The William Smith College Department of Athletics and the Heron Society honored its top student-athletes this evening at the annual athletics awards banquet. Senior Becca Splain (Middlebury Union/Middlebury, Vt.) received the Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award, presented to the College’s most outstanding senior athlete.
One of the best goaltenders in the storied history of William Smith lacrosse, Splain holds the Heron record for career wins (59) and wins in a season (16). A four-time All-Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association selection, Splain has led the Herons to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including last season’s run to the semifinals, and the 2001 ECAC Mid-Atlantic Championship. Through May 2, she ranks seventh in the nation in save percentage (.612) and 16th in goals against average (6.99).
Splain also received the Joseph N. Abraham Award and the Cynthia Oyler ’93 Award.
The Abraham Award is presented to the student-athlete who has persevered through injury. During the summer between her first and sophomore years, Splain was diagnosed with Prolonged QT Syndrome, a life-long condition that, if left untreated, can result in sudden death. Splain underwent a surgical proceedure to attach a defriblator to her heart. The device monitors her heart rate and, when an arrhythmia is detected, delivers a shock that resets her heart to a normal rhythm.
The Oyler Award is presented to the senior who will be continuing her education at the postgraduate level and displays outstanding athletic abilities, excellent academic records, and exemplary leadership. A recent inductee into Phi Beta Kappa, Splain is majoring in chemistry and English. She has been on the Dean’s List in each of her years at William Smith and has served as the editor of Thel, the Colleges’ literary magazine. In 2003, Splain performed an American Chemical Society Summer Research Fellowship.
The Winn-Seeley Award was presented to senior rower Julie Deprez (The Bancroft School/Paxton, Mass.). A two-time All-American, she helped the Herons to a third place finish in the inaugural NCAA Division III Championship in 2002. This season, Deprez led the Herons to the inaugural UCAA Rowing Championship. The Winn-Seeley Award recognizes an outstanding student-athlete who has contributed to many areas of William Smith athletics.
Senior forward Danielle Cornett (Potsdam/Potsdam, N.Y.) received the Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award, for meeting and overcoming significant personal challenges. In an NCAA soccer tournament quarterfinal game at Tufts in 2000, Cornett broke her leg in a collision with another player. Following surgery and extensive rehab, she returned to the pitch for the Herons in 2002, playing in seven games. This past season, Cornett played in 18 games, including two starts, and contributed a pair of assists as William Smith won the ECAC Northeast Championship.
Junior Lisa White (Deering/Portland, Maine) was named the Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Scholar-Athlete Award winner. A member of the Heron varisty-eight, White helped William Smith capture the inaugural UCAA Rowing Championship this season. A double major in environmental studies and biology with a minor in Spanish, she has twice been named to the Dean’s List.
The Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award for participation and leadership, combined with off-field endeavors, that advances William Smith athletics was presented to sophomore swimmer Kate Feller (Avon/Avon, N.Y.). A sprinter, Feller captured third place in the 50-yard freestyle at the state meet, touching the wall in 25.41, a career-best time. She was a member of the NYSWCAA and UCAA All-Academic teams. She also captured a UCAA Championship in 2002 as a member of the victorious 200 free relay.
Feller is very active in the William Smith community, including serving on the Core20 Committee. An important part of the Heron Peak Performance Plan, Core20 members act as peer facilitators on their teams, leading discussions on goals, values, and conduct as they relate to peak performance.
Junior Laura Maier (Lancaster Country Day/Reading, Pa.) received the Susan Bassett Award for excellence in academics, athletics, and leadership. The captain of the tennis team, she posted an impressive 14-3 singles record this season, including an unscathed 10-0 mark in dual matches.
Seraphine Hamilton (The Peddie School/Trenton, N.J.) garnered the Hazel Nettleship Hardy ’65 Award, presented to the sophomore who has contributed to the growth of Heron athletics and is an excellent representative of William Smith athletes. A defender on the soccer team and a forward in basketball, Hamilton is a starter in both sports. On the soccer pitch, she anchored a defense that allowed just 18 goals in 22 games, while earning NSCAA first-team All-Northeast honors. On the hardwood, she averaged 4.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg.
The Stephanie Christie Award, William Smith’s Rookie of the Year Award, was presented to field hockey forward Sophie Dennis (Dana L. West/Port Byron, N.Y.). The UCAA Rookie of the Year led the Herons in scoring with 17 goals and three assists for 37 points. An NFHCA second-team All-North Atlantic selection, she broke the William Smith record for goals in a season by a first-year. Dennis scored four or more points in a game five times, including a season-high six points (3-0) in the regular season finale against Nazareth.
More than 50 student-athletes received awards, including team and individual awards. The evening’s festivities were sponsored by the Heron Society.