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Senior Varsity Athletes Honored at Jack B. Riffle Dinner


Morgan Fletcher '17 (Wayland, Mass./Wayland HS) and Robbie Murden '17 (Georgetown, Ontario/Christ the King Catholic) received the 2017 Jack B. Riffle Awards at Hamilton College's senior varsity athlete awards dinner on May 18.

Fletcher starred on Hamilton's women's soccer and lacrosse teams while Murden was a 100-point scorer for the Continental men's hockey team.

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.

Fletcher earned All-America lacrosse honors as a sophomore and junior (the 2017 All-America team is scheduled to be announced Friday) who scored 131 career points. She was a three-time selection to both the All-NESCAC and the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's Berkshire All-Region teams, picking up first-team recognition in both this spring. A three-year starter, Fletcher played in all 66 games over the past three seasons helping Hamilton to three post-season appearances including two trips to the NCAA playoffs. This season's edition went 8-2 in league play, tying for first in the NESCAC standings; both accomplishments were the Continentals' best in their six years in the conference.

Fletcher helped lead the soccer team to two postseason appearances. A three-year starter on Hamilton's back line, she finished her career with 11 points (five goals, one assist) in 48 games. She is a two-time member of both the NESCAC Fall and Spring All-Academic Teams.

Murden is one of just 26 Continentals to reach the 100-point plateau. He finished his career with 103 points despite missing nine games this year with an injury. Murden returned to the ice for the postseason, scoring four points in three games as the Continentals made the program's first appearance in the NESCAC final, followed by their first NCAA playoff berth.

A two-time member of the all-NESCAC team, he was a first-team all-conference pick -- as well as a member of D3hockey.com's East Region all-star team -- as a junior. He closed out his career with two goals in Hamilton's first game ever in the NCAA playoffs, helping the Continentals to a win at SUNY Oswego. Murden helped the team to three postseason appearances in his career, as well as a program-record 20 wins this winter. Hamilton finished first in the NESCAC's regular-season standings and was ranked as high as fifth nationally.

Field hockey player Emma Anderson '17 (Greene, N.Y./Greene Central School) and Jack Pierce '17 (New Gloucester, Maine/Maine Coast Waldorf School) of the cross country and track and field teams received the Milton H. Jannone Awards. The Jannone Awards are presented annually to a male and female senior athlete who exhibit outstanding athleticism, leadership and academic accomplishment.

Anderson started all 63 games over her four years at Hamilton, capping her career by playing in the 2016 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Senior Game. A second-team section to both the All-NESCAC and NFCHA All-New England Region teams as a senior, she helped the Continentals to their first appearance in the NESCAC championship semifinals and the program's highest national ranking ever (11th). Hamilton finished 12-5 this fall, beating both the defending national champion and the defending national runner-up. Anderson scored 23 career points (seven goals, nine assists).

A biology major, she was on the NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad all four years. She was a three-time member of the NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team and represented Hamilton on the 2014 NESCAC Fall All-Sportsmanship Team.

Pierce, a computer science major, recently earned a spot on the 2017 NESCAC Men's Track and Field All-Conference Team after he finished second and set a school record in the 10,000-meter run at the NESCAC championships. At the Eastern College Athletic (ECAC) indoor meet he posted all-ECAC performances in both the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter run. In cross country, Pierce was a three-time all-region selection and recorded all-state showings at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) Championships twice.

He was named national Division III athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) during his senior season after winning the individual title at Hamilton's Short Course Tuneup. Pierce helped the 2015 team to the program's first NCAA appearance in 44 years after the Continentals finished third at the NCAA regional meet, placed fourth at the NESCAC championship and won the NYSCTC team title for the first time ever. Pierce earned USTFCCCA all-academic honors three times in cross country and has been named to a total of nine NESCAC all-academic teams.

Hockey captain Bennett Hambrook '17 (Kimberley, B.C./Selkirk Secondary School) and Lillie Simourian '17 (Dover, Mass./Milton Academy) of the squash and lacrosse teams 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.
               
Hambrook served as an assistant captain for two seasons and captained this year's team to its most successful season ever. After suffering a season-ending injury in December, he assumed a role as student-assistant for the Continentals. The defenseman collected eight assists in 69 career games. A psychology major, he was a three-time selection to the NESCFAC Winter All-Academic Team.

Simourian lettered four times in both squash and lacrosse. During her career the lacrosse team made three postseason appearances, including two trips to the NCAA championship. In squash, Simourian was picked to the all-conference team as a senior, earning second-team All-NESCAC recognition after playing in the first position all season. She was named NESCAC Player of the Week during her junior season. A psychology major, she was a three-time member of both the NESCAC's winter and spring all-academic teams. Simourian served as captain of both sports as a senior and held leadership roles in Hamilton's and the NESCAC's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). Simourian was the NESCAC SAAC chair in 2016-17 and served as co-president of Hamilton's SAAC.

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