WORCESTER – The WPI athletic department recently honored all of its 20 varsity teams which encompasses over 600 student-athletes at its annual awards banquet. During the festivities, 11 student-athletes were presented with major awards. These accolades highlight some of the best varsity student-athletes at WPI who excel both in the classroom and in their respective sports.
The John P. Coghlin Award – Ashlyn Bedard (Hampstead, NH) – Softball
Presented to a team manager who is eligible for a varsity letter and has carried out invaluable service for his/her team.
Ashlyn debuted with a two-RBI triple, including what proved to be the game-winning run, in the 2015 season opener versus Salve Regina; however, due to medical reasons, she was unable to finish her freshmen season and assumed a managerial/student assistant role ever since. Over the past three seasons, the biology & biotechnology major never missed a practice, meeting, game, individual meeting or workout. Charged with running drills and keeping the practice schedule on track, Ashlyn also produced time-consuming scouting reports. On game day, she dealt with bat checks and charted the offense, offering suggestions when needed. Her opinion was valued like any other coach, and her game IQ, suggestions, and thoughtful way with her teammates was immeasurable.
The Coaches Award – Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) – Softball
Presented to the outstanding female athlete of the freshman class.
Marissa garnered All-New England and All-NEWMAC second team accolades and was the program's third NEWMAC Rookie of the Year honoree in four seasons after batting .392 with 14 extra base hits, 38 RBI, 35 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. The NEWMAC Athlete of the Week (March 26) began the campaign with a 15-game hitting streak, including nine of the multi-hit variety, and accumulated more than one in a contest 15 times. During the conference regular season, the shortstop ranked fourth overall and collected a NEWMAC-best 21 RBI.
The Charles R. McNulty Award – Brendan Marion (Norristown, PA) – Wrestling
Presented to the outstanding male athlete of the freshman class.
Brendan had an outstanding freshmen year going 26-6 and finishing fifth at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship. The 165-pounder helped lead the Engineers to a dual meet record of 18-4, their best since 1994, as WPI finished third at the NEWA Duals and second at the Northeast Regional. Brendan was also the RIT Invitational Champion, the NEWA Duals Outstanding Wrestler, and was named an NWCA Scholar All-American.
The Carolyn McCabe Award – Sydney Packard (Georgetown, MA) – Cross Country/Track & Field
Presented to the most outstanding female athlete in the sophomore class.
Sydney, who has competed at every possible NCAA Division III Track & Field Championship thus far, recently earned a third All-America honor with a fourth-place showing in the 800-meter run at the outdoor meet. Earlier in the year, the sophomore became the 10th-fastest woman in Division III indoor 800m history with a third-place 2:09.10. The fall, meanwhile, featured All-NEWMAC and All-Region cross country performances. The 2017 NEWMAC champion in the 4x400m collected the 800m and 1500m titles to go along with the Division III New England 800m crown in 2018. In all, Sydney is a three-time relay and two-time individual All-New England (D3) performer. The six-time USTFCCA track & field All-Region honoree has also earned a pair of academic nods from the organization, as well as a pair from the NEWMAC.
The Leo S. Jansson-Percy Carpenter Award – Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) - Football
Presented to the most outstanding male athlete in the sophomore class.
Sean was named to the inaugural NEWMAC All-Conference first team and was recognized on the regional level as a New England Football Writers Division II/III All-Star. He owns the Engineers single-season rushing record with 1,368 yards, which was the second-best total in the NEWMAC this past fall. Sean was also second in yards per game (124.4), rushing touchdowns (15) and third in yards per rush (5.7). The Boynton Hiller eclipsed 100 yards seven times with a career-high 246 in the opener versus Anna Maria to go with 237 yards and two scores as a receiver.
The Patricia Graham Award – Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) – Softball
Presented to the most outstanding female athlete in the junior class.
Renee, an All-NEWMAC second teamer and NFCA All-New England third teamer, was fourth in triples and home runs with six apiece among NEWMAC student-athletes. In 42 games, the junior batted .331 with 16 extra base hits, 30 RBI and 20 runs. Renee collected a pair of hits in the first three contests of an eight-game hitting streak that began in Florida and closed it out with a season-high four in game two at Emerson and a pair in the first game versus Amherst. Six of 11 multi-hit games came in conference action featuring five hits versus Wheaton.
The Phil Grebinar Award – Jack Bauer (Cumberland, RI) – Swimming & Diving
This newly-named award is presented to the most outstanding male athlete in the junior class.
Jack, who checked in from Australia, qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships with the third-ranked 100-yard backstroke and sixth-ranked 200-yard backstroke times. The performances also yielded a pair of NEWMAC titles and two school records. In addition to the 100 and 200 backs, Jack is on the wall in the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, and as a member of both medley relays. It's the third consecutive year the 10-time All-NEWMAC performer has garnered his class' major award.
The Melvin G. Massucco Award – Brendan Nemes (Kingston, MA) - Soccer
Presented to the senior male athlete on his achievements, contributions, character, leadership, sportsmanship, and promotion of school spirit at WPI.
Brendan repeated as an All-NEWMAC first teamer and United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection. He was second in the NEWMAC with four goals as he notched back-to-back two goal performances at Wheaton and versus Coast Guard. The co-captain began the season with a game-winning goal versus Worcester State and another just over a week later at Mass Maritime. Brendan also provided the crucial goal in a regular season contest with Coast Guard and the lone goal in the semifinal matchup with the Bears. He then converted the first penalty kick following a scoreless draw with Springfield en route to the team's first NEWMAC Championship.
The Varsity Club Award – Sophie Gomarlo (Swanzey, NH) - Soccer
Presented to the senior female athlete on her achievements, contributions, character, leadership, sportsmanship, and promotion of school spirit at WPI.
Sophie, an All-NEWMAC and All-NEWISA second teamer, and NEWISA Senior Bowl participant, paced the team with nine goals and conference with five game-winning goals, and was second in league play with two GWG. The NEWMAC markers were registered in consecutive games at Mount Holyoke and Wheaton, while the senior led the Engineers in the opening weekend with the decisive goal at Salem State and versus UMass Dartmouth - which also featured a hat-trick - as well as midway through the season versus Roger Williams.
The Merl Norcross Award – Dereck Pacheco (Barnstable, MA) - Football
This newly-named award is presented to the best senior male athlete over his career at WPI who exemplifies the high standards expressed in "The WPI Athlete." The WPI Athlete is someone who, through hard work, high character, positive attitude, achieves success above and beyond ability while representing the University with distinction.
Dereck, a 2015 Academic All-District selection and 2017 All-NEWMAC first teamer, made three stops - including one for-loss – and recorded a QB hurry in the program's first-ever postseason victory. He was upgraded each of the past three years as he began as a Liberty League honorable mention in 2015 and a second teamer in 2016. Overall, the co-captain finished third in the NEWMAC with 17.5 tackles and 75 yards for-loss. Dereck also amassed 47 tackles - 33 solo, six sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. The three-year starting defensive end and conference academic honoree performed a stock market IQP and his MQP involved reconstruction of a ski resort parking lot. The civil engineering major is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The Sue Chapman Award – Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) – Basketball and Softball
This newly-named award is presented to the best senior female athlete over her career at WPI who exemplifies the high standards expressed in "The WPI Athlete." The WPI Athlete is someone who, through hard work, high character, positive attitude, achieves success above and beyond ability while representing the University with distinction.
Ama collected numerous local, conference, regional and national accolades over eight seasons donning the Crimson and Gray, including NEWMAC Women's Basketball Co-Athlete of the Year and NEWMAC Softball Athlete of the Year honors and was recently named as the first-ever NFCA All-America first team honoree in program history. Ama is also the NCAA (all divisions) record holder with 98 consecutive successful stolen bases. Even more impressive, the local product accomplished the feat before being caught for the first time, and finished with 109 stolen bases in 113 attempts. Academically, Ama is a six-time Academic All-District honoree and 2016 softball Academic All-America. The mechanical engineering major's IQP involved developing QuizASSIST, a phone application that allows students to access content from their courses to study, learn, and challenge others and MQP consisted of consulting with firms in the Greater Boston Area to collect market data on how CEOs and CFOs value projects. In the community, Ama is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Relay for Life, Special Olympics and Team IMPACT, as well as Girls Inc.
The Ray Cherenzia '73 Unsung Hero Award –
Presented to a member of each varsity team that exemplifies the spirit of an "Unsung Hero" - who works hard every day, puts the team first over their personal goals, who does the little things without much recognition, yet are vital to their team's success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. The award recipients must represent their program and the university in a respected and dignified manner.
Baseball - Chas DeWitt (Nashua, NH)
Men's Basketball - Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA)
Women's Basketball - Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA)
Men's Cross Country - Remi Gaetjens (Limerick, ME)
Women's Cross Country - Carly Neeld (Williston, VT)
Field Hockey - Hannah LaRochelle (New Boston, NH)
Football - Anthony Wilkens (Montville, CT)
Men's Rowing - Lily Olsen (Princeton, NJ)
Women's Rowing - Rachel Peterson (Hastings, MN)
Men's Soccer - Ryan Stokes (Fairport, NY)
Women's Soccer - Megan Hanshaw (Simsbury, CT)
Softball - Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA)
Men's Swimming and Diving - James Macfarlane (Ijamsville, MD)
Women's Swimming and Diving - Kaye Dandrea (Lakeville, MA)
Men's Track and Field - Jimmy Doty (Queensbury, NY)
Women's Track and Field - Gina Capobianco (Colonie, NY)
Volleyball - Kate Amrein (Nashua, NH)
Wrestling - Ben Zogby (Franklin, MA)