Cook, Neller, Jones amongst UMBC award winners

May 09, 2013 | WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – More than 400 student-athletes, faculty, staff and family members were in attendance on Monday, May 6 at the RAC Arena as UMBC honored its student-athletes for another successful year both on the playing surface and in the classroom. Junior Pete Caringi III (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) joined second-year honorees, sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College), as the Retrievers’ Most Outstanding Athletes for the 2012-13 academic year, an honor that was renamed the Dr. Charles R. Brown Outstanding Athlete Award to recognize the Athletic Director, who will retire in June, for his 24 years of dedication to the department and school.

Men’s Lacrosse four-year letterwinner Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, Brit. Columbia/Terry Fox) earned Outstanding Senior Male Athlete recognition, while track & field’s Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) and women’s lacrosse’s Jamie Fahey(Baldwin, Md./Loch Raven) shared the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award.

Women’s Basketball’s Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American) and men’s soccer’s Liam Paddock(Worcestershire, England/Chase Technology College) received the prestigious Matt Skalsky Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the department’s top academic honorees.

Caringi III authored a breakthrough season for the men’s soccer program, and was the offensive force that propelled the team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, earning several post-season honors. He was cited as the America East Striker of the Year, the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and he was selected to National College Soccer Coaches’ Association All-Northeast Region Second Team.

An America East First Team selection and the league’s Fans’ Choice Player of the Year, he scored 14 goals and recorded 32 points to place 13th and 15th respectively in the country. The local Calvert Hall product also tied a school single-game record by scoring four goals in a resounding victory over league foe Hartford.

Jackson pushed past her record-setting freshman campaign and continued to make history both inside and outside, as she garnered her second consecutive Athlete of the Year recognition. Already the school-record holder in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash events indoors from last year, Jackson ran past both marks during the 2012-13 indoor track season, including a personal-best time of 7.34 in the 60-meter event to become just the fourth UMBC track athlete ever to advance to the NCAA Championships. In Fayetteville, Arkansas, she placed 13th and earned a spot on the All-America Second Team.

Outside, the sophomore has continued her bristling pace, winning the 100m and 200m dash events in record-breaking time at the America East Outdoor Championships. Her victory in the 100-meter race broke an eight-year old conference record, while her win the 200-meter snapped her own conference and school-record times. For her efforts, she was named the Most Outstanding Female Track Performer.

A year after breaking onto the scene at UMBC with three individual gold medals at the 2012 America East Championships,Hussein, also a back-to-back honoree of Most Outstanding Athlete recognition, pushed even further this season, leading the Retrievers to just their second-ever undefeated dual meet season. In Orono, Maine, he once again won three individual events and was named the Most Outstanding Male Swimmer for the second-straight year, as he helped guide the Retrievers back to the top of the conference with a meet-record 1,075 total points at the America East Championships in Maine.

Following the America East meet, the junior claimed Top Male Swimmer accolades at the ECAC Championships and became just the third Retriever in program history, and first male swimmer, to make the cut for the NCAA Championships. In Indianapolis, against a national field, he set personal-records in the 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle, and the 200-yard backstroke, breaking his own school record with each swim.

Jones has been the men’s lacrosse team’s offensive leader for the past three seasons. He has earned three all-conference honors, including first team recognition in 2012, when he finished eighth in the nation in goals scored per game. Earlier this season, he became the 30th player in school history to record 100 points and currently stands 20th with 117 career points. Jones has served as team captain of the Retrievers for the past two season and earned all-tournament honors at the 2013 America East Men’s Lacrosse Championships.

Deller has won the shot put all eight times at the America East Championships, earning a gold medal in the event indoors and outdoors, all four years of her career. In addition, she has won the weight throw at the indoor meet to be named the Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete each of the last two years. Last year, she added the discus championship to her career haul and this season at the conference championships at Binghamton, she repeated in the discus to bring her career haul to 12 America East titles.

Fahey received conference honors all four season with the Retrievers, including three straight selections to the America East All-Conference First Team. Additionally, she has earned national recognition on the IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team, as well as garnering a spot on the womenslacrosse.com All-Rookie Squad. The four-year letterwinner eclipsed the century mark for draw controls with 115 and ground balls with 105 for her career this season, in addition to recording her first career point with an assist in a 15-12 victory against American.

Harris emerged as one of the elite point guards in the America East in her senior season, setting a new school record with 109 steals on the season, ranking fifth all-time in takeaways in a campaign for the America East, and ended the year ranked third in the country in steals per game. An America East All-Conference Second Team selection, and a member of the America East All-Defensive team, the senior guard tripled her scoring production from a year ago, averaging 12.4 points per game and adding 3.8 helpers. The America East Honor Roll member earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in media and communications studies in May 2012 and has posted a 4.0 GPA since starting her master’s program in early childhood education.

Paddock became just the second UMBC student-athlete ever to receive a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which he is using to pursue a master’s degree in the management of aging studies. He earned his undergraduate degree with a 3.92 GPA, completing a double-major in psychology and sociology and was the 2012 ECAC Division I Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

A team captain at UMBC, Paddock was named 2012 America East Defender of the Year and was a repeat selection to the America East All-Conference First Team. The two-time America East Scholar Athlete in the sport of men’s soccer, he started all 72 games that he dressed for in his four-year tenure in Baltimore.

The Leon Upshur Memorial Award, establish in 1994 to honor a student volunteer that contributes to the mission of the athletic department in capacities other than participation, was given to fourth-year student trainer Mariah Cheaves.

Juniors Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) of track & field and Klara Pavelkova (Prague, Czech Republic/Gymnasium Pripotocni) of women’s swimming & diving wrapped up the major award winners as the recipients of the Retriever Club Scholarship Award, which will be used for their senior seasons of competition.

Below is the list of UMBC’s most valuable athletes, most improved athletes and unsung heroes for each sport, chose by that’ team’s coaches, as well as the winners of the third annual Gritty Awards:

2012-13 UMBC Award Winners

Men’s Soccer
Most Improved Athlete: Jordan Becker (Pocomoke City, Md./Pocomoke)
Most Valuable Athlete: Pete Carinigi III (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall)
Most Valuable Athlete: Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall)

Women’s Soccer
Unsung Hero: Melissa Hummel (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East)
Most Improved Athlete: Stephanie Smith (Severna Park, Md./Archbishop Spalding)
Most Valuable Athlete: Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas)

Volleyball
Unsung Hero: Robbin Lee (Olney, Md./Sherwood)
Most Improved Athlete: Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/St. Mary’s Academy)
Most Improved Athlete: Krystal Mlemchukwu (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech)

Men’s Cross Country
Unsung Hero: Tommy Eldridge (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River)
Most Improved Athlete: Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley)
Most Valuable Athlete: Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood)

Women’s Cross Country
Unsung Hero: Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond)
Most Improved Athlete: Julie Gessler (Ellicott City, Md./Institute of Notre Dame)
Most Valuable Athlete: Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll)

Men’s Basketball
Unsung Hero: Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy)
Most Improved Athlete: Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy)
Most Valuable Athlete: Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti/Chestnut Hill College)

Women’s Basketball
Unsung Hero: Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American)
Most Improved Athlete: Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover)
Most Valuable Athlete: Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American)

Men’s Swimming & Diving
Unsung Hero: Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford)
Unsung Hero: Pierre DeWaal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State)
Most Valuable Athlete: Mohammed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College)

Women’s Swimming & Diving
Most Improved Athlete: Corinna Darelius (Rye, N.Y./Rye)
Most Improved Athlete: Faye Hixenbaugh (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery)
Most Valuable Athlete: Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross)

Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Most Improved Athlete: Liam Stott (Carrboro, N.C./Chapel Hill)
Most Valuable Athlete: Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU)
Most Valuable Athlete: Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley)

Women’s Indoor Track & Field
Most Improved Athlete: Mary Katherine Kulp (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal)
Most Valuable Athlete: Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown)
Most Valuable Athlete: Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen)

Men’s Lacrosse
Unsung Hero: Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River
Unsung Hero: Ethan Murphy (West Seneca, N.Y./West Seneca East)
Unsung Hero: Jake Zimmerman (Towson, Md./Boys’ Latin)

Women’s Lacrosse
Unsung Hero: Kendall Mason (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor)
Most Improved Athlete: Lexi Bristow (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck)
Most Valuable Athlete: Jamie Fahey (Baldwin, Md./Loch Raven)

Men’s Tennis
Unsung Hero: Patrick Geoffrion-Amorim (Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada/American Heritage)
Most Improved Athlete: Daniel Gray (Bowie, Md./The Bullis School)
Most Valuable Athlete: Justin Carter (Randallstown, Md./National Connections Academy)

Women’s Tennis
Unsung Hero: Isabel Aldunate (Bowie, Md./Home School)
Most Improved Athlete: Heidi Danielsson (Jonkoping, Sweden/Sanda)
Most Valuable Athlete: Josefin Stange-Jonsson (Vasteras, Sweden/De La Gardiegymnasiet)

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Athlete: Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU)
Most Valuable Athlete: Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany)
Most Valuable Athlete: Thor Serafenas (Olney, Md./Good Counsel/Clemson)

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Athlete: Kirsten Jones (Brentwood, Tenn./M.L.K. Magnet)
Most Valuable Athlete: Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen)
Most Valuable Athlete: Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown)

Baseball
Unsung Hero: Robert Hopp (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville)
Unsung Hero: Luke Seppi (Annapolis, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt)
Most Improved Athlete: Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep)

Softball
Unsung Hero: Danielle O’Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern)
Most Valuable Athlete: Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast)
Most Valuable Athlete: Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby)

2012-13 Gritty Award Winners

Upset of the Year: Men’s Soccer victory over Old Dominion

Rookie of the Year: Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch School) – men’s lacrosse

Record-Breaking Performance: Mohammed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) – men’s swimming & diving

Comeback Athlete of the Year: Amy Fay (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) – women’s swimming & diving

Play of the Year: Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) – men’s basketball

Breakthrough Athlete of the Year: Shannon Harkey (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley/Florida) – women’s

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