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Athletics Banquet Celebrates Best and Brightest
George Chanturia and Michelle Scandora received the Rev. John R. Cortelyou, C.M. Awards Thursday night.

George Chanturia and Michelle Scandora received the Rev. John R. Cortelyou, C.M. Awards Thursday night.

June 1, 2012

CHICAGO – The best and the brightest were honored Thursday night at the 2011-12 DePaul Athletics Awards Banquet at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Track & field standouts Matt Babicz and Melissa Fraser, men’s golfer Erik Peterson, softball’s Lynsey Ciezki and Morgan Celaya of women’s soccer each came away with two awards.

Michelle Scandora of women’s soccer and George Chanturia of men’s tennis were recipients of the prestigious John R. Cortelyou Awards with the highest grade-point averages for female and male student-athletes.

Kelly Pickering of women’s cross country and Drew Edwards of track & field were honored with the Michael Hie Award commemorating their leadership in life-changing community service projects.

“We had a couple of teams succeed despite a lot of adversity, especially women’s basketball,” said DePaul Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto. “I’ll always remember the ‘Magnificent Seven’ as coach Doug Bruno affectionately nicknamed them.

“The softball team had a successful season after losing one of its best all-around players and one of the better hitters.

“Both of these programs had the character that enabled them to overcome the injuries and still have the desire and dedication to qualify for another NCAA Championship tournament appearance.

“Each team was led by an outstanding student-athlete---Anna Martin in women’s basketball and Kirsten Verdun in softball---who both went on to become All-Americans.”

There were other student-athletes who made quite an impact during the 2011-12 season.

“I’ll remember the individual accomplishments from Matthew Graham, Tim Nedow, Matt Babicz, Alanna Kovacs and Melissa Fraser in cross country and track and field,” Ponsetto said. "Both of those programs distinguished themselves this season.

“Our student-athletes spend countless hours involved in community service, and I was proud of the leadership from Kelly Pickering and Drew Edwards. They exemplified the kind of selflessness that embodies the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul.”

Here is a rundown of the award winners.

Michael Hie Award
Kelly Pickering – Women’s Cross Country
Drew Edwards – Men’s Track & Field

Rev. John R. Cortelyou, C.M. Awards
Michelle Scandora – Women’s Soccer
George Chanturia – Men’s Tennis

Blue Crew Awards
Kevin Bestor
Fabio Meza

Rev. Edward F. Riley, C.M. Memorial Award
Matt Babicz – Men’s Track & Field
Matt Leinauer – Men’s Soccer
Moses Morgan – Men’s Basketball
Erik Peterson – Golf

Jean Nordberg Memorial Award
Lynsey Ciezki – Softball
Melissa Fraser – Women’s Track & Field
Cali Gustafson – Women’s Tennis
Beth Perry – Women’s Soccer

Strength & Conditioning Award
Erik Peterson – Golf
Morgan Celaya – Women’s Soccer

Team Spirit Award
Softball

Most Outstanding Performer
Antonio Aguilar – Men’s Soccer
Morgan Celaya – Women’s Soccer
Gia McKnight – Women’s Tennis
Filip Dzanko – Men’s Tennis
Claire O’Brien – Women’s Cross Country
Matthew Graham – Men’s Cross Country
Tim Nedow – Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Matt Babicz – Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
Alanna Kovacs – Women’s Indoor Track & Field
Melissa Fraser – Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
Lynsey Ciezki – Softball
Ben Westley – Golf
Lauren Blasi – Volleyball
Anna Martin – Women’s Basketball
Cleveland Melvin – Men’s Basketball