June 13, 2002
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford Athletic Board honored 35 of the university's top student-athletes at its annual awards luncheon on Thursday afternoon at Burnham Pavilion.
The event was highlighted by Ellen Estes (women's water polo) and Markus Rogan (men's swimming) receiving the board's highest honor --- The Al Masters Award --- for attaining the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership and academic achievement.
Estes, who will graduate on Sunday with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship in 2002. The four-time All-American was also a silver medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia as a member of the United States Women's Water Polo Team. Rogan, who just completed his sophomore season, is ranked No. 2 in the world in the 200 backstroke. He won the 2002 NCAA Championship in both the 200 Individual Medley and 200 backstroke, and was a silver medalist at the 2001 World Championships in the 200 backstroke.
The Donald Kennedy Award - presented to the senior athletes who best exhibit the combination of excellent academics, strong athletic ability, and a commitment to community service - was shared by water polo's Kate Pettit and field hockey's Erica Swesey.
Pettit was an Honorable Mention All-American this season as she helped lead the Cardinal the 2002 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship. Pettit, who will graduate on Sunday with a degree in Human Biology and a 3.66 cumulative grade point average, is also the organizer of the team's weekly tutoring program with the East Palo Alto Charter School. Swesey led the Stanford Field Hockey team in scoring each of the last two years, was a 2002 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Regional All-American. She has also participated in numerous community service activities, including work with National Hunger Clean-Up, United Students for Veterans Health, the East Palo Alto Library and the Ronald McDonald House.
The Stanford Athletic Board Award for outstanding female senior went to Robyn Lewis (volleyball), Jessica Mendoza (softball) and Shelly Ripple (swimming). Lewis was a 2001 Honorable Mention All-American as she led the volleyball program to its fifth NCAA Championship. Mendoza finished her illustrious career as a four-time All-American, and the all-time school leader in seven different categories (batting average, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored and stolen bases). Ripple won the 2002 NCAA Championship in the 200 yard butterfly, and finished her career as a 24-time All-American.
The Biff Hoffman Award for outstanding male senior was shared by football's Eric Heitmann and track's Jonathon Riley. Heitmann was a 2001 First Team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association, making him the first Stanford lineman to receive that honor since Bob Whitfield in 1991. Riley, who ranks among Stanford's all-time top five in eight different events, ends his career as the most decorated Stanford Track & Field athlete of all time with 16 All-America accolades.
The Pam Strathairn Award for most competitive female senior was given to Sarah Beeson of softball, Patricia Miranda of wrestling and Melita Sawyer of field hockey. Beeson, who was a three-time All-American and two-time Academic All-American, will attend medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri this fall. Miranda is one of the top female wrestlers in the United States, and recently deferred acceptance to Yale Law School to train for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Sawyer missed the 1999 and 2000 seasons because of a serious eye injury, but made an incredible return in 2001 and was one of the top defenders on the field hockey squad.
The Jake Gimbel Award for most competitive male senior went to Chris O'Riordan of baseball and Tank Williams of football. O'Riordan, who came to Stanford as a walk-on, is a two-time All-American and has led the Cardinal to four consecutive College World Series appearances. Williams was named a 2001 First Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, making him the first defensive back in Stanford football history to ever receive that honor. He was selected in the second round of the 2002 National Football League Draft by the Tennessee Titans.
The Block "S" Honors Award, which recognizes the male and female senior letterwinners with the highest cumulative grade point average, went to Mike Copperman (wrestling) and Colleen Flaherty (cross country/track & field). Copperman, who has a 3.93 cumulative grade point average, will graduate on Sunday with a degree in English. He will join "Teach for America" this fall and spend two years in Mississippi. Flaherty, who owns a 4.02 cumulative grade point average, will graduate on Sunday with degrees in Economics and Public Policy. She will begin work on a Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford this fall.
The Thomas W. Ford Award, which is presented to the team whose student-athletes have demonstrated a special commitment to participation in community outreach programs, was given to the women's gymnastics and men's soccer programs. The women's gymnastics team participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the NCAA Yes Clinics, the Youth Olympics and the Clothing Drive for Urban Ministry. The men's soccer program is involved with the Ronald McDonald House, Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, East Palo Alto Youth Soccer League and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Attached is a complete listing of the 2001-02 Stanford Athletic Board Award recipients:
The Al Masters Award - Presented to the Stanford athlete attaining the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership, and academic achievement (highest award).
Ellen Estes (water polo) and Markus Rogan (swimming)
The Biff Hoffman Award - outstanding male senior.
Eric Heitmann (football) and Jonathon Riley (track & field)
The Stanford Athletic Board Award - outstanding female senior.
Robyn Lewis (volleyball), Jessica Mendoza (softball) and Shelly Ripple (swimming)
The Jake Gimbel Award - best competitive attitude - male senior.
Chris O'Riordan (baseball) and Tank Williams (football)
The Pam Strathairn Award - best competitive attitude - female senior.
Sarah Beeson (softball), Patricia Miranda (wrestling) and Melita Sawyer (field hockey)
The Block "S" Honors Award for Men - senior letterwinner with highest GPA.
Mike Copperman (wrestling; 3.93 GPA)
The Block "S" Honors Award for Women - senior letterwinner with highest GPA.
Colleen Flaherty (cross country/track & field; 4.01 GPA)
Conference Male Athlete of the Year - presented to a Stanford athlete who distinguishes himself in conference competition.
Gabriel Jennings (track & field) and Roger Levesque (soccer)
Conference Female Athlete of the Year - presented to a Stanford athlete who distinguishes herself in Conference Competition.
Gabriela Lastra (tennis) and Logan Tom (volleyball)
Block "S" Outstanding Male Junior Award
Randall Bal (swimming), Nick Ellis (water polo) and Jeremy Guthrie (baseball)
Block "S Outstanding Female Junior Award
Lauren Fleshman (cross country/track & field) and Jackie Frank (water polo)
Block "S" Outstanding Male Sophomore Award
Teyo Johnson (basketball/football), Peter Marshall (swimming) and Donald Sage (cross country/track & field)
Block "S" Outstanding Female Sophomore Award
Tara Kirk (swimming), Nicole Powell (basketball) and Brenda Villa (water polo)
Block "S" Outstanding Male Freshman Award
Tony Azevedo (water polo) and Matt Gentry (wrestling)
Block "S" Outstanding Female Freshman Award
Erin Burdette (tennis) and Ogonna Nnamani (volleyball)
Donald Kennedy Award - presented to the senior athlete who best exhibits the combination of excellent academics, strong athletic ability, and a commitment to community service.
Kate Pettit (water polo) and Erica Swesey (field hockey)
Thomas W. Ford Award - presented to the team whose student-athletes have demonstrated a special commitment to participation in local community outreach.
Women's Gymnastics and Men's Soccer