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MIT Gymnasts Earn All-American Honors after Outstanding Season

By Roger Crosley
Director of SporTS Information

Two women gymnasts have recently earned All-America honors in the all around competition from the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association. Alli Christen-son '98 placed fifth at the championships while Sonja Ellefson '01 placed eighth. Christenson became the fourth MIT women's gymnast to walk away with the NCGA's senior achievement award, following Lisa Arel '92, Julie Lyren '93, and Sheila Rocchio '97. Ellefson recently won the floor exercise at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championships

In men's gymnastics, records continued to fall throughout the season. Most recently, J.C. Olsson '00 broke his own record in the all-around with a score of 50.85 and on the high bar with an 8.7/10, breaking former teammate Andy Lobban's 8.6 (set in 1997) in a meet with Vermont, Springfield, and UMass.

MIT fencer Matt Coates '98 recently competed in the NCAA Fencing Championships held at the University of Notre Dame. Coates finished 24th in the championships in the epe. He was the only Engineer to qualify for the meet.

Six water polo players have been named to the American Water Polo Coaches Association Men's All-Academic Team. Charlie Wykoff '98 and Larry Aller '00 were each named to the "Outstanding" list with GPAs greater than 3.71 on a 4.0 scale. The "Superior" list (3.41-3.7) included Mark Lebovitz '98 and Ryan Adams '99. The "excellent" list (3.2-3.4) includes Adrian Gomez '99.

MIT softball pitcher Amber Crabbe '00 threw the second no-hitter of her MIT career in an 80 victory over Mount Holyoke. Crabbe faced only three batters over the minimum, walking one with two other batters reaching on errors.

All-Conference teams were released for several winter sports seasons, and MIT athletes are well represented. In men's basketball, Melvin Pullen '98 and Kareem Benjamin G were named to the Constitution Athletic Conference all-star team. In addition, Craig Heffernan '01 was named the CAC Rookie of the Year. All three players are frontcourt men. Pullen played in the New England Division III Senior All-Star Game held at Holy Cross.

In the New England Women's 8, Vicky Best '99 and Maisha Gray '99 were named to the All-Conference team. Best led MIT in scoring and Gray was the team leader in assists.

The Pilgrim Wrestling League award winners have also recently been announced. Han Chou '98 was named to the Conference All-Star team at 118 lbs. Teammate Ivan Aguayo '00 was an All-Conference pick at 126 lbs. In addition, Ben Hellweg G was one of five athletes honored with League Scholar-Athlete Award.

The 1997 New England Women's 8 Academic All-Conference team was recently announced, and MIT is represented by 24 student athletes. To qualify for the team a player must be a starter or a significant reserve and have a grade point average of 4.3 out of a possible 5.0.

The MIT lightweight crew, coached by Stu Schmill '86, recently defeated the U.S. Military Academy on the Hudson River. The lightweight team defeated the Army heavyweight boat by two and one-half lengths over the 2000 meter course to win its opening race. Army is coached by former MIT mentor Pete Holland.