CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Four All-Americans took home Harvard's top senior athlete awards Wednesday night at the annual Harvard Varsity Club Senior Letterwinners Dinner at the Bright Center. Fencer Emily Cross, ice hockey player Sarah Vaillancourt, soccer player Michael Fucito and football player Chris Pizzotti collected awards for most outstanding athletes. It marks just the third time that both major awards - the Radcliffe Prize and the Bingham Award - have noth been shared in the same season.
Fucito and Pizzotti were presented with the William J. Bingham Award as the top male athletes, while Cross and Vaillancourt accepted the Radcliffe Prize as the top female athletes. Eight awards were presented Wednesday -- one day before the university's Commencement exercises in Harvard Yard -- in front of a crowd of 650 student-athletes, coaches, parents and supporters of Harvard Athletics.
Fucito will graduate as one of the top soccer players in Harvard history as a two-time All-American who led the Crimson to the 2006 Ivy League championship and three appearances in the NCAA Championship. Fucito graduates with 32 career goals and 24 assists and was drafted by the Seattle Sounders in the Major League Draft.
Pizzotti became the first Harvard football player to be part of three Ivy League championship teams, leading the Crimson to consecutive titles as the starting quarterback during the past two. A finalist for the Walter Peyton Award as the nation's top player, Pizzotti compiled a 20-2 record and ranks second all-time in pass completions, completion percentage, passing touchdowns and passing yards. Pizzotti signed last month with the New York Jets.
Cross was a silver medalist at the Beijing Games last summer -
marking the first time the United States has medaled in the event.
She is the most accomplished foil fencer in American history and
led Harvard to a national title in 2006 as part of a two-time
Cross has the most decorated Harvard athlete during the evening as she was also bestowed the coveted Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics Prize, awarded to the top female scholar-athlete.
Vaillancourt was a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation's top play, winning the award as a junior. She won gold medal at the Torino Olympics in 2006 and has been a member of Canada's elite team since 2003. At Harvard she scored 106 career goals with 237 points while twice being named the Ivy League and ECAC Player of the Year.
Dom Pellegrini took the Carroll F. Getchell Manager of the Year Award for his work with the men's ice hockey program.
Men's swimming standout Bill Jones was presented with the John P. Reardon '60 Men's Award. Jones is a four-time All-Ivy League selection and a four-time competitor in the NCAA Championships, recording a pair of top 25 finishes as a junior.
Three-time women's soccer captain Nicole Rhodes was presented with the Mary G. Paget Prize for outstanding contribution to women's athletics. Rhodes was named a team captain each season since her sophomore season and led this year's Crimson team to a top 25 national ranking and the program's first Ivy League title since 1999.
The Francis H. Burr '09 Scholarship was expanded this season to include both a male and a female student-athlete on the 100th anniversary of Mr. Burr's graduation from Harvard. Presented annually to the senior who best combines qualities of leadership, scholarship and athletic ability, the awards were given to football's Andrew Berry and crew's Anna Kendrick.
Berry is a two-time All-America selection, a John Harvard Scholar and an Academic All-Ivy America. He was also selected as the nation's Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the FCS, a finalist for the National Football Foundation's Draddy Trophy and a finalist for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup. Kendrick is a Cambridge school system volunteer whom has performed other volunteer work on three continents while excelling in crew and being invited to the US Rowing Women's Under 23 National Team camp.
Kylie Stone of the field hockey team was presented with the Francis J. Toland Community Service Award, which is named for the Crimson's longtime associate athletics director who retired eight years ago. Stone, a captain and team MVP, was also a co-director of the PBH's Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program. There, she directed an academic enrichment program at three sites for 150 children.
The John P. Fadden Award, given to a senior student-athlete (either intercollegiate or intramural) who has overcome physical adversity to make a contribution to his or her team, went to Brian McCafferty of the men's ice hockey team. McCafferty played in 123 of 133 career games despite serious knee injuries.
Harvard University Athletics
2008-09 Senior Awards
Presented June 3, 2009 at the Senior Letterwinners Dinner
The Carroll F. Getchell Award: Dom Pellegrini, Men's Ice Hockey
In 1981, the Faculty Committee on Athletics voted to name the Manager of the Year Award, established in 1972, for the late Carroll F. Getchell, long-time business manager in the Department of Athletics. Each year the Department recognizes that manager in the senior class "who has best displayed integrity, courage, leadership, and ability" during his/her years of participation.
The William J. Bingham Award: Michael Fucito
(Westford, Mass.) Soccer & Chris Pizzotti (Reading, Mass.)
First awarded in 1954, this award is given annually to that male member of the graduating class of Harvard College who, through integrity, courage, leadership, and ability on the athletic fields, has best served the high purpose of Harvard as exemplified by the late William J. Bingham '16, former Director of Athletics.
The Radcliffe Prize: Sarah Vaillancourt
(Sherbrooke, Que) Ice Hockey & Emily Cross (New York, N.Y.)
This award was first established in 1975. It is awarded annually to that senior woman letterwinner who, through outstanding ability on the playing field and dedication to her sport or sports and qualities of leadership, best reflects the purposeful achievement of Radcliffe Alumnae in every field around the world.
The John G. Reardon Men's Award: Bill Jones
(Fremont, Mich.), Swimming
Established in 1987, this award is named in honor of John P. Reardon, Jr., '60, Director of Athletics from 1977 to 1990. This prize is presented annually to the senior varsity male athlete who exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership, and athletic ability.
The Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics
Prize: Emily Cross (New York, N.Y.) Fencing
Established by the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics, this prize was first presented in 1986 and is awarded annually to the senior woman who best exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership, and athletic ability.
The Francis H. Burr Scholarship: Andrew Berry
(Bel Air, Md.), Football & Anna Kendrick (Boston, Mass.)
First awarded in 1918, this award is a scholarship fund established in memory of Francis H. Burr 1909 by his friends. It is awarded to a senior who combines as nearly as possible, Burr's remarkable qualities of character, leadership, scholarship, and athletic ability.
The Mary G. Paget Prize: Nicole Rhodes
(Mendham, N.J.) Women's Soccer
The Mary G. Paget Prize is awarded annually by the presidents of Radcliffe and Harvard in honor of Mary Guest Paget's many years of service as Director of Sports, Dance and Recreation at Radcliffe College. The prize was first established in 1975 and is awarded each year to the senior student who has contributed the most to women's athletics.
The Francis J. Toland Community Service Award:
Kylie Stone (South Deerfield, Mass.), Field Hockey
This award was created in honor of former Senior Associate Director of Athletics Fran Toland, who retired in 2000 after 41 years of service to Harvard Athletics. The award is presented to the senior athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to Harvard and its neighboring communities.
The John P. Fadden Award: Brian McCafferty
(Lexington, Mass.), Men's Ice Hockey
This award was established in 1966 in honor of the late John P. Fadden's service as an athletic trainer and friend to Harvard athletes for many years. The award is given annually to a senior student (varsity, junior varsity or intramural) who has overcome physical adversity to make a contribution to his/her team.