Yale Honors Six Seniors and One Team with Annual Awards at Senior Student-Athlete Reception

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The Yale Senior Student-Athlete Reception. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Brodhead, Ford, Kiphuth and Meyer Awards Announced

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Six seniors and one team were honored by the Yale Athletics Department with awards at the annual senior student-athlete reception Saturday afternoon at the Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The women's fencing team earned the Brodhead Award for highest team grade point average. Travis Henry (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) of the football team and Allison Mak (Richmond Hill, Ont.) of the gymnastics team were the recipients of the Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award. Chris Labosky (Tallmadge, Ohio) of the men’s cross country and track & field teams and Julia Weiser (Houston, Texas) of the field hockey team were the recipients of the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award. Stephanie Colantonio (Watertown, Mass.) of the field hockey team and Ben Wescoe (La Jolla, Calif.) of the men’s golf team were the recipients of the Meyer Humanitarian Award.

The Brodhead Award is named in honor of Richard H. Brodhead '68, Ph.D. '72, who served as Dean of Yale College from 1993 through 2004 and was on the faculty of the department of English for more than 30 years. It, along with the Kiphuth Award, was presented by Deputy Dean of Yale College Joseph Gordon `78PhD. The women's fencing team won with a 3.54 grade-point average. The team had an Academic All-Ivy League selection in saberist Jennifer Ivers (Winnetka, Ill.), a Spanish major. Ivers was also one of eight Bulldogs who fenced at NCAA Regionals, and three of those fencers went on to compete at the NCAA National Championship. Yale finished 15th at the championship.

The Ford Award, given annually to the male and female student-athletes who during their senior year have demonstrated their commitment to strengthening the relationship between Yale athletics and the youth in the New Haven community, is named in honor of Thomas W. Ford '42, who endowed the Yale Department of Athletics Community Outreach Program in the fall of 1996. It was presented by Sam Burrell, coordinator of Yale Athletics’ Thomas W. Ford ’42 Community Outreach Program.

Henry was a founding member of a mentoring program for young men at Wilbur Cross High School, bringing them to the Yale campus to share experiences with Yale students. He was also chair of the Black Men’s Union Community Outreach Committee. On the field, he was an honorable mention All-Ivy League outside linebacker and earned the Yale football team’s Hammer Award as the hardest hitter.

 

Henry is a member of Timothy Dwight College majoring in political science.

Mak, who was chair of the Thomas W. Ford ’42 Community Outreach Committee, organized and oversaw all of Yale Athletics’ community outreach programs. That included the annual Youth Days, which gave local children the chance to play sports with Yale student-athletes; Bulldog Buddies, through which Yale student-athletes mentored and tutored local children; and the Yale Athletics Holiday Gift Giving Initiative, through which Yale athletics teams purchased holiday gifts for underprivileged families. Mak was the winner of the Seton Ivy Award from the City of New Haven for improving relations between Yale and New Haven. As an athlete, she was a two-time ECAC Champion on the balance beam -- the first Yale gymnast to win the event. She received the Yale gymnastics team’s Outstanding Senior Contribution Award.

Mak is a member of Jonathan Edwards College majoring in biology.

The Kiphuth Award, given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards, is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47. Kiphuth served as Director of Athletics from 1954 through 1976.

Labosky, the captain of the cross country team, is a two-time ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American last year. He also just set the Yale record in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:48.25 at the outdoor IC4A Championships, earning All-East honors in that event for the second time. He is a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier in the 800 outdoors and was Ivy League champion in the 1,000-meter run indoors this past year.

Earlier this month Labosky was the recipient of Yale’s James Stack '61 Award, given annually to a male and female track and field athlete who best personifies Jim Stack, the captain and leader of the 1961 team that won the “big three” (Yale vs. Harvard vs. Princeton), Heptagonal Championships and IC4A Championships.

Also a United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic selection, Labosky anchored Yale’s school-record performance in the 4x800-meter relay, earning All-East honors, at the 2008 indoor IC4A Championships. He also was a two-time second team All-Ivy League selection in that event. With the cross country team, he was Yale’s No. 2 runner at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and NCAA Regionals in 2007.

Labosky is a member of Branford College majoring in humanities. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Weiser, the captain of the field hockey team, just earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. She is a four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Academic Squad honoree and was named Academic All-Ivy League this past fall.

A second-team All-Ivy League selection at back, Weiser captained Yale to one of the team's best seasons ever in 2009. The Bulldogs set the school record for Ivy League wins, earned votes in the national poll for five straight weeks, and finished tied for the third-most overall wins in a season in school history (12).

Weiser received two of the annual Yale field hockey awards this past year. That included the Coaches Award, which is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale, and the Amanda Walton Award, which is given by the Yale players and coaching staff to that team member who demonstrates the ability to confront challenges, displaying the courage to overcome them, while inspiring teammates with her work ethic and unselfish attitude.

Weiser is a member of Calhoun College majoring in biology. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

This is the second year for the Meyer Award, which is named in honor of Molly Meyer, a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services who has been addressing the health needs of student-athletes at Yale since 1975. Meyer was on hand to present the awards Saturday. The award is given each year to a varsity athlete in the senior class "whose character exemplifies selfless devotion along with compassion and concern for their team and the community at Yale and beyond."

Colantonio won all three major awards the Yale field hockey team has during her career, including the Coaches Award, the Walton Award and the Senior Award. Noted for her team-first attitude, she was also extensively active in community service. That included volunteering as a mentor at a local school and taking part in the field hockey team’s annual “Fun Day” with Dwight Elementary School. She was also involved with Students for Organ Donation as well as Community Health Educators. Additionally, she worked at the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, in addition to the Yale Stress Center.

Colantonio is a member of Saybrook College majoring in psychology.

Wescoe, who captained the Yale men’s golf team to a second-place finish at the Ivy League Championships, was a leader both on and off the course for the Bulldogs. He spearheaded the creation of a golf program this winter that allowed more than a dozen students from a local New Haven middle school (St. Martin De Porres) to have weekly 60-minute instruction/golf education sessions with Yale team members in the indoor team room on the second floor of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium. At the end of February, Wescoe attended an awards dinner at the school where the students received participation awards, along with awards for putting, most improved and longest drive.

Wescoe is a member of Berkeley College majoring in history of art.

Saturday’s ceremony also included a welcome from Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics, who praised the members of the senior class for their contributions as student-athletes and as members of the community. That included reciting all of the Class of 2010’s many athletic accomplishments, and also projects such as the record-setting bone marrow donor testing drive Yale Athletics held each of the past two springs in support of Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.). Schwartz, an ice hockey player, was originally a member of the Class of 2010 but is currently back home receiving chemotherapy and awaiting a matching marrow or cord blood donor as she battles leukemia (click here for more info).

There were also reflections from two members of the graduating class: Weiser and Tom Dignard (Reading, Mass.) of the men’s ice hockey team. Yale Sr. Associate Director of Athletics Amy Backus also recognized eight seniors for their participation in Yale’s Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program that began in the Class of 2010’s freshman year and is designed to foster leadership skills in Yale’s student-athletes.

A crowd of several hundred was on hand for the event, including senior student-athletes and their families along with coaches and athletic department administrators.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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