Athletic Department Announces 2021 Senior Award Winners
NCAA championship participants Sophia Aulicino ’21 and Lucas Wright ’21 won this year’s Jack B. Riffle Awards — and several other student-athletes received other honors — as announced by Director of Athletics Jon Hind ’80 via a video presentation on May 20.
The Riffle Awards have been presented annually since 1987 to the top male and female athlete in Hamilton’s senior class.
Aulicino becomes only the second women’s tennis player to win the Riffle in 35 years. She will be the first Hamilton tennis player – male or female – to make an appearance in the national championships when she competes in the individual portion of the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championships in singles play starting on May 28.
A two-time all-NESCAC team selection, Aulicino has been the team’s top player the last three seasons and has a career singles record of 33-15 with 20 wins in doubles play. As a sophomore she advanced to the quarterfinals in the singles bracket and the semifinals in doubles at the 2018 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional Championship.
In 2018-19, Aulicino led the team with 18 singles victories and finished in the top 50 among all Division III singles players, according to ITA rankings. She helped the Continentals finish in the top 40 in the final ITA Division III rankings. She received the team’s 2019-20 scholar-athlete award and will earn 2021 NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team honors.
Wright is on the cusp of qualifying for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as he currently owns the 10th-fastest time in the 800-meter run in Division III. He has already competed in the event at the 2019 indoor and outdoor national meet. His career-best time of 1:50.51 ranked second in Division III during the 2019 outdoor season.
Voted the most outstanding rookie performer after the 2018 NESCAC championships, Wright finished first in the 800 at the 2019 conference meet. He earned 2019 all-NESCAC honors for the 800 meters and again in 2021 for the 800 and the 4x400-meter relay. He collected all-Atlantic Region indoor and outdoor honors for the 800 meters as a first-year student and a sophomore.
Wright is part of a school indoor record in the 4x400-meter relay that was set in February 2018 and owns the 800-meter record at Utica College’s indoor facility. He was the top men’s cross country runner as a sophomore and junior, and was named NESCAC Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week on Oct. 9, 2017.
Field hockey defender Kathryn Craine ’21 and lacrosse attackman Ben Gardner ’21 received Jean-Marius Gelas Memorial Awards, presented to a male and female senior student-athlete who has displayed outstanding development in sportsmanship, leadership, character, and athletic ability during their college years.
Craine played in two games as a first-year student, was a part-time starter her sophomore year, and then a full-time starter on defense as a junior. She helped the Continentals make the postseason three times, and in 2019 the team advanced to the NESCAC championship semifinals with a 2-1 victory over nationally ranked Bowdoin College in the quarterfinals. During her first year at Hamilton, Craine joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, and she plans on serving as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear officer for the U.S. Army. She works as a high school SAT tutor, COOP senior fellow, and crisis text line operator.
Gardner is a two-time team captain who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in both knees, which caused him to miss his entire first-year and junior seasons. Despite the injuries, he finished with 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points in 18 career games, all of them starts. He also scooped up 25 ground balls and caused nine turnovers. He either scored or was credited with the assist on 17 of his team’s 29 goals in 2021. He will be a three-time member of the NESCAC spring all-academic team and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. President of the a cappella group the Hamiltones, he was named a Robert Day Scholar at Claremont McKenna College, where he will pursue a master’s degree in finance.
Cross country and track and field athlete Brigit Humphreys ’21 and hockey forward Justin Felhaber ’21 received Milton H. Jannone Awards, presented since 2009 to a male and female senior athlete who exhibit outstanding athleticism, leadership, and academic accomplishment.
Humphreys emerged as the cross country team’s top runner as a junior when she competed in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Championship. She qualified for the national meet by finishing 11th at the NCAA Atlantic Region Championships with a career-best 6-kilometer time of 22:42.4. She also is part of a team indoor track and field record in the 4x400-meter relay set in 2018 and earned all-Atlantic Region indoor honors for the distance medley relay as a first-year student that year. The biology major is a three-time member of the NESCAC fall all-academic team and made both the winter and spring all-academic teams twice.
Felhaber was named the Continentals’ most improved player as a sophomore and elected a captain as a senior. He finished with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 57 career games, and recorded a hat trick in a 7-4 win over Connecticut College in 2019. He helped lead Hamilton hockey to 40 wins and three postseason appearances in three seasons. The team advanced to the NESCAC championship semifinals when he was a sophomore and a junior. The literature and creative writing major is a three-time member of the NESCAC winter all-academic team. At Hamilton, he was inducted into the Was Los honor society and won the Frank Humphrey Ristine Prize Scholarship.