The Captains celebrated another banner year with a team cook-out following the New Captain’s Classic in early May and presented the team awards. .
Team Awards Presented At Season’s End
Captains Celebrate Another Year Of Big Numbers
After the conclusion of CNU’s final home meet of the year, the Captains and their families celebrated the successes of the seasons with a cook-out and awards ceremony. The Captains earned 15 National Qualifiers that resulted in 9 invitations to the Championships and 4 All-America finishes. Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) earned two of those trophies and was also named the South/Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year for the Indoor Season. Richard Roethel (Farmingville, NY) secured the other two All-America finishes along with the S/SE Region Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year honors. Coach Patty Ley was named both the region’s Men’s and Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year for the great performance registered by the distance corps.
The 2011 edition of the Captain’s Track & Field Team claimed 8 School Records and 55 new All-Time Rankings. They posted 359 Personal Records – better than 34% of all eligible performances (first competitions in an event are not eligible) were lifetime bests for the squad.
Dira Hansen earned the Humphrey Award for her outstanding accomplishments in the distance events throughout the year. She led the Captains to a 3rd place team finish at Cross Country Regionals with a 16th place individual finish and earlier in the year ran the 6th fastest (adjusted) 6k time in CNU History. She set both the Indoor and Outdoor 800m Records and earned All-America honors in the event at the Indoor Championships. Hansen also earned the team MVP award as the combined high point scorer at the Indoor and Outdoor Conference Championships. Her teammates also voted her Most Inspirational for the third straight year.
Matthew Winkler earned the men’s Most Inspirational recognition from his teammates.
Richard Rothel distinguished himself as the Bahr Award winner, ranking as one of the top Combined Event athletes and High Jumpers in Division III. His yeoman efforts at the Conference Championships gave him the team’s highest point total and the MVP award, too.
With the huge number of PRs produced by the team, choosing Most Improved athletes was a daunting task. Four managed to stand out: Olivia Green (Fairfax, VA) on the merits of big improvements in the sprints and jumps indoors before an Achilles injury shortened her outdoor season; Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA) for significant drops in her best times in the distance events and for much-improved consistency in 2011; Jeffrey Ball (Chesapeake, VA) who dropped his 800m time 10 seconds from his high school best to 1:56.22 and ran the lead leg on the School Record 4x800m Relay; and Michael Kitchens (Leesburg, VA) who was the surprise Indoor Conference Champion in the Triple Jump and added feet to his Long and Triple Jump bests both indoors and outdoors.
Brittany Jacobs (Warrenton, VA) and Joseph Taylor (Prince George, VA) were named the Coaches’ Leadership Award winners. Both received several votes for the Most Inspirational award, set the tone for their teammates by their work ethic and determination, led their event-groups both in training and in competition, and helped maintain and improve the team unity across all event groups.The Captains had a good year in the classroom, too, as 37 earned at least a 3.0 GPA in the Spring Semester (3 with a perfect 4.0) and 36 have a cumulative GPA at or above 3.0 as of the end of 2011 (including one 4.0). The top Scholar Athletes for the team were Shaowei Tu (Mechanicsville, VA) and Kalee Hammerton (Royersford, PA).