2016-17 SAAC Athletic Awards

2016-17 SAAC Athletic Awards

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

St. Mary's City, Md. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented the 2016-17 SAAC Athletic Awards Tuesday night, coming together to honor this year's top student-athletes and to recognize those student-athletes that have made a valuable contribution to the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

The annual awards show was held in the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena and culminated with the traditional presentation of the Athletic Highlights and Senior Waves video, which was edited, filmed, and produced, by Meg Gesner, Abbey Harrison, Martín Herdoíza, Morgan Rusinko, Sam Saunders, Gillian Sawyer, and Monica Vega. The SAAC Executive Board for 2017-18 was also announced last night.

SMCM Athletes of the Month: Given monthly to the student-athlete who, in the opinion of the Department of Athletics & Recreation management team, achieved the most in athletics in a particular month.

  • September – Gillian Sawyer (women's soccer)
  • October – Mimi Graf (volleyball)
  • November – Matt Walchuck (men's swimming)
  • December – Nina Haller (women's basketball)
  • January – Nina Haller (women's basketball)
  • February – Nina Haller (women's basketball)
  • March – Erika Kopf (women's lacrosse)
  • April – Lacey Brown (women's lacrosse)

SAAC President's Award: Incoming 2017-18 SAAC President Sam Coomes (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) gave this year's award to Alli Szymanski (Easton, Md./Easton), a senior member of the St. Mary's field hockey team and the SAAC secretary, for her unconditional commitment to SAAC's mission, values, and initiatives.

SAAC Award: SAAC Vice President for Marketing Zach Rowe (Davidsonville, Md./Calvert Hall) presented junior field hockey player Megan Moore (Gambrills, Md./Arundel) with this year's honor for her willingness to help out in any way she can at all SAAC events.

2017-18 SAAC Executive Board:

  • President – Sam Coomes, Jr., Men's Cross Country
  • Deputy President – Caitlin Moore, Jr., Women's Soccer (Crofton, Md./South River)
  • Vice President for CommunicationsMegan Moore, Jr., Field Hockey
  • Vice President for MarketingSydni Thacker, So., Women's Lacrosse (Lutherville, Md./McDonogh School)
  • Vice President for OutreachMelissa Barall, Jr., Women's Tennis (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake)
  • Vice President for Diversity and InclusionAlyssa Leventer, So., Women's Cross Country (Baltimore, Md./Friends School)
  • Vice President for Education – Bella Vagnoni, Jr., Women's Basketball (Chevy Chase, Md./Stone Ridge School)

Solomon's Cup: A year-long event designed as a friendly competition between sports teams to increase varsity athlete attendance and participation in various areas in the St. Mary's College of Maryland community.

  • Men's and women's rowing won this year's Solomon's Cup in their first year as a varsity sport.

SMCM Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award: Established in 1975 to recognize the senior female and male varsity athlete with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 or better who has earned at least 32 semester-hours and who has played an important role on one or more varsity teams.

  • Women's swimmer Samantha Liming (Silver Spring, Md./John F. Kennedy)
  • Men's lacrosse midfielder Brendan Rollins (Poquoson, Va./Poquoson)

SMCM Rookie of the Year Award: Given annually to the female and male athletes who, in the opinion of the Department of Athletics & Recreation staff, achieved the most in athletics in their first year at St. Mary's.

  • Women's tennis player Claire Bodine (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg)
  • Men's soccer forward Khalid Balogun (Bowie, Md./Bowie)

SMCM Athlete of the Year Award: Given annually to the female and male athletes who, in the opinion of the department, achieved the most in athletics during the current academic year.

  • Redshirt senior women's soccer forward Gillian Sawyer (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake)
  • Senior men's soccer midfielder Nick Tait (Silver Spring, Md./Sandy Spring Friends School)

Athletic Director's Award: This year, Director of Athletics & Recreation Scott Devine bestowed his award on senior volleyball setter/right-side hitter Mimi Graf (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck). Devine spoke of Graf's consistency and outstanding performances in the classroom and on the court during her four-year career.

About Student-Athlete Advisory Committee: The St. Mary's College of Maryland Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, is a committee made up of Seahawk student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience at St. Mary's and beyond. At least two representatives from each varsity sports team make up SAAC, which strives to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity for all student-athletes; protecting student-athlete well-being; and fostering a positive student-athlete image, while maintaining the tenants of the Division III philosophy – Discover, Develop, Dedicate. The committee offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect our student-athletes' lives.

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