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Ellefson Returns From Nationals With Trio of All-American Honors

By Roger Crosley

Gymnast Sonja Ellefson ’01 returned from the recent National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championship meet with a trio of All-America honors. Ellefson finished fourth in the all-around competition with a score of 37.2/40. In the individual event finals, Ellefson finished fourth in the vault competition, and was sixth on the uneven bars.

Women’s Basketball

Vicky Best ’99 has recently received a number of honors for her play during the 1998-99 women’s basketball season. Best has been named to the GTE College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America second team. Best, an architecture major, averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 rebounds this season. Best was also named to the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference team. Best led the conference in scoring and was second in steals. Additionally, the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) honored Best with second team All-New England status, and she was a third team Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III All-New England selection. Best and teammate Katie Spayde ’99 were each selected to play in the NEWBA Division III Senior All-Star game which was recently held at Brandeis University. Best finished her career with 1,425 points which places her sixth on the all-time MIT scoring list for both men and women. She is the women’s leading career point scorer. In a late season game against Pine Manor College, Spayde became the fifth MIT women to score 1,000 career points. She finished her four years with 1,089 points which ranks her 15th on the all-time MIT list and fourth on the women’s list.


The women’s fencing team finished 18th in the NCAA Division I National Championships held at Brandeis University, while the men’s team finished 19th. MIT’s best finisher in the meet was senior epeeist Nora Szasz. Szasz defeated the 1998 defending champion on her way to 14th place in the meet, while team captain Aimee Wiltz ’99 finished 23rd in women’s foil. For the men, Brian Bower ’99 took 19th place in the men’s sabre event, and epeeist Matt DuPlessie ’99 placed 24th.

This is the most fencers that MIT has sent to the nationals in over ten years. Three of the four fencers --Szasz, Wiltz, and DuPlessie - began their fencing careers with head coach Jarek Koniusz.

GTE Awards

Three Engineers have been named to the GTE College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District. Cross country runner Debbie Won ’00 and field hockey player Tracy Sadowski ’99 have been named to the first team, while swimmer Deirdre Dunn ’99 has been named to the second team for the second consecutive year. Won was a Division III All-America in cross country. Sadowski was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America team for her play in 1998. Both Won and Sadowski will now appear on the national Academic All-America ballot. J.C. Olsson ’00 was selected to the all-district team for gymnastics. Olsson holds the MIT record in the all-around. His name will also appear on the national Academic All-America ballot.

Men’s Basketball

Basketball player Zach Inman ’01 was named a NEWMAC All-Star. Inman was the leading scorer and rebounder for the men’s basketball team with 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He was the NEWMAC’s second leading scorer and rebounder.


At a recent reception in the duPont Athletic Center Shooting Range, former pistol coach Pat Melaragno was honored by having the national individual collegiate champion trophy in women’s air pistol named for him. The Melaragno Trophy was designed and created by current coach John Holland, and will reside at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Washington, DC. Melaragno coached at MIT for 19 years and led the Engineers to several national championships including the first ever air pistol national championship for women.


Men’s volleyball coach Ton Klemas ’93 has been selected by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to partake in the NCAA Youth Education Through Sports (YES) Volleyball Clinic scheduled in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Division I National Championship. Klemas will serve as a clinician for youths ranging in age from 10-18. Klemas is the second MIT coach to participate in the YES program. Women’s gymnastics mentor Eduardo Ovalle has worked with the program for two years at the gymnastics championships.

Spring break training

Last week’s Spring Break sent spring sport coaches and athletes to warmer climates. Florida was the destination for baseball (Miami area), women’s lacrosse (Panama City), softball (Fort Meyers), and men’s track & field (Tallahassee) training. The men’s lacrosse team made its annual trip to California, the women’s tennis team practiced and played in Bermuda, and the women’s track & field team spent the week in Atlanta, Georgia.