for the same event in 2006 and 2007. Johnson owns school records in the 50 and 100 backstroke.
Johnson made the New England Small College Athletic Conference all-conference team for the fourth straight year. He finished first in the 50 and 100 back at the 2008 NESCAC championships and set Middlebury College pool records in both events in the process. After the meet, he collected the Four-Year High Point Swimmer award. The award is given annually to the senior swimmer who accumulates the most team points at the NESCAC championships during his four-year career. Johnson still holds Liberty League championship meet record times in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
Tetreault is the eighth women's lacrosse player and the ninth women's soccer player honored at the Riffle dinner. She was one of three captains on the 2008 women's lacrosse team that won the first NCAA team championship in the College's history. She was selected the Liberty League Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and was named a First Team All-American last year. She is already a 2008 First Team All-Empire Region pick.
Tetreault ranks fourth on the program's all-time goals list with 138 and is fifth in career points with 182. While she did not play lacrosse in 2006 or soccer in 2005 due to a knee injury, Tetreault helped the lacrosse team to a record of 58-16 with two Liberty League tournament and regular season titles, two trips to the NCAA tournament and four postseason appearances during her career.
A two-time member of the Liberty League women's soccer all-star team, Tetreault finished her career with 16 goals and nine assists. She helped lead the 2007 team to the finest season in program history as Hamilton won a record 16 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. She helped the program to a record of 47-14-6 with two Liberty League regular season titles and one tournament crown, two trips to the NCAA tournament and four postseason appearances during her career.
Tetreault also excels in the classroom. In June she was named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-America Women's At-Large First Team — one of just 15 players so honored nationally — by the College Sports Information Directors of America. And she was one of 21 members of the Class of 2008 elected to the Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honor society.
The Riffle Award has been presented annually since 1987 to the outstanding Hamilton male and female senior athlete. Jack Riffle graduated from Hamilton in 1950 and passed away in 1986. A group of his friends and associates established a memorial fund in his name because of his deep interest in Hamilton athletics.
Other key spring athletic honors:
Men's squash: Hamilton received the College Squash Association's prestigious Sloane Team Sportsmanship Trophy at a Feb. 16 banquet in Boston. The award is voted on by coaches and presented to the team displaying the highest level of sportsmanship during the season. Head Coach Jamie King is the first individual to receive the award both as a player (as captain of the 1984 Williams College team) and as a coach. Hamilton (10-11 overall) went 2-1 in the CSA's team championships and finished the season third in the Summers "C" Division bracket. The Continentals' final No. 19 ranking is the team's highest in five years.
Women's rowing: Four women's rowers were selected national scholar-athletes for the 2008 season by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association: Lizzie Collins '10 (French), Britt Freitag '08 (theatre), Sarah Henochowicz '08 (mathematics) and Anne Murphy '08 (history and Hispanic studies). Murphy was coxswain for Hamilton's second varsity eight that finished first at the Liberty League championships. Freitag was honored in 2007 as well. Student-athletes who make the list need a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or better.
Men's golf: Brad Roche '11 was named to the 2008 NCAA Division III PING all-region team for the Northeast by the Golf Coaches Association of America. He also represented the Northeast region on the six-member Division III All-Freshman Team. Leading Hamilton with a stroke average of 76.86 for 21 rounds, Roche earned the 2007 NESCAC Rookie of the Year award and made the all-conference first team. The Continentals went on to finish second as a team at the NESCAC championship in April.
Three other men's golfers were named to the 2008 Cleveland Golf Division III All-America Scholar Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Dave Christie '09, Jeff Corbett '09 and Mike Hayes '08 are among 41 NCAA Division III men's golfers on the list. Hayes made the 2007 team as well. An individual must be a junior or senior academically and must have competed at least two full years at the collegiate level to be eligible for All-America scholar status. He must have a stroke average under 79.0 in Division III and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.20.
Women's track and field: Three athletes earned a spot on the 2008 New England Small College Athletic Conference all-conference team based on their performance at the NESCAC championship meet at Hamilton's Walter H. Pritchard Track April 26. Akilah Bond '09 (first, triple jump), Kary Pardy '08 (second, hammer throw) and Alexandra Americanos '10 (third, 100-meter dash) received all-conference recognition as they finished among the top three in their events.
Men's track and field: Three other athletes joined Peter Kosgei '10 on the 2008 NESCAC all-conference team based on their performance at the conference championships April 26: James Russell '09 (first, pole vault), Greg Fullman '09 (third, 400-meter hurdles) and Claudius Zorokong '08 (third, long jump). Russell, who holds the school record at 4.55 meters, won the pole vault for the third straight year.
Softball: Amber O'Connor '09 was selected to the 2008 NESCAC softball all-conference team. O'Connor, who was all-conference as a rookie in 2006, was placed on the second team. She tied for eighth place in the NESCAC with a .447 on-base percentage and tied for ninth with nine stolen bases. The catcher hit .378 and started all 27 games for Hamilton. She helped Hamilton to 12 victories — the most for the softball team since 1999.
Men's lacrosse: Marc Albu '08 and Karl Gruss '08 were selected to the 2008 Liberty League All-Star Team. Both Albu and Gruss made the honorable mention list. Each started all 14 games for the Continentals, who finished the year with a record of 6-8 overall and 1-5 in the league.