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Randolph Athletics Holds Annual Awards Ceremony

Seniors after awards ceremony

LYNCHBURG, Va. – On Tuesday evening, the Randolph College athletic department gathered in Smith Theater to honor all of the student-athletes and the accomplishments from this past year. The department handed out nine major awards, with teams handing out individual awards throughout the night.

The Female Athlete of the Year was Kirby Tidmore from the equestrian team. This year, Tidmore was the IHSA Zone 4 Region 2 Cacchione Cup Rider and was third. She is Randolph's second rider to go to Nationals in the Cacchione Cup. She also won Open Fences at the IHSA Regional Championship, was an All-ODAC selection, and the ODAC's Scholar-Athlete in Equestrian.

The Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight year went to DJ Petty from the men's track and field team. Petty qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles and was the first Randolph athlete to qualify for the indoor meet in more than one event. He set a school and ODAC Championship record of 8.23 seconds in the hurdles and was an All-Region selection. Despite an injury, he finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles at the ODAC Outdoor Championships held at Randolph last weekend.

Volleyball and track and field athlete Taja Hunley was named the Female Rookie of the Year. In volleyball, she ranked third in the ODAC in solo blocks (14), 12th in assisted blocks (48), and ninth in total blocks. In indoor track, she currently holds program records in the high jump (1.59 meters), long jump (4.72 meters), and triple jump (10.59 meters). Chris Verastek from the men's swimming team was selected the Male Rookie of the Year. Chris was named to the ODAC Second Team and set several records this season.

The Scholar-Athlete Award was given to Austin Collier of the men's soccer team. Collier, a Math major minoring in Computer Science, has the highest GPA of all graduating senior athletes.

Courtney Lucado of the softball team was bestowed the Emily Ryals Sportsmanship Award while Ashley Schmitz won the Reynolds Cup, which is given to the women's tennis player that shows outstanding sportsmanship. The final student award, the Deacon Award, was given to Jordan Sheets from the track and field and cross country teams for her service and commitment to the athletic department as a student worker in Sports Information.

Meghan Halbrook, an assistant professor of Sport and Exercise Studies, was named the Spectator of the Year while Head Athletic Trainer Matt Yates earned the Cushman Cup for his dedication to the student-athletes and athletic programs.


Individual Team Awards:


Resilience Award: Taylor Webb
Coaches Award: Brooks Gillerlain

Coaches Award: Autumn Troxell

Coaches Award: Rebecca Lesnak


Women's Basketball

Offensive Player of the Year: Kalyn Banks

Most Valuable Player: Yanessa Cabrera
Heart of a Champion Award: Amber Garrett

WildCat Leadership and Culture Award: Elizabeth Ellen



Most Valuable Player: Kirby Tidmore
Coaches Award: Katie Brown
Rookie of the Year: Taylor Price
Most Improved: Michelle Smith


Men's Basketball

Offensive MVP: Sammy Hooper

Defensive MVP: Elijah Ford
Heart & Hustle Award: Elijah Ford

Team Together Award: Blan Hodges

 Women's Soccer

Offensive Player of the Year: Sara Bane
Defensive Player of the Year: Zoe Waring

Men's Soccer

Offensive MVP: Gunnar Copeland
Defensive MVP: Frankie DiOrio
Coach's Award: Andrew Harman


Offensive Award: Delaney Nuckols
Defensive Award: Lindsey Chaney
'Cats with Character Award: Blair Epperson
WildCat Award: Courtney Lucado


Men's Cross Country

Most Valuable Player: Alex Clem

Coaches Award: Sam Mott


Women's Cross Country

Most Valuable Player: Leo Galopin

Coaches Award: Michaela Saunders


Men's Swimming

Most Valuable Player: Chris Verastek
Most Improved: Pax Allen


Women's Swimming

Most Valuable Player: Brice Creel
Most Improved: Sarah Perry


Men's Lacrosse

Aaron Shacklette Team Spirit Award: William Doyle
Leadership Award: Matthew Piascik
Unsung Hero Award: Evan Pausic
Most Valuable Player: Brett Pausic


Women's Lacrosse

Leadership Award: Dana Cavallo
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Hannah Bradley
Defensive Most Valuable Player: Maddie Peters


Men's Track & Field

Most Valuable Player: DJ Petty
Most Improved: Al Cofie

Coaches Award: Philemon Afrifa-Boakye


Women's Track & Field

Most Valuable Player: Taja Hunley
Most Improved: Erin Schriever


Men's Tennis

Most Valuable Player: Alex Kulvivat
Most Improved: Jose Merhej


Women's Tennis

Most Valuable Player: Ashley Schmitz
Most Improved: Sarah Mueller

Coaches Award: Ashley Schmitz