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Tennis Players Top Athletic Department Awards List

By Roger Crosley
Sports Information Director

Tennis players Valerie P. Tan '94 and Jay A. Muelhoefer '94 were the "center court" attraction at the recently held Eighth Annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence Banquet sponsored by the Department of Athletics and the Varsity Club. Muelhoefer and Tan were named the winners of the Malcom Kispert Awards as the outstanding senior scholar/athletes of the year.

Tan is a biology major who also found time to play #1 or #2 singles and #1 doubles on the women's team. Over the course of her career she compiled a 55­39 record in singles and a 27­17 record in doubles. She has been nominated by the Institute for Academic All­America and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Tan will pursue her master's degree at the University of California at San Diego in the Fall. Muelhoefer has the unusual distinction of winning three consecutive New England Small College doubles championships, each with a different partner.

A mechanical engineering major, Muelhoefer has been nominated for Academic All­America and, like Tan, is a two-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar­Athlete winner. Muelhoefer is the #1 singles player on this year's team and will be competing in the NCAA Division III singles championship at the University of Redlands (CA), and he and doubles partner Nick Tsai '95 will also compete in the doubles.

Record setting pole vaulter Matthew H. Robinson '94 was honored as winner of the Howard W. Johnson Award as the outstanding male senior athlete of the year. Robinson who is a four-year letter winner in both indoor and outdoor track and field, also was a starting linebacker on the football team for four years. He holds Institute pole vault records indoors (16' 3 1/2") and outdoors (16' 4 1/4"), and has been New England Division III champion six times in the event.

Kamilah Alexander '96 was selected winner of the Betsy Schumacker Award given for excellence in athletic competition by a female undergraduate. Alexander is a volleyball player who as won more honors than any other MIT women's volleyball athlete at a comparable stage in her career. Alexander's 1993­94 honors included being named New England Women's 8 Player of the Year, most valuable player in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III North Championship Tournament, and earning first­team All­New England status.

The all­time leading point scorer in MIT women's basketball history was named the winner of the Pewter Bowl Award given to a female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics. Marion A. Casserberg '94 scored 1,198 points over her four-year career which saw her earn four most valuable player awards and be elected captain three times. Casserberg also was an officer of both the Varsity Club and the MITAA during her career.

The Admiral Edward L. Cochrane Award went to hockey player Nicholas J. Pearce '94. The Cochrane Award is given to the senior male who has shown the highest qualities of humility, inspiration, and leadership in intercollegiate athletics. Pearce is a two-time team most valuable player has been an officer of the Varsity Club and the MITAA. He was twice elected team captain by his teammates.

Two record-breaking athletes won Varsity Club Awards, given to outstanding freshmen. Sheila C. Rocchio '97 and Jose L. DeLeon '97 starred in gymnastics and football respectively. Rocchio set Institute records in both the floor exercise (9.45/10.0) and balance beam (9.3/10.0). She earned All­America honors by finishing fifth in Division III nationally in the all­around and sixth on the uneven bars. Rocchio was a team co­most valuable player, and was the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Champion on the balance beam.

DeLeon earned first team Eastern Collegiate Football Conference honors at running back, and he was a second team All­New England selection. He rushed for an MIT record of 987 yards and was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Rookie of the Week four times during the season. DeLeon is only the second MIT player to win the coveted New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award given to the college division player of the week.

Three students won Athletic Department Gold Awards this academijc year. Jesse L. Darley '95 and Craig A. Andera '94 won the awards for their leadership and contributions to the intramural sports program. Andera was also the winner of the annual Harold Pettegrove Award, given to the student contributing most to intramural athletics at MIT. Dionne E. Chapman '94, a four-year soccer and softball player, won the third Award. She is a first team Academic All­district selection in softball and her name is currently on the national Academic All­America ballot.

The Straight "T" is the Institute's highest athletic award. Criteria for this award vary by individual sport; this year, 11 athletes earned the Straight "T." They are:Kamilah Alexander '96, volleyball; Carla­ Anastasia M. Chiarenza '97, gymnastics; Irfan U. Chaudhary G, squash; Jesse L. Darley '95, cross country; Jay A. Muelhoefer '94, tennis; Javier A. Nazario '95, water polo; Calvin G. Newman '96, football; Matthew H. Robinson '94, indoor track and field; Sheila C. Rocchio '97, gymnastics; Nicholas L. Tsai '94, tennis; and John L. Wallberg '96, indoor track and field.


In the Constitution Athletic Conference, two MIT baseball players were named to All­Conference slots. Senior centerfielder Jeff Olson, who hit .469 in Conference play, was a first team selection and was named the Conference's Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year. He has also been nominated by the Institute to the GTE College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All­America Team.

A second team All­CAC selection is junior pitcher Rob Lepard., who had a 1­3 record in league play, but an earned run average of only 1.80.


During a match against Phillips Exeter Academy on May 6, C. Hoyt Bleakley Œ95 of the MIT JV golf team sank a 235-yard hole-in-one on the 16th hole at the Wentworth-by-the-Sea golf course in Rye, NH. MIT won the match, finishing the season with a 2-2 record.


MIT men's gymnastics coach Fran Molesso has been named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the recently completed season. Molesso, who completed his 12th season at MIT, is the first winner of the new award.


Two MIT lacrosse players were named to the East squad for the New England East ­ West Senior All­Star game. Attackman Tom Nowak G and midfielder Ryan Blanchette '94 played in the 16­11 West win in the game which was held at MIT.


The end of the spring season has brought the naming of all-star teams from the conferences in which MIT participates. In the New England Women's 8 (NEW 8), pitcher Coleen Kaiser '94 was named to the softball team. Kaiser pitched every game of MIT's 18-game schedule and finished the year with a 12­6 record while leading the team in hitting with a batting average of hitting over .450.

Track and Field

MIT track man Ethan Crain '95 recently took a third place in the 1,500-meter run in the All­New England Track meet held at Dartmouth College. Crain, who covered the course in 3:56.68, was the only Engineer to score in the meet.