Ten Harvard Student-Athletes Honored at Senior Letterwinners' Dinner
Photo Gallery: 2011 Award Winners
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Ten members of the Harvard class of 2011 were honored at the annual Senior Letterwinners' Dinner, held Wednesday night at the Murr Center. Gino Gordon of the football team was presented with the William J. Bingham Award as Harvard's outstanding male athlete and women's soccer's Katherine Sheeleigh took home the Radcliffe Prize as Harvard's outstanding female athlete.
Gordon led a potent Crimson offense during his four years on the squad, amassing 2,643 rushing yards which stands as the fourth-highest total in program history. A three-time All-Ivy selection, Gordon was a co-recipient of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup in 2010 as Co-Ivy League Player of the Year, just the sixth Crimson player to receive the honor. Gordon was also selected to the Ring of Honor, becoming just one of three collegiate players and one of six players overall to be named to the list. Gordon leaves Harvard having defeated Yale in The Game in all of his four seasons.
Just the second player in team history to receive first-team All-Ivy accolades in four straight seasons, Sheeleigh received All-America honors as a senior, becoming the first women's soccer player to do so since 1998. The 2007 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and 2010 Ivy League Player of the Year, she graduates fifth in team history in goals (31) and sixth in points (79). Sheeleigh was tabbed to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region team all four seasons, was twice named to the academic All-Ivy League squad and earned a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team as well. A finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award in 2010, Sheeleigh led the league in scoring with nine goals and seven assists, despite missing a pair of contests due to injury.
The Francis H. Burr Scholarship, which is the oldest of all the athletic awards at Harvard and recognizes one male and one female athlete for all-around excellence, went to Baltazar Zavala of the football team and Katherine Mills of the women's swimming and diving team. Zavala became the sixth Harvard football player and 50th Harvard student-athlete to earn a Rhodes Scholarship, representing the United States. An Academic All-Ivy League choice, Zavala helped the Crimson go 4-0 against Yale during his tenure, and earned a Major H in his senior season, seeing action in three contests. A walk-on to the squad, Zavala also received a Marshall Scholarship, but turned it down in favor of studying at Oxford.
Aside from maintaining a 3.7 GPA, Mills was a standout swimmer in her four years with the Crimson. She received the team Outstanding Swimmer Award in all of her four seasons, set seven school records, qualified for three NCAA Championships and capped her career by capturing the Career High Point Swimmer Award at the 2011 Ivy League Championships. Mills recently joined Team Elite based out of Charlotte, N.C., to continue her training with her sights set on the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Mills also took home the Mary G. Paget Prize as the senior who has contributed most to women's athletics.
Brett Voith of the men's water polo team joined Mills as the other multiple-award recipient on the evening, taking home the John P. Reardon Men's Award and the Director's Award, which is not awarded on an annual basis and goes to a senior who made a unique impact on Harvard athletics. Voith was a two-time captain of the Crimson and will graduate with a 3.76 GPA and a degree in Economics. He is a four-time Collegiate Water Polo Association All-Academic honoree, has earned Collegiate Water Polo Rookie of the Year, All-North Division three times and team MVP as a senior after leading the Crimson in goals, assists, and steals. Tara Larson of the women's heavyweight crew team was the other recipient of the Director's Award, as she served as an athletic representative to the University Council and incorporated University Council's game of the week program.
The Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics (HRFWA) Prize, presented to Harvard's top female scholar-athlete, was awarded to Katharine Chute of the women's hockey team. A three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic choice, Chute was a finalist for the ECAC Student-Athlete of the Year Award in her senior season. She helped the Crimson to two Beanpot titles, one ECAC Hockey tournament crown and was a member of two NCAA tournament teams.
Yunsoo Kim of the fencing team received the Arthur L. Boland award, established in 2010 for a graduating senior who will attend medical school. A walk-on participant, Kim changed weapons mid-way through her collegiate career and helped Harvard to the 2010 Ivy League title by defeating one of the best sabre fencers in the nation at the Ivy Championships.
Matthew McCollem of the men's hockey team was given the John P. Fadden Award as the senior student who has overcome physical adversity to make a contribution to his or her team. McCollem underwent a total of four surgeries during his time at Harvard, but showed glimpses of his talent during his sophomore season, sharing the team lead with five power-play goals and two game-winning tallies.
Awarded to the senior athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to Harvard and its neighboring communities, the Francis J. Toland Community Service Award went to Ablorde Ashigbi of the track and field team. Ashigbi led groups such as Students Taking on Poverty and the African Development Initiative in his time at Harvard and also took home the track and field team's Helmus Improvement Award in 2009.