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Oustanding Athletes Recognized at Banquet

By Roger Crosley
Director of Sports Information

At the recently held Seventh Annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence banquet, MIT athletes from all sports were recognized for exceptional athletic performance over the past school year. Leading the charge was the tennis team, which picked up three of the convocation's major awards. Alan Walpole '93 won the Howard Johnson Award as the male senior athlete of the year, and he also picked up a Straight "T" for qualifying as an individual for the NCAA Division III national championship in both singles and doubles. During the 1992-93 academic year, Walpole compiled a singles record of 11-2 and was 14-0 in doubles with partner Jay Muelhoefer '94. Walpole, an All-America in both 1992 and 1993, was ranked as highly as 13th in the nation in Division III in singles, and he and Muelhoefer were Division III's top ranked doubles team after winning the Rolex Division III National Championship in the fall.

Walpole's teammate Manish Bhatia '93 was awarded the Admiral Edward L. Cochrane Award as the male senior who has shown the highest qualities of humility, leadership, and inspiration in intercollegiate athletics. In his four-year career, Bhatia never played lower than #2 singles and was a New England champion in both singles and doubles. He earned All-America status in 1992. Men's varsity tennis coach Jeff Hamilton says of Bhatia, "Despite all of his awards, Manish remains focused on the team's performance and accomplishments. He clearly places the team's welfare above his own. He is blessed with leadership skills and shares his talents unreservedly with his teammates."

Not to be outdone by the men, Seema Jayachandran '93 of the women's tennis team won the female version of the Malcom Kispert Award as the top female senior scholar/athlete. Jayachandran, who is majoring in electrical engineering, compiled a perfect 5.0 grade point average while earning four letters as a member of the women's team. She and her doubles partner reached the semifinals of the New England Division III Championships this season. Jayachandran, who was named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar/Athlete, is the winner of a Marshall Scholarship and will study in Oxford, England this fall.

For the first time in the history of the award, the male winner of the Kispert Award also has a perfect 5.0. Electrical engineering major Roddy Tranum '93 is the top wide receiver in the history of MIT football. He holds nearly every Institute pass receiving record and is the first Engineer to be named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Star team. Tranum's awards include a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Award and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. In June he will enter the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing program.

Gymnast Julie Lyren '93 was the winner of the Betsy Schumacker Award, given to a female undergraduate for excellence in intercollegiate athletics. Lyren broke Institute records in the all-around and the balance beam and has tied the MIT record in the floor exercise. Twice during the 1993 season, Lyren was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Gymnast of the Week and she is the first MIT women's gymnast to ever qualify for the Division II national championship.

Lyren capped her career by being named the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Outstanding Senior Gymnast after earning two All-America citations in this year's Division III national championships. Lyren has also been selected as the Division III Honda Award nominee in gymnastics. She will compete with ten other Division III women's athletes for the award, given to the outstanding collegiate women's athlete in the country.

The Pewter Bowl Award is given to the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics. Skier Kate Bergeron '93 and sailor Paula Lewin '93 were named co-winners.

Bergeron is a four-year most valuable player on the women's team and a three-time captain. Coach Dave Michael says about his nordic star, "Her attitudes toward the sport are exemplary, and her leadership has affected not only her teammates but also most rival competitors." A four-time All-East selection by the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association, Bergeron was the EISA's Division II champion in both classical and freestyle cross country events in 1992 and 1993.

Lewin is a world class sailor, having competed for her native Bermuda in the women's singlehanded class in both the Pan Am Games in Cuba and in the Barcelona Olympics. She was the captain of the 1992-93 women's team and also competed with the co-educational varsity squad. She has won numerous championships and has been named one of the top ten collegiate skippers in the country and the co-skipper of the year in New England.

The Varsity Club Awards, to the outstanding freshmen athletes of the year, went to two men and a woman. Kamilah Alexander '96 of the women's volleyball team became a major force in New England in only her first year. Alexander led the Engineers in kills, hitting percentage, and blocks. She was a New England Women's 8 Conference all-star and Rookie of the Year. She also earned first team All-New England honors and was named the New England Volleyball Coaches Rookie of the Year after ending the season as the top blocker in the region.

John Wallberg '96 is a three-sport athlete who has put his name all over the MIT record books. Wallberg broke 23-year-old freshman records in the 35 lbs. weight throw indoors and in the hammer throw outdoors. He was the leading scorer on the outdoor squad. Wallberg was also a starting defensive lineman on the football team.

Keith Whalen '96 is the leading freshman scorer in the 93-year history of MIT men's basketball. Whalen, a center, poured in 389 points in a season in which he was named ECAC Division III Rookie of the Week, selected to the ECAC Weekly Honor Roll, earned three Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) player of the week citations, selected to the CAC first team All-Conference squad, and named the team most valuable player.

For the second consecutive year, David Steel G of the men's basketball team was awarded the Burton R. Anderson Award as the intercollegiate manager of the year. Head coach Leo Osgood says, "David was the student leader who held our team together behind the scenes during a very difficult year. David has been an advisor, confidant, tutor and friend to all the players in the program. He has truly become an integral member of the men's basketball family and an outstanding manager."

The Straight "T" award is the highest award given for athletic performance at MIT. Criteria for the award vary by individual sport, and this year 14 athletes earned the Straight "T". The winners are: James Bandy '93, swimming; Kathleen Bergeron '93, skiing; Manish Bhatia '93, tennis; Chad Gunnlaugsson '93, swimming; Thomas Klemas '93, volleyball; Julie Lyren '93, gymnastics; Brian Meade '93, swimming; Jay Muelhoefer '94, tennis; Sara Ontiveros '93, fencing; Michael Piepergerdes '93, indoor track & field; Matthew Robinson '94, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field; Robert Rockwell '93, swimming; Matthew Trevithick G, squash; Alan Walpole '93, tennis.