The Lafayette Sporting Awards

The+Lafayette+Sporting+Awards

Rachel Robertson

A year removed from the excitement of Rivalry 150 and a March Madness birth, this season has had a lot to live up to. And while the team success has not been to the level of last year, this year Lafayette’s student athletes have stepped up to the plate… and the starting line, block and rim to provide Lafayette fans with thrilling finishes and record setting performances. The following teams and athletes have earned the very important and distinguished honor of winning The Lafayette Sporting Awards.

Best Female Athlete: Freshman Devin Smith (Senior, Track and Field)

Devin Smith, a captain of the track and field team, has two Patriot League Athlete of the Week awards to her name this season. Competing in both Indoor and Outdoor track, Smith has been running through the record book. She is currently the school record-holder in three individual events (Indoor 200m, Indoor and Outdoor 400m) and is a part of two school relay records (Indoor and Outdoor 4x400m). The sprinter also no ranks number two all-time in the Indoor 60m and Outdoor 200m, and number four all-time in the indoor 60m. Her school record time of 54.38 in the 400m is the fastest time in that event in the Patriot League this year. Smith was recently named the Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s Lafayette Outstanding Athlete of the year and top track and field athlete of the year.

Best Male Athlete: Greg Grewal (Senior, Swimming)

This Lafayette Sporting Award is merely the latest in a string of accolades given to Greg Grewal this swimming season. In addition to the Academic All-Patriot League Team, Grewal landed Patriot League Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year, a NCAA B cut qualifying time and a shot to make the United States Olympic Team. After a successful season, in which he placed third in two events at the Patriot League Championship meet, Grewal finishes his Lafayette career as the current record holder in four individual events (100 breast, 200 breast, 100 IM, 200 IM) and in two relay events (200 & 400 medley relay). Grewal will compete at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. in late June.

Rookie of the Year: Brooke Wensel (Freshman, Softball)

The first year on the diamond for Lafayette was a very successful one for infielder Brooke Wensel. Starting all 42 of Lafayette’s games at shortstop, Wensel usually bolstered the middle of the lineup with a hot bat that had 10 multi-hit games during the season. Her early career success was recognized by the league, as well—Wensel won Patriot League Rookie of the Week three times this season. By the end of the season Wensel sported a .313 batting average, .398 slugging percentage, 7-7 stolen base record, 16 RBIs (second only to senior Allison Brown’s 18) and a fielding percentage of .942.

Play of the Year: Michael Coniglio’s straight steal of home on two outs in the seventh inning of the Bucknell game (Second game DH 4/17) (Senior, Baseball)

In the world of baseball, and sports, in general, stealing home is one of the hardest plays to pull off. It requires speed, timing and a bit of good luck. A straight steal, when a player tries to beat the pitcher’s throw to home, instead of waiting for a wild pitch or passed ball, is even more exceptional. And attempting it on two outs late in a must-win game is gutsy, to say the least. That afternoon, senior outfielder Michael Coniglio had the guts. The steal of home was the first of his collegiate career and recorded the eventual winning run in the game. Coniglio was 25-28 on his stealing attempts for the year.

Meet of the Year: Crew claims the River Cup for first time in 15 years

Any win over that other team from the Lehigh Valley is worthy of praise, but beating the Lehigh for the first time in 15 years deserves recognition. The men’s 8 claimed a convincing victory over the Mountain Hawks, winning the race by more than a boat length. Taking home the River Cup hardware was a major accomplishment for the crew team— the last time it was in Lafayette possession most of the team would have been in kindergarten or early elementary school.

Photo of the Year: Auston Evans dunk against Boston University (Freshman, Basketball)

A dunk is great no matter the circumstances, but when it is thrown down emphatically during a back-and-forth league match up it just seems to stand out a bit more. Auston Evans’ dunk was a contender for play of the year and brought just as much excitement to his teammates as the fans. The best part of the photo is Evans’ teammates standing in anticipation in the background. It caught the excitement of the moment and a great display of athleticism from a promising freshman player.