The annual Sweet Briar College athletics awards banquet was held on Wednesday, May 3, in Prothro Dining Hall. The department presented its seven major awards along with varsity letters and individual team awards.
The prestigious Crysler Four-year Achievement Award was presented to senior Gina Rutledge. The award honors an outstanding four-year varsity athlete who has demonstrated continuous commitment, leadership, sportsmanship and achievement in sport. A successful member of the tennis team, Gina has taken on numerous leadership roles across campus and within the athletics department, all with a smile on her face.
First-year swimming standout Taylor Allen was presented with the Athlete of the Year Award. The award is given to a student-athlete from any class that demonstrates outstanding achievement in sport. Allen earned 14 individual victories during the dual meet season, was named to the ODAC Weekly Honor Roll, was named Vixen of the Month on two occasions and earned Second Team All-Conference recognition for her performance at the ODAC Championships.
Allen put together one of the best conference finals performances by a Sweet Briar swimmer in recent history. She finished sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter backstroke and third in the 400-meter individual medley, with a time that broke a 33-year-old school record. In addition to her individual swims at the conference meet, Allen contributed to four relays that earned her a top-eight finish and helped the team secure a sixth-place finish at the meet.
Junior dual-sport athlete Elizabeth Phaup was named the Class of 1977 Sportsmanship Award winner. Since coming to Sweet Briar last fall, Phaup has developed into a strong leader, culminating in the title of lacrosse team captain this spring. Also a star on the soccer field, Phaup exemplifies sportsmanship and class every time she steps onto the field.
The Coaches Award is given to a graduating athlete who has been at the college for a minimum of three years and has demonstrated dedication, sportsmanship and excellence in sports at Sweet Briar. The award isn't presented every year, but this year senior Amanda Terry warranted the honor. A four-year starting shortstop for the softball team, Terry also joined the field hockey team for the past two seasons. A dedicated athlete, Terry has given her all to the Sweet Briar athletics department.
Victoria Lawson was presented with the Jean Pschirrer First-year Athlete Award for her commitment and performances with the cross-country and lacrosse teams this year. Lawson immediately became the top runner for the inaugural cross-country team, serving as the team's top finisher in every race this past fall. On the lacrosse field, she has provided a much-needed offensive spark in her first season playing the sport.
The Whiteman Scholar-athlete Award was presented to senior soccer and tennis player Alicia Wooten. Not only has Wooten been a key contributor on the soccer team the past four years, but she's also shined in the classroom. A math and physics double major, Alicia is currently in the process of interviewing for her dream job of doing cryptanalysis.
The Susan Lehman Courage Award has historically been presented to an athlete/athletes who have demonstrated courage above and beyond the usual rigors of training and competition. It recognizes athletes who have made a courageous comeback after suffering a setback such as injury, illness, academic difficulties or personal tragedy. The award honors Susan Lehman, chaplain of Sweet Briar College from 1985-2001, dedicated supporter of student-athletes at the College, and a daily example of personal courage.
This year, the athletics department selected both Ashton Reid and Mikia Hundley to receive the Susan Lehman Courage Award for all they have overcome this past year.
The student-athletes selected business professor Tom Rogers as this year's Robert Barlow Award winner. The award is voted on by the student-athletes and then presented to a faculty or staff member for their outstanding service, support and devotion to athletics at Sweet Briar. Over the years, Rogers has proved his dedication to Sweet Briar athletics by attending athletic events and supporting all the student athletes, on and off the field.
Along with the major awards, each coach selected a Pink and Green Award winner for their team. Below is a list of winners for each team.
Pink and Green Award Winners:
Cross Country: Entire team
Field hockey: Mary Kate Bailey '17
Soccer: Kayla Kishbaugh '17
Swimming: Entire team
Golf: Rebecca Parish '18
Lacrosse: Ashawnta Sherman '18
Softball: Kayla Dooms '17
Tennis: Gina Rutledge '17
Major Award Winners:
Crysler Award: Gina Rutledge '17
Athlete of the Year: Taylor Allen '20
Coaches Award: Amanda Terry '17
Jean Pschirrer First-Year Athlete Award: Victoria Lawson '20
Class of 1977 Sportsmanship Award: Elizabeth Phaup '18
Whiteman Scholar-Athlete: Alicia Wooten '17
Susan Lehman Courage Award: Ashton Reid '17 and Mikia Hundley '19