Stony Brook Athletics Holds Annual Athletics Ceremony
May 10, 2010
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook University's Department of Athletics held its annual Awards Ceremony tonight at the Student Activities Center on campus with more than 450 people in attendance. During the evening's program a number of awards were presented, including the Male and Female Athletes of the Year to senior Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, Mich.), a member of the men's basketball team, and junior Holly Van Dalen (Wanganui, New Zealand) of the women's cross country and track & field teams.
The first player in program history to earn America East Player of the Year honors, El-Amin set a Division I program record for points in a season this year (517). He also finished his two-year Seawolves career just 29 points short of 1,000. He ranked second in the America East in scoring during conference play (19.1 points per game) and scored 23 in the 82-78 victory over Vermont on Feb. 24 that clinched the Seawolves' first America East regular-season title.
El-Amin was also named the America East Player of the Year by Sporting News and was selected to the NABC District I second team. He also became the first player in program history to earn first team All-Met honors in addition to being named an AP Honorable Mention All-America.
An all-conference selection in cross country for the third straight season, Van Dalen finished second at the America East Championships. She also earned all-region honors, finishing 14th at the NCAA Regionals. During the indoor season, she was named Northeast Track Athlete of the Year as she shattered the school record in the 5,000 meters with the fourth fastest time in the country. Van Dalen then placed 14th in the 5,000 at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Van Dalen has had a successful outdoor season as well, as she won the 5,000 meters at the prestigious Penn Relays with a time that qualified her for the NCAA Regional Championships at the end of May. At During the America East Championships, she won the 10,000 meters and was part of the third-place 4x800 relay team.
Leonardo Fernandes (North Babylon, N.Y.) from the men's soccer team and Nini Lagvilava (Tbilisi, Georgia) from the women's tennis team were named Stony Brook's Rookies of the Year. Fernandes led the Seawolves in goals (seven) and points (16) as he earned America East Rookie of the Year honors in addition to being named to the conference's second team. Lagvilava was named the America East Rookie of the Year as well after finishing her first season with a 22-2 overall record including 8-1 at the No. 1 position.
Academics were also celebrated; with Rebecca Sayles (Calgary, Alberta) of the women's swim team and Jefferson Santos (Irvine, Calif.) of the football team being honored with the Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards as the seniors with the highest cumulative GPAs that made a significant contribution to their teams. A total of 45 student-athletes were recognized with Senior Academic Achievement Awards for earning a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better during their careers.
Also recognized during the evening were seniors Lesego Andrew Goba (Durban, South Africa) of the men's basketball team and Marisa Viola (Cutchogue, N.Y.) of the women's soccer team, who were honored with the Faculty Athletic Representative Award for their contributions to their teams and to the Stony Brook community.
Junior Jeanette Gibbs (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) of the volleyball team and senior Tom Compitello (Hauppauge, N.Y.) of the men's lacrosse team were given the Athletic Directors Award for their contributions to their teams and their representation of the ideals of Stony Brook Athletics.
Sr. Margaret Ann Landry, RSHM, earned the Shirley Strum Kenny Service Award for her special contributions to Stony Brook Athletics, the University community and our student-athletes. Previously named the Seawolves Service Award, last year this award was re-named for former Stony Brook University President, Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny, in recognition of her contributions during her tenure as President.
Following reflections by two senior speakers (Lesego Andrew Goba/Men's Basketball and Lindsey Gordon/Volleyball), Director of Athletics Jim Fiore presented Hall of Fame alumnus, Stu Goldstein '74, with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his success as a Stony Brook student-athlete, as a businessman and philanthropist.
Goldstein rose to the #1 ranking as a professional squash player after graduating from Stony Brook and ultimately began a very successful property management company (SDG Management) in New York City. The 5,000 square foot Goldstein Family Student-Athlete Development Center was made possible by the generosity of Stu and his family.
Freshman Justyne Passarelli (Glen Head, N.Y.) of the women's lacrosse team was presented with the Courage Award, which is given to a student-athlete who has overcome personal tragedy or serious injury and has demonstrated uncommon bravery in the face of adversity. Sophomore Wilber Bonilla (Brentwood, N.Y.) was recognized by his peers with the Swagger Award, which is given to the student-athlete that best exemplifies his or her team's definition of swagger.
Most Valuable and Coaches awards for all 20 of Stony Brook's intercollegiate teams were also handed out at the event.