Student Athletes Recognized At 15th Annual All-Sports Banquet

May 5, 2005

Providence, RI - The Brown University Athletic Department held its 15th annual All-Sports Banquet on Thursday, May 5, at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Ten student athletes, along with University Chaplain Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson were honored with awards. Cooper Nelson received this year's Brown Athletic Appreciation Award for her support of the Athletic Department.

Kate Silver Award This year's recipient of the Kate Silver award, given to the outstanding first year female athlete, is freshman track and field standout Sarah Groothuis (Aurora, NE). After the first couple of meets of the season, Groothuis established herself not only as the best discus thrower in the Ivy League, but also in the Eastern Region. Currently ranked first in the Ivy League and second in New England and the Northeast, Groothuis medaled in her first collegiate meet, competing against athletes from 23 different Division I schools. In her second meet, she took first place, defeating a woman ranked in the top 20 nationally. Among other freshman in the country, Groothuis is ranked 11th nationally and 5th in the Eastern Region. Groothuis is currently ranked second in school history behind All-American Amber Knighten '02.

Joseph Paterno Award The Joseph Paterno Award is given to the outstanding first year male athlete, and this year's recipient is Brown freshman wrestler Jeff Schell (Bloomsburg, PA). Schell had an outstanding first year, going 24-10 overall, and 12-3 in dual meets, including six wins over NCAA qualifiers. An NCAA qualifier himself, Schell wrestled his way to first place in the Bearcat Open, third place at the Keystone Classic, and fifth place at the EIWA Championships. With an impressive first season, Schell was this year's runner up for Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and third for the EIWA Rookie of the year.

Arlene Gorton Cup Junior skier and soccer athlete, Jamie Johnson (North Kingstown, RI) is the 2005 recipient of the Arlene Gorton Cup, given to the female varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. Johnson is the first to arrive at the slopes or the field, and the last to leave practice. She leads by example and understands what it means to be the consummate teammate. A two-sport athlete, she is constantly looking to improve and does everything the coaching staff asks of her. She understands the true essence of sport, puts the team ahead of her own individual goals, and continues to strive to improve through hard work.

Dave Zucconi Award The Dave Zucconi Award, given to the male varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play, was presented to Will Burroughs (Yuma, AZ), a senior tri-captain on the football team. A four-year member of SAAC, including the past two years as president, Burroughs was a three-year starter on the football team, earning All-Ivy honors as a junior and a senior. Off the field, Burroughs has accomplished even more, volunteering at the Vartan Gregorian School, volunteering for the Special Olympics, and volunteering as a coach for the Woonsocket Youth Football League. He also established the "Never Quit" Foundation in honor of teammate and friend Lawrence Rubida for cancer research, raising over $2,000. A Meiklejohn Advisor, he set up and ran study hall for freshmen football players, and has been selected for "Teach for America," where he will teach for two years in an underprivileged school district in Phoenix, AZ.

Bessie H. Rudd Award Senior women's basketball captain Andrea Conrad (South Easton, MA) is this year's recipient of the Bessie H. Rudd Award, given to the female varsity athlete who has done the most to promote women's sports during the year. It is based on enthusiasm, spirit and leadership. A four-year member of the women's basketball team, she has overcome two ACL surgeries to become a two-time captain for the squad. Conrad has promoted and supported all of the sports, especially women's sports during her four years at Brown. A three-year representative for SAAC, Conrad, regularly visits Vartan Gregorian School, is active in basketball clinics, and helped to raise money for her team's leukemia walk. She is a positive role model who doesn't fear challenges.

Cliff Stevenson Award This year's Cliff Stevenson Award winner, senior James Lowe (Asheboro, NC), loves the game he plays, loves life, his teammates and loves helping others, especially those less fortunate. The Cliff Stevenson Award is given to a male varsity athlete who best exemplifies boundless enthusiasm, indomitable spirit and devotion to the quality of life at Brown and the surrounding community. This past year Lowe spoke to local students at Hope High School about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Lowe has been the baseball team's most active Fox Point representative over the past four years, visiting the children once or twice a week, every week, and on holidays, bringing by goodies for the class to enjoy. An avid supporter for all Brown teams, Lowe displays energy, intensity and drive on the field. A four-year starter for the Bears, Lowe finished his career seventh all-time in school history with 122 RBI. He finished this season batting .323 at the plate with 26 runs batted in.

Marjorie Brown Smith Award One of the most dominant pitchers in the Ivy League, senior Uchenna Omokaro (Hercules, CA) is this year's recipient of the Marjorie Brown Smith Award, given to the outstanding female varsity athlete of the year. In 14 appearances Omokaro held opponents to a .200 batting average, earning a 1.52 ERA. In Ivy League play, Omokaro pitched 26 innings holding opponents to a .181 batting average. She gave up one earned run in league play for a 0.35 ERA. Her dominant pitching in the first week of the season earned her Ivy League Pitcher of the Week Honors. A two time first team All-Ivy selection Omokaro was honored as Brown University's 2005 RIAIAW Distinguished Female Athlete of the Year.

Fritz Pollard Award Senior baseball standout Matt Kutler (Omaha, NE), is in the words of head coach Marek Drabinski, "The best played I have coaches in my nine years at Brown." Kutler closed out a spectacular career at Brown by breaking virtually every career batting record in school history along with the Ivy League's all-time hits record with 260 hits. His .427 batting average is 10th in the nation, hitting over .400 for the second time in his career, a feat that has been done only once before in the 100-year history of the sport. He leads the Ivy League in eight different categories this season. As a freshman, he won the Joe Paterno Award as the male freshman athlete of the year. He is soon to be a three-time first team All-Ivy honoree.