Blue Devils Hold Senior and Academic Awards on Wednesday Night
The Senior Class of 2012 gathered on campus on Wednesday night as the Central Connecticut Department of Athletics handed out its annual senior awards on May 2. The coveted Gail Rutz and Frederick M. Gladstone Awards were presented before a crowd of over 300, as well as the Academic Awards for the 2011-12 season.
SENIOR VIDEO TRIBUTE
PHOTO GALLERY (Steve McLaughlin photos)
The Rutz and Gladstone Awards are presented each year to the top female and male student-athlete of the senior class. On Wednesday night, for the first time in recent memory, two of each of the awards were presented.
The Rutz Award was shared by senior swimming and diving team members Madison Vestergaard and Alex Czaplicki. Vestergaard is a six-time Northeast Conference champion diver, who helped the Blue Devils finish no lower than second in the NEC Championships in her career.
Czaplicki was an All-Conference selection in the pool an amazing 27-times in her career, setting several school and pool swimming records along the way.
The Gladstone Award was shared by senior Sam Alexander and Ken Horton. Horton finished his career on the men's basketball team as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,966 career points. He was a three-time All-NEC selection and was the Player of the Year in 2011.
Alexander will leave the Blue Devils as one of the most successful and decorated student-athletes in school history. Aside from holding several school records, Alexander won the NEC Cross Country Individual title in 2011, helping his team win the team championship for an amazing third-straight season. He also helped the men's indoor track team win the NEC Indoor Title in 2011. This weekend he, along with his teammates, will compete for the 2012 NEC Outdoor Championship.
The Academic Center for Student-Athletes also handed out its annual Academic Awards to numerous student-athletes. Over 120 student-athletes received an award for posting a grade point average above 3.2 for the last academic year.
The Coca-Cola Academic Awards were presented to four student-athletes. The highest female GPA went to Sara Larkin of the women's cross country and track team. The highest male GPA was given to Gunnar Jespersen of the football team. The most improved award went to Kelsey Barlow of the softball team, and the highest team GPA was present to the women's cross country team.
Several other awards were handed out during the night. Travelers, a corporate sponsor of the Blue Devils, sponsored the first-ever Athletic Directors All-Academic Team to those student-athletes who maintained a cumulative GPA above 3.5.
The Blue Devil Service Award was presented to CCSU Vice President Chris Galligan for his dedication and commitment to the athletics programs at Central.
Finally, the Director of Athletics Award was presented to the five-member Executive Board of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for theit tireless work in various community service events throughout the academic year.