LEWISBURG, Pa. – Nineteen outstanding Bucknell senior student-athletes were presented awards at the 56th Annual Department of Athletics & Recreation Senior Recognition Dinner, held Monday evening in the Terrace Room on campus. The outstanding careers of 148 senior athletes were honored at the dinner, and women's basketball student-athlete Claire DeBoer (Grosse Point, Mich./Grosse Point South) and football All-American Julie'n Davenport (Paulsboro, N.J./Paulsboro) claimed the evening's top honor, the Christy Mathewson Award, which goes to the outstanding male and female senior athletes.
DeBoer earned Patriot League Player of the Year honors this season, and then she was named Patriot League Tournament MVP after leading the Bison to the third conference title in team history. In the PL title game, DeBoer logged 30 points and 10 rebounds, willing Bucknell to an overtime victory over Navy at Sojka Pavilion. DeBoer is the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in points (third with 1,678), rebounds (third with 899) and assists (ninth with 290), and she is also the only player in program history with at least 1,600 points and 800 rebounds.
Davenport started all 44 games at left tackle for the Bison football team over the last four years. He was a four-time All-Patriot League selection and was a consensus All-American as a senior in 2016. On Saturday, Davenport became the first Bucknell football player in 48 years to be taken in the NFL Draft. He was selected in the fourth round by the Houston Texans.
Elsewhere, Patriot League champion distance runner Kate Scott (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) and four-time First Team All-Patriot League swimmer Louis Behnen (Overland Park, Kan./Rockhurst) received the Bison Club Award, presented to the senior athletes who best exemplify the winning spirit of the University's athletic program.
Scott is a two-time Patriot League gold-medal winner in the 10,000 meters and is a six-time All-Patriot League honoree. She smashed the 30-year-old school record in the 10K, and in the fall she became Bucknell's first NCAA Cross Country Championship qualifier since 2006.
In addition to his four All-Patriot League certificates, Behnen took home the crown as the top four-year point-scorer at the Patriot League Championships among the league's entire senior class. Behnen will graduate with six Bucknell top-10 times, including school records in the 200 free and 500 free, and eight more top-10 times in relays.
Record-setting swimmer Diana Hanson (Derwood, Md./Poolsville) and baseball's all-time hits leader Brett Smith (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) were awarded the Lee S. “Bud” Ranck Memorial Award, presented for outstanding spirit and contributions to the Bucknell athletic program.
Hanson earned a pair of First Team All-Patriot League honors, and as a sophomore she became the first Bison in 12 years to win a PL title in the 100-yard breaststroke. Hanson will graduate with four top-10 times in individual events, including that school record in the 100 breast, and she was a part of five relays with program top-10 times.
Smith has been Bucknell's leadoff hitter since his very first game of his freshman year, and he became the school's career hits leader two weeks ago at Holy Cross with No. 223. He also broke the school record with his 191st career start in that game, and he ranks on Bucknell's all-time lists in most offensive categories. Smith was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-Patriot League selection while helping the Bison win a conference championship and an NCAA Regional game in 2014. He was a First Team All-Star last season after hitting .343, and he has a team-best .322 average this season.
The Bradley N. Tufts Award was presented to All-Patriot League field hockey defender Anna Wills (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./William Penn Charter) and football and track and field star Will Carter (Moreland Hills, Ohio/Orange). The Tufts Award is given in recognition of exceptional athletic achievement and contribution to Bucknell athletics.
Wills was a four-year starter and two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection. She then added Second Team All-Region honors as a senior. Wills also contributed offensively, recording eight career goals, including game-winners this past season against league rivals Lehigh and Colgate. She was also a three-time Academic All-Patriot League selection and a three-time member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Academic Squad.
On the gridiron, Carter broke half-century-old Bucknell records for receptions (195) and receiving yards (2,744), and he tied the school record with 18 touchdown catches. After concluding his football career with two All-Patriot League citations, Carter joined the Bison track and field team in time for the 2017 indoor season. He promptly broke the school record in the 200-meter dash and earned all-conference honors in the long jump at the Patriot League Championships.
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 women's soccer midfielder Cora Climo (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) and two-time NCAA Wrestling Championships qualifier Victor Lopez (Poway, Calif./Poway).
Climo played midfield for the Bison women's soccer team. She fought back from two significant injuries during her career, and the perseverance paid off when she earned Patriot League Tournament MVP honors in 2016 after scoring the winning goal in overtime against Boston University in the league championship game. The golden goal sent the Bison to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history.
Lopez was a first-generation college student who made his mark as a two-time NCAA qualifier at two different weight classes. He won 108 matches in his career, ranking seventh on the school's all-time list, including 17 career falls and a 49-11 mark in matches where bonus points were earned. Lopez was 30-7 in EIWA duals and was a four-time EIWA place-winner, including fourth-place as both a sophomore and junior.
Perry carries a near-perfect GPA as an accounting and financial management major. She earned the maximum three Academic All-Patriot League honors and one CSCAA Scholar All-America award. In the pool, Perry scored over 20 points in all four Patriot League Championships, fueled by four top-four finishes in the 100-yard backstroke. She will graduate with four program top-10 times in individual events and nine top-10 times in relays.
Giugliano has a 3.96 cumulative GPA in mechanical engineering. He is an All-East performer in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters and is a four-year member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. He is a two time Academic All-Patriot League selection, and last year he became the first Bison track and field student-athlete since 2008 to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
The Bryan-Humphreys Award, presented to an individual for outstanding versatility, went to women's lacrosse midfielder Maddy Molinari (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset), cross country/track and field standout Sarah Chandler (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), and swimmer Jack Robinson (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius).
A three-time Patriot League midfielder of the week and a First Team All-Patriot League selection in 2017, Molinari has excelled offensively, defensively, and in the draw circle for the Bison. She has recorded a career-high 36 goals and 80 draw controls this spring. The latter figure ranks second in the Patriot League and is four shy of the Bucknell single-season record. Earlier in the year Molinari became the ninth 100-goal scorer in school history, and she ranks seventh on the all-time points list with 156.
Chandler will go down as one of the most accomplished distance runners in Bucknell history. Chandler is a 13-time All-Patriot League selection and a two-time All-Region cross-country runner. She has contributed to six Patriot League titles and is a two-time champion in the indoor 1,000 meters. She has also run legs on the 4x800-meter relay and distance medley relay teams that have set school and Patriot League records in each of the last two years. Chandler is the school record-holder in the 1,000 meters and the steeplechase, while ranking in the top-10 in five other events. She also earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League Cross Country Team in the fall.
Robinson was irreplaceable to the Bison men's swimming and diving team in large part because of his ability to excel in a variety of events. Robinson owns program top 10-times in seven different events, including freestyle, backstroke, and individual medley races. His versatility makes him even more of an asset in relays, as he was a part of 10 teams with program top-10 times, including three that hold school records. Robinson was also one of the team's leaders in the classroom, earning three straight Academic All-Patriot League honors.
The Edward W. Pangburn Award, presented for sportsmanship, fellowship and contribution to the University, went to a pair of soccer student-athletes: Alexis Gannon (Excelsior, Minn./Holy Family Catholic) from the women's squad and Zack Rockmore (Albany, N.Y./Bethlehem) from the men's side.
Gannon was a four-year contributor as a forward for the Bison women's soccer team. She scored 13 career goals and helped lead the team to a 16-2-2 record and a Patriot League championship as a senior. Gannon not only terrorized opposing back lines, but she was also a CoSIDA Academic All-American and a two-time Academic All-Patriot League selection.
Rockmore started every game at center back for three straight years after transferring from Boston College. Rockmore was a two-time All-Patriot League defender, and this fall he doubled up and also won the league's Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. He graduated in December with seven career goals, and he is now playing professional soccer in Denmark.
Women's basketball center Sune Swart (Franklin, Pa./Cranberry) and wrestler Tyler Greene (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) 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.
Swart made huge strides over the course of her four-year career with the Bison women's basketball squad. After starting one game in her first three seasons with the Bison women's basketball team, Swart started 32 as a senior on her way to earning Third Team All-Patriot League recognition. She averaged 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, all career highs, and helped lead the Bison to a 27-6 record and the third Patriot League title in school history.
Greene began his Bison wrestling career at 184 pounds before bumping up this season all the way to heavyweight to fill a void left by the graduation of All-American Joe Stolfi. Often giving up more than 40 pounds to his opponent, Greene had to learn and adapt to a completely new style of wrestling to be successful this year. His improvement was remarkable, as he posted his best season with a 21-11 record, and he capped his Bucknell career with a fifth-place finish at the EIWA Championships. A two-time EIWA place-winner, Greene finished with 59 career victories, winning eight of nine matches to close out the 2017 regular season and help his team to a 12-4 dual meet record.
In addition to the student-athlete awards, Library & Information Technology liaison and volunteer track and field coach Rob Guissanie 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.
Bucknell Senior Athletic Awards Summary
ECAC Appreciation Award: Rob Guissanie
Bradley N. Tufts Award: Anna Wills (field hockey), Will Carter (football/track & field).