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2001 > November
9 student-athletes honored at Homecoming
Eight recent graduates and one undergraduate, whose performances during the 2000-01 season were recognized as most outstanding by a committee of the Athletics Department, were honored during the annual Distinguished Achievement Awards ceremony at Cohen Auditorium on Homecoming eve October 26.
The 2000-01 Tufts Student-Athlete Award winners include a national champion, a conference Player of the Year and a national runner-up. The students honored were:
David Patterson of the men's cross-country and track and field teams earned the Clarence "Pop" Houston Award as best male athlete. Houston, A14, was Tufts' first director of athletics and a former vice president of the university. He went on to become president of the NCAA.
Patterson won the 2001 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field National Championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:53.74. During the cross-country season, he led the Jumbos to an 11th place finish at the NCAA Championships, finishing 19th individually with a time of 25:28.6. A 2001 graduate with a double major in environmental engineering and geology, Patterson was a co-captain of both teams.
Randee McArdle of the soccer and softball teams and Sarah Deeb of the track team received the Hester L. Sargent Award as best female athletes. Sargent is a Tufts trustee emerita and a dedicated supporter of athletics.
McArdle played on the soccer and softball teams that qualified for their NCAA Tournaments in 2000-01, serving as a captain of both teams during her junior and senior years. Last fall, she was the starting goalkeeper during soccer's amazing run to the NCAA Championship Game. McArdle was selected a Third Team All-American after compiling 0.76 goals against average. During the softball season, she was NESCAC Player of the Year and a Third Team All-American after hitting .372 while leading the Jumbos with 12 doubles, five triples and 37 runs batted in. She graduated in May with a double major in clinical psychology and history.
Deeb showed incredible range as a sprinter during her senior season for the track team. Her top performance came during the indoor season, when she was runner-up in the 400 meters at the NCAA Division III Championships with a time of 56.88 seconds. She was also part of the distance medley relay team that placed fifth at the championships with a school record of 12:04.18. During the outdoor season, Deeb was fifth in the 400 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Meet with a school record of 55.86 seconds. She won the 200- and 400-meter dashes at the NESCAC Outdoor Meet and was also the New England Division III outdoor champion in the 800 meters. A 2001 graduate who majored in biopsychology, she was selected to the Verizon Academic All-America team in May.
Junior Evan Zupancic of the football and baseball teams, Leslie Crofton of the cross-country and track teams and Colette Gaudet of the field hockey and lacrosse teams were selected for the Rudolph J. Fobert Award as best multiple-sport athletes. Fobert, A50, was an outstanding scholar and star in football, track and baseball.
Zupancic was the only underclassman to win a Student-Athlete Award this year. As a football cornerback, he led the nation with 2.25 pass break-ups per game last season. He also intercepted six passes, was in on 43 tackles (33 solo) and returned punts and kickoffs. As a result of his 2000 performance, he was named to d3football.com's Pre-Season All-America team this fall. Also the leadoff hitter and center fielder for the baseball team, Zupancic hit .309 and led the team with 13 doubles and 14 stolen bases. An economics major, he has started all but two games during his career with both teams.
Crofton was one of the nation's top distance runners during the cross-country and track seasons in 2000-01. At the NCAA Championship Race, on a course covered with snow and ice with tight turns and slopes, she ran an 18:12.5 time to finish fifth overall—the best showing ever by a Tufts woman at the cross-country nationals. She graduated in May with a degree in English and was a captain of both teams.
A defensive standout in both field hockey and lacrosse, Gaudet had sensational senior seasons in both sports. She led the field hockey team in scoring with six goals and four assists and was named a Third Team All-American. Tufts' only NESCAC all-star in lacrosse, Gaudet was a two-year captain despite not playing the sport prior to coming to Tufts. She graduated in May with an English degree.
Dan Kollar of the lacrosse team and Meghann Gill of the basketball team received the Rev. W. Murray Kenney Award recognizing persistence and positive attitude. Kenney, A41, was a three-sport athlete and energetic supporter of Tufts athletics.
Though Kollar's athletic performance was strong enough to earn an award, he was recognized for persevering through non-competitive seasons with the lacrosse team while all but one of his classmates either transferred or quit. His persistence was rewarded this year when he became the program's career leader in goals (148) and points (191). During his senior season, he suffered a severe hamstring pull that required hours of daily treatment. He endured that to produce a season that earned him the team's MVP award, its Bagattaway Award for exemplifying hard work and love of the game and a spot in the East-West All-Star Game. He is a 2001 graduate with a degree in economics.
Gill was recognized for her role as a valuable team member despite missing her entire senior season with a serious knee injury. She underwent two surgeries in anticipation of competing during her senior season. Although she didn't play, she still attended every practice and every game. A measure of the respect she had from her teammates is shown by her election as a team captain for both her junior and senior seasons. She graduated in May with a degree in international relations.
Ben Oshlag, reporter for the Tufts Daily, won the Timothy Horgan Award as best student sports writer. Horgan, A49, was a nationally recognized sports writer and columnist at the Boston Herald for nearly 40 years.
Oshlag, who continues to cover Jumbo teams as a graduate student this year, helped provide thorough coverage of team, individual and department news on campus. He covered the women's soccer team's run to the NCAA National Championship last season and men's basketball.