MIT Closes Successful Year at 28th Annual Celebration of Student-Athlete Excellence

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On Friday, May 16, the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation capped another terrific year as it announced its end-of-the-year award winners at the 28th Annual Celebration of Student-Athlete Excellence. Sophomores Kale Rogers (Newberg, Ore.) and Kira Schott (New Canaan, Conn.) of the water polo and lacrosse teams served as emcees while senior Joey Rafidi (Los Angeles, Calif.) of the fencing team provided one of the evening's top highlights as the student guest speaker.

Senior Michael Liao (Newport Beach, Calif.) along with sophomore Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.) were honored with the Institute's athlete of the year awards while seniors Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) and Tyler Singer-Clark (Falmouth, Mass.) earned the coveted Malcolm G. Kispert Awards as MIT's top scholar-athletes.

Liao concluded his remarkable collegiate swimming career as an 11-time All-American, a member of the 2013 national champion 200 medley relay team, and a 13-time NEWMAC champion. This year he stood out on both the national and conference level earning the prestigious National Swimmer of the Week Honor after a pair of outstanding swims at a dual meet in late January. Liao was honored five times this season as the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Week and received a trio of all-conference awards.

Virdi has been the dominant women's pole vaulter in country this year, as she won the event at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship this past March. She kicked off the outdoor season with a new MIT record of 13' 3.5, which stood as the best Division III performance in the country for over a month. Since then, Virdi has registered first-place performances at the NEWMAC Championship, New England Division III Championship, and the ECAC Championship.

Singer-Clark, a computer science and engineering double major with a 4.7 GPA, is a tri-captain for both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. A five-time All-America honoree and nine-time New England Division III champion, he has led MIT to five New England Division III team titles and four NEWMAC championships. Singer-Clark was the anchor leg on the fourth-place 4x400 relay at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship while this unit is currently ranked fourth in the country. A runner-up in the 200 and 400 meter dash at the New England Division III Indoor Championship, he owns the MIT 200 meter record with a time of 21.37 and has contributed to three relay records.

A mechanical engineering major with a 4.9 GPA, van den Heuvel is a tri-captain for the women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Last fall during the cross country season, she captured All-Region accolades and then helped the Engineers tie for fourth place at the NCAA Championship. At the New England Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship, van den Heuvel won the mile and anchored the victorious 4x800 relay as MIT finished second overall. She followed this up at the NCAA Championship by leading off the Distance Medley Relay that captured second place while finishing seventh in the mile as the Engineers ranked seventh overall. During the outdoor season, van den Heuvel powered the 4x800 relay squad to a first-place performance at the New England Division III Championship.

Photo Gallery

2014 Celebration of Student-Athlete Excellence Award Winners:

THE HOWARD W. JOHNSON AWARD - Presented annually to the male senior athlete of the year.
Michael Liao, Swimming and Diving

THE BETSY SCHUMACKER MIT WOMAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD - Presented annually for excellence in athletic competition by a female undergraduate.
Cimran Virdi, Track and Field

THE MALCOM G. KISPERT AWARDS - Presented annually to the male and female scholar/athletes of the year.
Tyler Singer-Clark, Track and Field
Louise van den Heuvel, Cross Country/Track and Field

THE PEWTER BOWL AWARD - Presented annually to the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics.

Christy Rogers, Swimming and Diving

THE ADMIRAL EDWARD L. COCHRANE AWARD - Presented annually to a male senior who has shown the highest qualities of humility, leadership and inspiration in intercollegiate athletics.

Justin Bullock, Cross Country/Track and Field

THE PHILIP A. TRUSSELL PRIZE - Given to a male and female undergraduate student-athlete who demonstrate skill, sportsmanship and levity.
Edwin Zhang, Tennis
Julia Hsu, Tennis

THE VARSITY CLUB AWARDS - Given to the outstanding male and female freshmen athletes of the year.
Harris Stolzenberg, Lacrosse
Veronika Jedryka, Swimming and Diving

SAAC SUPERIOR SERVICE AWARD
Patrick Barragan – Assistant Coach for Sailing and Track and Field

THE HAROLD J. PETTEGROVE AWARD – In recognition of outstanding service to intramural athletics.
Greg Kravit

2013-14 Team MVP Recipients

Baseball: Creed Mangrum

Men's Basketball: Matt Redfield

Women's Basketball: Mari Kordell, Sabrina Drammis

Men's Heavyweight Crew: Connor McMahan

Men's Lightweight Crew: Michael Wu

Women's Lightweight Crew: Katie Gorick

Women's Openweight Crew: Francesca Schembri

Men's Cross Country: Roy Wedge

Women's Cross Country: Elaine McVay

Men's Fencing: Joey Rafidi

Women's Fencing: Jessica Li

Field Hockey: Maddy Wharton

Football: Jake Laux, Justin Wallace, Peter Williams

Men's Lacrosse: Joel Santisteban

Women's Lacrosse: Kira Schott

Rifle: Sarah Wright

Coed Sailing: David Alfonso, Iris Xu

Women's Sailing: Hanna Vincent, Lisa Sukharev-Chuyan

Men's Soccer: Sean Bingham

Women's Soccer: Ambika Krishnamachar

Softball: Ellie Fodor

Squash: Tyler Finkelstein

Men's Swimming and Diving: Michael Liao

Women's Swimming and Diving: Christy Rogers

Men's Tennis: Kevin Wang

Women's Tennis: Lauren Quisenberry

Men's Indoor Track and Field: Ken Cooper

Men's Outdoor Track and Field: States Lee

Women's Indoor Track and Field: Jackie Brew

Women's Outdoor Track and Field: Jackie Brew

Men's Volleyball: Paul Syta

Women's Volleyball: Kristine Bunker

Water Polo: Craig Cheney