CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT freshman Craig Cheney was named the conference's Rookie of the Year and teammates Columbus Leonard and John Preis joined him on the All-Northern Division Team, as announced by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) at the league's annual awards' celebration over the weekend. Leonard and Preis were tabbed to the All-North First Team while Cheney collected a Second Team nod in addition to his top newcomer honors.
Cheney becomes the program's second Northern Division Rookie of the Year, as Preis had previously earned the distinction in his freshman year. Cheney led the team in goals for much of the year, finishing with 49 markers, the second-highest total ever by a Tech freshman. Cheney was selected as the CWPA Northern Rookie of the Week twice and also found a spot on the Division III Eastern Championship All-Tournament team earlier this fall.
Leonard rewrote the MIT record-book during his junior campaign, shattering the Institute record for career saves, as he now has a remarkable 622 stops in just three seasons. A Second Team All-North pick a year ago, he has helped lead the Cardinal and Gray to 32 wins in his career and owns three of the top seven single-season save marks in program history. He had a remarkable effort earlier this season against Queens College, stopping 21 shots in a 15-14 win.
Preis wound up as the Engineers' top scorer this season, overtaking Cheney for the team lead at this weekend's CWPA Eastern Championship, where he scored seven times in three games to earn All-Tournament honors. The senior's 52 tallies give him 190 for his career, good for second in the MIT record book. In addition to his Rookie of the Year award, Preis was also an Honorable Mention All-America honoree in 2008.
The Engineers finished up their 2010 campaign with a 7-6 win over Fordham in the Seventh Place game of the Eastern Championship, avenging a pair of earlier losses to the Rams. Tech had a record of 13-12 on the year, including a 5-2 mark in Northern Division play, good for third in the league standings. While coach Adam Foley's squad will miss the leadership of Preis and the other four departing seniors, the Cardinal and Gray will return a number of talented underclassmen in 2011, including Cheney and Leonard.