GW Athletics Celebrates Student-Athletes at Georgey Awards
Fourth annual event crowns academic and athletic champions
Though several GW Athletics' teams are still on a championship quest, with classes concluding at the university it was time to celebrate the best and brightest student-athletes and teams from 2014-15 last night at Lisner Auditorium.
Hosted by softball's Carlee Gray, men's basketball's Patricio Garino (who also made an appearance as Professor Pato), volleyball's Chidima Osuchukwu and men's water polo's Brian Mojica, the 4th annual Georgey Awards married glitz and glamour with the tireless hard work put in by GW student-athletes in the classroom, in competition and in the community this year.
The night's top awards went to co-Teams of the Year women's basketball and gymnastics after their championship seasons, while men's tennis' new all-time solo wins leader Francisco Dias and women's basketball A-10 Player of the year and All-American Jonquel Jones claimed Athlete of the Year honors. Jones topped a stacked field of female nominees that included fellow All-Americans in their respective sports, Osuchukwu, women's squash's Anna Porras and gymnastics' Cami Drouin-Allaire.
The distinguished Red Auerbach Awards, for the student-athletes that did it all and showed what being a Colonial is all about, were bestowed on men's basketball's John Kopriva and Gray.
Baseball's Robbie Metz and Drouin-Allaire took home Rookie of the Year honors, after becoming the program's first-ever All-American.
It was a special night all-around for GW gymnastics, who also saw Head Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham earn a Distinguished Service Award for her 30 seasons at the helm of the program. Foster-Cunningham was named the NCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Colonials to their first-ever East Atlantic Gymnastics League Championship and an appearance at NCAA Regionals.
As being a student-athlete at GW is about more than just what happens in competition, Georgeys were also awarded to top performing student-athletes in the classroom and the community.
The Raise High Our Community Awards went to men's rowing's Marc Hisarli, who totaled 41 hours of service this year with involvement in Grassroots and the Armed Forces, and sailing's Gabriella Malek, who performed a whopping 650 hours of service this year volunteering with UNICEF and the Young Humanitarians Forum, for which she previously earned an Excellence in Student Life Award for Outstanding Student Service.
Gymnastics took home the Raise High Our Community Team Award after compiling nearly 800 hours of service as a team this year volunteering at Capital Area Food Bank, Tour de Cure, The Buddy Walk, Adopt a Family and walks benefiting AIDS and Epilepsy.
In the category of Best Athlete in a Supporting Role, softball's Maura Murphy and men's soccer's Luke Farrell brought home the hardware, while GW Athletics superfan and President of the Colonial Army Ian Mellul was awarded Fan of the Year. In a touching moment, Mellul then deferred his honor to longtime GW supporter Jeremy Wayne.
The second annual Dan Black Award, which goes to individuals with a desire to be the best they can be every single day no matter the obstacles faced, went to lacrosse's Jacqui Stevens and baseball's Craig Lejeune.
Women's tennis won the female Academic Team of the Year for the second year in a row with a cumulative grade point average of 3.59, while men's cross county and track's 3.38 team GPA took top honors for the males.
In another nod to the academic priorities and excellence of GW student-athletes, four individuals who were previously honored with the university's Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for being in the top 2% of their class in their respective schools based on GPA were recognized: women's tennis' Lana Robins, men's tennis' Danil Zelenkov, women's rowing's Jen Nichols and men's soccer's Jonny Forrest. Leading that remarkable pack, however, was Kopriva, who was the top student in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences.
Team MVPs were also honored at the Georgeys, including: Men's basketball: Patricio Garino Women's basketball: Jonquel Jones Men's cross country and track: Ryan Tucker Women's cross country and track: Hannah Rowe Golf: Jack Persons Gymnastics: Cami Drouin-Allaire Lacrosse: Jamie Bumgardner Men's rowing: Matthew Coughlin Women's rowing: Amanda Young Sailing: Miranda Bakos and Brendan Shanahan Men's soccer: Sam Summerlin Women's soccer: Alex Brothers Softball: Victoria Valos Men's squash: Oisin Logan Women's squash: Anna Porras Men's swimming and diving: Goran Koprivnjak Women's swimming and diving: Janica Lee Men's tennis: Francisco Dias Women's tennis: Teodora Radosavljevic Volleyball: Chi Chi Osuchukwu Men's water polo: Bogdan Petkovic Women's water polo: Chandler Vilander
Capping the night, in the lone Georgey awarded by open vote, the Moment of the Year went to men's basketball's Joe McDonald's buzzer-beating putback to down Dayton at the Smith Center. That never-quit attitude and resulting euphoria was emblematic of the season that was 2014-15 at GW.