The Heron Society and the William Smith Department of Athletics honored the top student-athletes of 2008-09 at the annual Heron Awards Banquet this evening. Swimmer Lynn Cutter was presented with the Winn-Seeley Award for being an outstanding senior athlete and for her achievements in service, leadership, athletics, and academics, while senior soccer defender Ali Art was honored with the Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award for her accomplishments and contributions that significantly impacted her team as well as William Smith Athletics.
Cutter closed out her career by breaking three school records at the UNYSCSA Championship meet in February. She set a new benchmark for the 200-yard freestyle, finishing a timed trial in 1 minute, 56.99 seconds, 16 hundredths of a second faster than the 22-year old record of 1:57.15. Cutter went on to lower the marks for the 1,000 freestyle and the 1,650 free all in one swim. Swimming the 1,650 (1 mile) for the first time, she posted a time of 17:54.64, 1.36 seconds better than the previous mark set in 1988. During the swim, she hit the 1,000-yard marker at 10:50.65, 35 hundredths of a second ahead of the previous record, also set in 1988. Cutter is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection, and was named to the UNYSCSA All-Academic team this winter as well. Out of the pool, Cutter is immersed in leadership roles both on campus and in the Geneva community. Her lengthy list of civic engagements include work for the American Cancer Society and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
A second team NSCAA/adidas All-American, Art guided the 2008 Herons to a 16-2-5 overall record, and the program’s sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. She led a young William Smith squad to its second consecutive Liberty League title, earning the conference tournament’s most valuable player award. Art’s defense held its opponents to just 13 goals all season, and allowed just two goals in league action. Art earned a place on the Liberty League All-Academic Team all three years she was eligible. This season, she picked up a handful of additional honors, including first team NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-America, first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District, NSCAA all-region, first team All-Liberty League, and NCAA All-Tournament team accolades. Art closed out her career having played in 62 matches, including every game over the past three years. She was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and served as the group’s president this year.
Senior tennis standout Chelsea Rauck was honored with the Cynthia Oyler ’93 Award. The award is presented to a senior who will be continuing her education at the postgraduate level and displays outstanding athletic abilities, excellent academic records, and exemplary leadership. The first singles player to qualify for the NCAA Tournament since 1991, Rauck has had an exceptional career as a Heron. She played first singles and doubles all four years, and was tabbed the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Rookie of the Year, as well as the Liberty League Rookie of the Year, following the 2005-06 season. In addition to being a solid performer on the court, Rauck has consistently achieved in the classroom, earning Liberty League All-Academic honors three times and ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades once. Rauck served as the 2008-09 team captain, and was a CORE 20 representative for the tennis team. The three-time All-Liberty League pick owns a career singles record of 76-19. She plans to attend graduate school for architecture at the University of Cincinnati next year.
The Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award went to junior soccer goalkeeper Libby Greene for participation, leadership, and off-field endeavors that supported the advancement of William Smith Athletics, while the Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Award was given to both senior rower Kenzie Cannon and senior field hockey defender Katie Klutts.
A recognized leader, Greene was selected to attend the 2009 NCAA National Student-Athlete Development Conference at the end of May. She was also chosen by her coaches to represent William Smith as a speaker at the 2008 NCAA Championship banquet. A two-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree, Greene is a Hersh Scholar and a member of the Laurel Society. She is very active on campus and anywhere she goes. Greene spent the spring semester studying in the Dominican Republic, where she volunteered at a children’s clinic and at an AIDS clinic. On campus, she is a sports broadcaster for WEOS/WHWS, a three-year member of CORE 20, and an invaluable member of the a cappella group 3 Miles Lost, for which she directs and arranges music.
Cannon has been the coxswain for the rowing team’s varsity eight all four years, guiding the Herons to the New York State and Liberty League championships as a sophomore. Additionally, she led her boat to a fifth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships, four top-10 finishes at the Head of the Charles Regatta, and medaled three times at the Head of the Fish Regatta. Cannon and her teammates earned Liberty League Varsity Crew of the Year honors following the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and individually she was named a 2007 CRCA/Pocock second team All-American. A public policy and political science double major, Cannon is a two-time Liberty League All-Academic pick, a Helen Heath Scholar, and Dean’s List student.
Klutts closed out her career with the Heron field hockey team after playing in 47 games. The economics and Spanish double major has been selected to the NFHCA National Academic Squad four times, is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic pick, and is a member of both the Phi Beta Kappa and Laurel honor societies. Klutts has been helping to develop Learn to Lead since she was a sophomore, creating the description, outlining requirements, and now serving as a senior mentor for the program. She is also a Senior Mentor Spanish Department teaching assistant, on the Economics Department Student Committee, and is a senior intern in the Office of Admissions. Off campus, she volunteers in Geneva at Community Lunch and Bowl for the Kid’s Sake. While studying abroad in the Dominican Republic in 2007, Klutts interned with A Mother’s Wish Healing Clinic, and in 2008, she interned with Duty Free Shops in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.
Junior field hockey midfielder Janelle Walkley was presented with the Susan Bassett Award for excellence in academics, athletics, and leadership. Walkley is a three-time NFHCA All-Academic Team selection and two-time Liberty League All-Academic pick. This fall, she notched four goals and two assists, including the game-winning goals vs. Ithaca and Vassar. Walkley has played in 51 games over her three-year career, and has tallied nine goals and five helpers. Also active on campus and in the community, Walkley volunteers her time with the Lunch Bunch at North Street Elementary School, the after school science program at West Street, and is a part of Colleges Against Cancer. The Laurel Society member will join Greene as a representative of William Smith at the NCAA’s National Student-Athlete Development conference at the end of May.
Senior basketball guard Latasha Coney was honored with the Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award for meeting and overcoming personal challenges. Coney persevered through overwhelming personal and athletic challenges prior to coming to William Smith and in her first year as a Heron. As a senior this winter, she exhibited exceptional leadership on the court, showing her great determination and inner strength. A two-time All-Liberty League selection, Coney led the league and ranked 15th in the nation in steals per game (3.7) this winter. She also ranked second in the conference with 4.6 assists per game, was fourth in rebounding (7.3/g), and sixth in scoring (14.0/g). A guard, Coney registered 92 steals this season, making her No. 6 in the William Smith records book in that category. She also tallied 350 points, 183 boards and 114 assists, and was tabbed the Liberty League’s Guard of the Week four times. Coney notched four double-double performances this season, and closed out her career with what is likely the first triple-double in Heron history, totaling 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in her last collegiate contest at Skidmore on Feb. 21. She also earned D3Hoops.com All-East Region second team honors.
The Hazel Nettleship Hardy ’65 Award, presented to the student in her middle years who has contributed to the growth of Heron athletics and is an excellent representative of William Smith athletes, went to sophomore soccer forward BreLynn Nasypany. The 2008 Liberty League Player of the Year and 2007 Rookie of the Year, Nasypany was tabbed an NSCAA first-team All-American this fall. She has twice been named first team all-league, all-state, and all-region, and in 2008 she led the Herons to a league title and the NCAA Tournament semifinals. In 2007, Nasypany ranked second in the Liberty League in goals (13), points (31), and game-winning goals (6). In 2008, she improved upon her already-impressive numbers to lead the conference in goals (15), points (35), and game-winning goals (8). Off the pitch, Nasypany is a member of SAAC and Rising Stars, she is a Community Lunch and Lunch Bunch volunteer, involved in Habitat for Humanity, and she created the Geneva Youth Soccer Clinic for Geneva boys and girls.
First-year soccer goalkeeper Amanda Davis collected William Smith’s Rookie of the Year honor, garnering the Stephanie Christie Award. Davis backstopped a stingy Heron defense, helping the team to the NCAA Tournament semifinal round. Davis posted a 10-1-5 record in net with a 0.43 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. Both of those numbers ranked her 10th in Division III. She also notched nine shutouts. Davis was named first team All-Liberty League, first team all-region, and earned a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament Team for her efforts. She also serves as a volunteer coach in William Smith’s Youth Soccer Clinic series, and is active in Rising Stars.
The Joseph N. Abraham Award went to senior field hockey forward Kelsey Landahl, for participating throughout the season while persevering through an injury. This past fall, she ranked third on the team in scoring with four goals and six assists. Over the past four years, Landahl played in 69 career games, totaling 16 goals and 17 assists. She helped the Herons to three Liberty League Championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances, and earned All-Liberty League first team honors once.
More than 50 student-athletes were honored, including team and individual awards. The evening’s festivities were sponsored by the Heron Society.