LEWISBURG, Pa.  – Twenty-one outstanding Bucknell senior student-athletes were presented awards at the 53rd Annual Department of Athletics & Recreation Senior Recognition Dinner, held Tuesday evening in the Terrace Room on campus. The outstanding careers of 141 senior athletes were honored at the dinner, and men’s soccer All-American Mayowa Alli (Lanham, Md./Bishop McNamara) and women’s track and field star Jennifer Zymet (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) claimed the evening’s top honor, the Christy Mathewson Award, which goes to the outstanding male and female senior athletes.

Alli was a four-year starting fullback for the Bison men’s soccer team, and he capped off a terrific career by earning Third Team All-America honors after the 2013 season. He was also a two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection, a two-time NSCAA All-Region pick and the 2010 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Even as a defender, Alli was still very dangerous in the attacking third and managed to score 15 career goals, including three overtime game-winners.  

Zymet is the fastest long sprinter in program history, and this weekend in Annapolis, Maryland, she will be aiming for a fourth straight Patriot League title in the 400-meter dash. Zymet has already captured a total of seven Patriot League gold medals, and she holds seven school records. Among those Bucknell marks are the indoor and outdoor 400-meter records that had stood for 14 years.   

Elsewhere, a pair of Bison basketball standouts – Cameron Ayers (Blue Bell, Pa./Germantown Academy) and Shelby Romine (Centreville, Va./Westfield) received the Bison Club Award, presented to the senior athletes who best exemplify the winning spirit of the University’s athletic program.

Ayers was a three-time All-Patriot League selection and the 2014 Patriot League Player of the Year. An NABC All-District selection and a member of the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team, Ayers will graduate ranked No. 8 on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list with 1,526 career points. He participated in a school-record 94 wins and was a part of three league championship teams. 

Romine scored 1,543 points in her outstanding career with the Bison women’s basketball team, the fifth-most in program history. A three-year team captain, Romine was a four-year starter who averaged over 36 minutes per game in her career. She was a two-time All-Patriot League selection who also ranks second in program history in 3-point field goals and third in assists.

Field hockey all-star Rachel Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison) and men’s lacrosse defenseman Jackson Place (Wayne, Pa./Episcopal Academy) were awarded the Lee S. “Bud” Ranck Memorial Award, presented for outstanding spirit and contributions to the Bucknell athletic program.

Misko was a four-time All-Patriot League selection for the Bison field hockey squad, making her one of only 12 players in league history to accomplish that feat. Misko was also the 2010 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, the 2013 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a 2013 NFHCA All-Region selection. Misko was Bucknell’s leading scorer with nine goals and 19 points as a senior, and she graduates ranked eighth in program history in points (63), 10th in assists (13) and ninth in goals (25).

Place has been a defensive stopper for a Bison men’s lacrosse team that annually ranks among the national leaders in fewest goals allowed. He earned his second straight All-Patriot League citation this spring, and he was also a 2014 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American. Place was a fourth-round draft pick of the MLL’s Ohio Machine. 

The Bradley N. Tufts Award went to two of the best swimmers in Bucknell history in Mike Nicholson (Chappaqua, N.Y./Horace Greeley) and Kelly Pontecorvo (New Providence, N.J./Mount St. Mary Academy). The Tufts Award is given in recognition of exceptional athletic achievement and contribution to Bucknell athletics.

Nicholson was a four-time First Team All-Patriot League selection and was the highest league-championship point scorer in the entire league among the Class of 2014. He posted nine career top-three finishes at the Patriot League Championships, including three individual gold medals. Nicholson swept the 200 and 400-yard individual medleys at the 2014 league meet, and he is also a two-time ECAC champion. Nicholson graduates with five individual school records, and in three of them he broke the marks set by Hall-of-Famer Jim Harvey back in 1988.

Pontecorvo is also a four-time All-Patriot League honoree. In 2013 she won the league title in the 1,650 freestyle, making her the first Bison to win gold in that event in 11 years. She is the school record-holder in all three distance free events (500/1,000/1,650), and this winter she added an ECAC title in the 500 free to her impressive resume.

The John F. Zeller Award was presented to a senior student-athlete for outstanding contributions to Bison Athletics, while exemplifying the best of Bucknell in the manner that John Zeller did in his 68 years of service to the University. This year’s Zeller Award recipients were swimmer Kristen Purdy (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) and All-America defensive lineman Tracey Smith (Allen, Texas/Allen).

Purdy was an 11-time scorer at the Patriot League Championships, and she ranks in the top 10 in program history in the 100-yard butterfly (fifth) and the 200 individual medley (eighth). She is also part of four top-10 relays and has been very active in volunteer and community service projects.

Smith earned Third Team All-America honors from The Sports Network this past fall and was also a two-time All-Patriot League defensive lineman. As a senior he helped anchor a Bison defense that ranked fourth nationally against the run and 14th in total defense. Smith finished his career with 125 tackles and 9.5 sacks from his nose tackle position, and in 2013 he was a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, given to the nation’s top college football scholar-athlete.   

The Alvin F. Jackson Jr. Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to middle-distance runner Emily Waksmunski (Carrolltown, Pa./Biship Carroll) and men’s soccer defender Joe Meyer (Sykesville, Md./McDonogh).

A civil engineering major with a 3.94 grade-point average, Waksmunski was selected the 2014 Patriot League Women’s Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was runner up in the 1,000 meters and 4x800 relay at the 2014 Patriot League Indoor Championships, and she is now a four-time all-league selection. Waksmunski was part of a league-champion and school and league record-setting 4x800 relay at last spring’s PL Outdoor Championships. She is also a five-time Academic All-Patriot League selection and a 2013 Capital One Academic All-District pick.

Meyer was a four-year contributor to the Bison men’s soccer program while maintaining a 3.94 GPA in mechanical engineering. He is a two-time national Capital One Academic All-American (first team in 2013 and third team in 2011) and a two-time Patriot League All-Academic Team selection. As a senior he played all but 11 minutes at right fullback on a team that won 13 games, posted 10 shutouts and had a 0.73 team goals-against average.

The Robert A. Latour Service Award, presented for extraordinary service to Bucknell and local communities, went to men’s lacrosse attackman Todd Heritage (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) and volleyball setter Rose Lewis (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara).

Heritage was a top-20 national finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes student-athletes for their character, academics, community involvement and athletic achievements. Heritage has served as an academic tutor and mentor through the Bucknell Buddies and Learning Connections programs. He has been an active member of Bucknell Student Voices and served as a student-alumni liaison at a major “WE DO” campaign fundraiser in New York City. On the lacrosse field, Heritage recorded 120 career goals, the second-most in program history, as a four-year starting attackman. His 143 career points rank sixth all-time.

Lewis has been extremely active in campus and community activities in addition to serving as a setter on the Bison volleyball team. Lewis is completing her term as the president of Bucknell’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and she also served as a student representative on the university’s Committee on Athletics. Lewis was president of Lewisburg Listening Post and was a near peer representative on the Listening Post Board. She is an on-campus intern for Career Athletes, an online athlete networking site, and is also active with Bucknell Student Voices. Lewis missed her junior season due to an injury and then came back as a senior and led the team in assists.  

The Bryan-Humphreys Award, presented to an individual for outstanding versatility, went to women’s lacrosse standout Katelyn Miller (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh) and men’s track and field’s Jacob Eaton Hall (Elmira, N.Y./Elmira Free Academy).

Miller was a standout two-way midfielder for the Bison women’s lacrosse team. She was a three-time All-Patriot League selection as well as a three-time Patriot League Women’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She leaves the program ranked No. 2 on the all-time points list with 177. Miller tied Sue Gray for fifth in career goals with 127, and her 50 assists will rank fourth in Bison annals. She will also depart ranked second in caused turnovers (101), third in draw controls (139) and sixth in ground balls (131). 

Eaton-Hall began his Bucknell track career as a middle-distance runner, but he converted to sprints as a junior. He earned his second All-Patriot League citation at the 2014 Patriot League Indoor Championships after a second-place run with the 4x400-meter relay. He also helped that school record-setting relay win an IC4A title this winter. Individually, Eaton-Hall ranks fifth all-time at Bucknell in the 60-meter dash and 10th in the 200. 

The Edward W. Pangburn Award, presented for sportsmanship, fellowship and contribution to the University, went to football quarterback Brandon Wesley (Plano, Texas/Plano East) and women’s golf standout Lauren Bernard (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame).

Wesley was Bucknell’s starting quarterback for four seasons, and he graduates as the school record holder in pass completions (571), pass attempts (984), passing yards (6,277) and total offense (6,952). He is the first Bison quarterback ever to throw for over 1,000 yards in four straight years. Wesley was the 2010 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, and his 26 career touchdown passes rank fifth in program history.

Bernard just helped lead the Bucknell women’s golf team to the 2014 Patriot League championship, the first league crown in program history. She was the runner-up in the individual standings making her the program’s first three-time all-conference performer. Bernard earned All-Big South honors as a freshman in 2011, and now that the Patriot League has begun sponsoring the sport of women’s golf, she is a two-time all-star in that league.

Gold medal-winning horizontal jumpers Alyssa Cardillo (Bath, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) and Ray Holmes (Campbell, N.Y./Campbell-Savona Central) were the winners of the Ronald J. “Pete” Pedrick Award, presented in recognition of demonstrated improvement and special contributions to Bucknell Athletics over a four-year period.

Cardillo had never scored in a Patriot League Championship meet until her junior year, when she took second in the long jump at the indoor meet and then won the gold medal outdoors. Cardillo was third in the long jump at the 2014 indoor championships, and she ranks sixth all-time at Bucknell in that event.

Holmes is coming off a terrific 2014 Patriot League Indoor Championships, when he swept the long jump and triple jump en route to Field Athlete of the Meet honors. Two weeks later he won the IC4A title in the triple jump and was runner-up in the long jump, giving him more points at the Eastern championship meet than any other athlete in program history. He also won Patriot League gold in the triple jump both indoors and outdoors in 2013. On Bucknell’s all-time performers list, Holmes ranks second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.  

The ‘Ray Bucknell Diversity Award went to men’s track’s Kamal Riley (Hyde Park, Mass./Charlestown). Riley, who grew up in Barbados, is a member of three of the five fastest 4x100-meter relay teams in program history. He has also served as co-treasurer of the Black Student Union, treasurer of the Caribbean Club and an events coordinator with the Caribbean Students Association.    

Senior Kerri Althouse (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) was presented the E. Harold Biggs Memorial Award as the most outstanding student athletic trainer. Althouse was also a starting defender for the Bison women’s lacrosse team.  

In addition to the student-athlete awards, two alumni and one staff member received special awards. Lacrosse coaching legend Sid Jamieson, who will soon be retiring after 50 years of service to Bucknell, received the ECAC Appreciation Award, which is presented to students, faculty, staff or friends of Bucknell for extraordinary contribution to the Bucknell department of athletics.

Dr. Christina Baselga Murray ’91, who was one of the original members of the Bucknell women’s soccer program, and men’s tennis star Dr. Mark McGuire ‘95 were presented Alumni Athlete Achievement Awards, given to former Bucknell athletes who have achieved success in their chosen profession.   

Bucknell Senior Athletic Awards Summary

ECAC Appreciation Award: Sid Jamieson.

Alumni Athlete Achievement Award: Dr. Christina Baselga Murray ’91 (soccer), Dr. Mark McGuire ‘95 (tennis).

E. Harold Biggs Memorial Award: Kerri Althouse.

‘Ray Bucknell Diversity Award: Kamal Riley (track & field).

Ronald J. “Pete” Pedrick Award: Alyssa Cardillo (track & field), Ray Holmes (track & field).

Edward W. Pangburn Award: Lauren Bernard (golf), Brandon Wesley (football).

Margaret L. Bryan-Albert E. Humpreys Award: Katelyn Miller (lacrosse), Jacob Eaton-Hall (track & field).

Robert A. Latour Service Award: Rose Lewis (volleyball), Todd Heritage (lacrosse).

John F. Zeller Award: Kristen Purdy (swimming & diving), Tracey Smith (football).

Bradley N. Tufts Award: Kelly Pontecorvo (swimming & diving), Mike Nicholson (swimming & diving).

Lee S. “Bud” Ranck Memorial Award: Rachel Misko (field hockey), Jackson Place (lacrosse).

Alvin F. Jackson Jr. Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award: Emily Waksmunski (track & field), Joe Meyer (soccer).

Bison Club Award: Shelby Romine (basketball), Cameron Ayers (basketball).

Christy Mathewson Award: Jennifer Zymet (track & field), Mayowa Alli (soccer).