Senior Varsity Athletes Honored at Jack B. Riffle Celebration
Women's track & field athlete Cat Berry '19 (Mansfield, Ohio/Western Reserve Academy) and men's basketball swingman Peter Hoffmann '19 (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Haldane HS) received the 2019 Jack B. Riffle Awards at Hamilton College's senior varsity athlete awards celebration on Tuesday, May 21.
Berry needed just three years to establish herself as the top sprinter in program history after she transferred from Colgate University prior to her sophomore year. Hoffmann was a four-year starter and a model of consistency as he finished just 12 points shy of becoming the ninth player to reach 1,500 for a career in the team's storied history.
The Riffle Awards have been presented annually since 1987 to the top male and female athlete in Hamilton's senior class. Riffle graduated from Hamilton in 1950 and passed away on Dec. 13, 1986. A group of Riffle's friends and associates established a memorial fund in his name because of his deep interest in Hamilton athletics.
Berry is the fifth women's track & field athlete to win the Riffle Award and the first since 2002. She holds team indoor records in four individual events and two relays and owns team outdoor records in three individual events and the 400-meter relay. She will compete in the 400-meter dash at the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships this Friday. She was voted the winner of the Sabasteanski Award as the Most Outstanding Female Performer at the 2019 NESCAC championships after she won the 200 meters and 400 and helped the 400-meter relay to first place. She competed in the 200 and the 400 at the 2019 NCAA indoor championships and qualified in the 200 for the 2017 and 2018 national meet. She collected all-region indoor honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the 200 and 400 in 2019 and for the 200 and distance medley relay in 2018. She earned all-region outdoor honors for the 400 in 2019 and the 200 in 2018 and 2017. Berry finished in the top three in the 100 and the 200 at the 2017 and 2018 NESCAC meet and earned all-conference honors both years.
Hoffmann is the first men's basketball player to collect the Riffle Award since 2004, but is the ninth overall. He helped lead the Continentals to a record of 65-19 and three postseason appearances the last three seasons. He was voted to the all-NESCAC team three times by the league's coaches. As a junior, he helped Hamilton win 24 games, tie for first place in the NESCAC standings, reach the semifinals of the NESCAC championship and advance to the third round of the NCAA championship. As a senior, the Continentals recorded 25 victories, tied for first place in the NESCAC standings, reached the NESCAC championship final and advanced to the third round of the NCAA championship for the second straight year. The 2018-19 team captain ended up fifth on the program's all-time list with 110 career blocked shots. He averaged 14.0 points in 106 games, shot 50.9 percent from the field, grabbed 500 rebounds and came away with 123 steals.
Field hockey goalkeeper Julia Booth '19 (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich Academy) and men's hockey forward Jason Brochu '19 (Saint-Bruno, Quebec/Stanstead College) received the Milton H. Jannone Awards. The Jannone Awards have been presented annually since 2009 to a male and female senior athlete who exhibit outstanding athleticism, leadership and academic accomplishment.
Booth is an environmental studies major who was a four-year starter and team captain her senior year. She was on the 2018 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III National Academic Squad and played in the Division III Senior Game. In 2016 she was placed on the NFHCA all-America third team and was voted the NESCAC defensive player of the year. She helped the Continentals to 40 wins and three postseason appearances in four years. Hamilton was ranked in the Division III top 20 coaches poll at the end of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. She was first team all-NESCAC and first team all-region in 2016 and 2017. She ended up in second place on the program's all-time list with eight career shutouts and landed in fifth place with 387 career saves. Her shutout helped lead the team to their first NESCAC championship victory in 2016 against Amherst in the quarterfinals. Her record was 37-22 in goal and she finished with a save percentage of .771 and 1.99 goals against average in 59 career games. Booth received a COOP Service Prize on Class and Charter Day earlier this month.
Brochu is an economics major with a minor in mathematics and is a three-time member of the NESCAC winter all-academic team. He helped lead the Continentals to 61 wins and four postseason appearances. When he was a sophomore, Hamilton posted a program-record 20 wins, advanced to the NESCAC championship final and made their first appearance in the NCAA championship. He finished his 103-game career with 74 points on 36 goals and 38 assists. The two-time NESCAC player of the week was voted second team all-NESCAC by the league's coaches in 2019 and made the all-NESCAC first team in 2018. Brochu scored the game-winning goal in overtime of a 2019 NESCAC championship quarterfinal against Williams.
Women's lacrosse midfielder Kara Pooley '19 (Wexford, Pa./Shady Side Academy) and football linebacker Cole Burchill '19 (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville HS) received the Jean-Marius Gelas Memorial Awards. The Gelas Awards are presented annually to a male and female senior student-athlete who has displayed outstanding development in sportsmanship, leadership, character and athletic ability during their college years.
Pooley was a team captain her senior year and a four-year starter. She helped lead the Continentals to three postseason appearances including 2017 when Hamilton finished with a record of 12-6, advanced to the semifinals of the NESCAC championship, and hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III championship. She was voted first team all-NESCAC in 2019 by the league's coaches and made the all-conference second team in 2017. She was on the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association all-region first team in 2017 and 2019 and was placed on the second team in 2018. She finished her 64-game career with 135 points on 93 goals and 42 assists. Pooley is one of only a handful of players in team history to record more than 100 career points, draw controls (155), ground balls (117) and caused turnovers (114).
Burchill was a team captain as a junior and senior, and played in all but one game in his career. After the 2018 season he was named the Continentals' defensive most valuable player and given his team's Paul Adey Award, which recognizes the player that exemplifies coach Adey's dedication, work ethic, intensity and selflessness. He received the team's National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award this year. In 2018 he led the team in tackles and in 2017 he ranked fifth in the NESCAC in tackles per game. He finished his 33-game career with 206 tackles, including four sacks, and forced three fumbles.