10 Saint Michael's students earn major awards at 70th Annual Block 'M' Dinner

10 Saint Michael's students earn major awards at 70th Annual Block 'M' Dinner

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Tributes to Landers & Lowe

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Ten Saint Michael's College students and one head coach were recognized with major awards on Thursday evening at the Athletic Department's 70th Annual Block 'M' Awards Dinner in the Ross Sports Center. Each of the 21 programs also honored their Coaches Award winners.

Senior Hallie Bergwall (Lebanon, N.H./Lebanon) of the women's cross country and Nordic skiing teams joined men's tennis senior Patrick Dietz (Prospect, Conn./Woodland Regional) as winners of the George "Doc" Jacobs Award. The Diane C. Foster '77 Award was drawn by men's ice hockey seniors Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) and Justin McKenzie (Hawthorne, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) and women's cross country senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School). Women's swimming & diving senior Lindsay McNall (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) was chosen as the College's nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, while men's basketball senior Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point) earned the College's nomination for Northeast-10 Conference Man of the Year. Women's ice hockey senior Erin Dwyer (Weymouth, Mass./Archbishop Williams), field hockey senior Monica Miles (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine/Foxcroft Academy), and men's lacrosse and soccer senior Taylor Wallace (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) were Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award honorees. Men's and women's swimming & diving head coach Eileen Hall earned Purple Knight Coach of the Year.

The George "Doc" Jacobs Award was first handed out in 1969, as it recognizes individuals who make a truly outstanding contribution to the athletics program, regardless of athletic ability. The accolade is named in honor of the legendary coach and athletic director, and the founder of the Block 'M' Awards Dinner.

Bergwall was a captain of the women's cross country and Nordic skiing teams this school year. A biology major with a 3.817 grade-point average, she holds membership in the Beta Beta Beta, Chi Alpha Sigma, Delta Epsilon Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa national honor societies, and is a three-time member of the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association (USCSCA) National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team. She has landed Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll accolades on six occasions. Her coach in both sports, Molly Peters, describes her as going "above and beyond" in all aspects of both programs, and in providing support for her teammates. She also served the College community as a peer tutor. Peters said, "She is a role model and exemplifies everything that Saint Michael's represents."

Dietz was a four-year member of the men's tennis team, and landed on the NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll five different semesters. He is a psychology major, holding membership in the Psi Chi national honor society for psychology. Dietz was also an important member of the Athletic Department operations staff all four years, taking on various leadership roles and serving as a lifeguard. Additionally, he found time to give back, participating in MOVE correctional volleyball and serving as a clinical intern at the Maple Leaf Treatment Center in Underhill.

The Diane C. Foster '77 Award is presented to student-athletes who exemplify, by their actions, true compassion, sacrifice and service to others. It was first awarded in 2001 to honor the memory of Foster, a former Saint Michael's student-athlete.

Divis and McKenzie, roommates and men's ice hockey teammates, have worked tirelessly to end the negative stigma surrounding mental health, and advocated for support and mentorship for those in need. After two years of building their Hope Happens Here movement on campus and at local schools, they received college hockey's highest honor for citizenship and service last month as recipients of the 2017 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The considerable national media exposure from this recognition is carrying their good works far beyond Vermont, and colleges from across the country are reaching out to them, looking to establish chapters of HHH on their campuses. Divis was a team captain and five-time all-conference defenseman, with a 3.833 GPA as an English major. McKenzie was an assistant captain, Orientation leader and peer advocate in the College's Student Support Network, with a 3.556 GPA as an information systems major.

Roush was a women's cross country captain and five-time NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll member. A biology major, she carried a 3.596 GPA into the final marking period, and holds membership in the Beta Beta Beta and Sigma Xi national honor societies. Roush was one of her team's top two finishers 10 times the last two seasons, and helped the Purple Knights achieve their first qualification for the NCAA Championship in 2014. She participated in two Mobilization Of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) extended service trips - to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah and God's Love We Deliver food shelter in New York City - and was an education volunteer at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. Roush was a member of the College's Founders Society, a Pre-Orientation Weekend (POW) leader, and was a mentor for the Honors Program and the College For Every Student initiative.

Founded in 1999, the NCAA Woman of the Year is an accolade that accounts for athletic excellence, outstanding academic performance, community service and demonstrated leadership. Each NCAA member institution is eligible to put forth a nominee for national and conference consideration.

McNall enjoyed a tremendous career and historic senior season for the women's swimming & diving program. A team captain, she set six individual records in backstroke, butterfly and individual medley events during her career, and is also a part of two record-setting relays. With a school-record 102 career wins, she qualified for NE10 All-Conference five times, and was a combined six-time NE10 and New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) champion. As a senior, she broke four of her own records on her way to becoming the first swimmer in Saint Michael's history to qualify for the NCAA Championship, where she earned All-America status in the 100-yard backstroke, also a program first. McNall was named both the NE10 Swimmer of the Year and the NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for her sport. A two-time NE10 Academic All-Conference honoree, she maintains a 3.533 GPA as a double major in philosophy and political science, and gave considerable time to Active Minds, Purple Knight Leadership Academy (PKLA) and the SMC Student Association.

In an effort to also recognize top male student-athletes, the NE10 began sponsoring a Man of the Year program in 2013, and encourages each of its member institutions to honor an individual who represents their campus community through success in athletics, academics, community service and leadership.

A two-time men's basketball captain, Bonds completed his career 13th in program history in scoring (1,523) and third in rebounds (1,102), placing fifth in NE10 annals in boards. He became only the second player in more than 100 years of basketball at the College to amass in excess of 1,500 points and 1,100 rebounds in a career. A two-time NE10 All-Conference honoree, Bonds was named to the league's first team this year, and was also named All-East by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2 CCA). Bonds landed a spot in Sports Illustrated's "Faces In The Crowd" after becoming only the second active NCAA men's basketball student-athlete in any division to reach 1,000 career rebounds. A four-time member of the NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll, he was also heavily involved in community service at Woodside, Burlington and Winooski public schools, the Vermont Remembers Run, Laura's March, Red Nose Day, the DREAM Program, and the King Street Center.

The Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award, which was established in 1964, is presented annually to the varsity athlete best displaying loyalty and leadership in their program, both on and off the field of competition.

Dwyer was a standout women's ice hockey player and senior captain, not to mention a licensed EMT. A double major in biology and psychology, she holds a 3.767 GPA and membership in five honor societies: Beta Beta Beta, Chi Alpha Sigma, Delta Epsilon Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi. She served as vice president of the College's chapter of Beta Beta Beta. She was a three-time All-Academic league qualifier and ranks among her program's career top 10 in goals, assists and points, not to mention tying for first in games (103). She was a tutor, Honors mentor, and lab assistant on campus, and served her hometown Boston-area communities as a volunteer at South Shore Hospital, an intern at One Life At A Time, and a youth hockey coach for girls with special needs.

Miles has been a captain and defensive starter on the field hockey team, owning a 3.832 GPA as a biology major. She was named NE10 Academic All-Conference as a senior and is a four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad honoree, having once been recognized as an NFHCA Scholar of Distinction. Miles holds membership in five national honor societies: Beta Beta Beta, Chi Alpha Sigma, Delta Epsilon Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, having been treasurer of the College's Beta Beta Beta chapter. Miles has also served as a tutor and lab assistant, and participated in the Harvard Summer Research Program in kidney medicine. In the community, she has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Burlington, and is a donation ambassador for Donate Life New England, a multi-year personal commitment that her teammates have rallied around and eventually drew the attention of a national feature story in NCAA Champion magazine.

A two-sport student-athlete, returning to the soccer team twice in his career due to injuries among the goalkeeping corps, Wallace also capped a four-year lacrosse career as a captain this spring. He was an executive board member for three years with the Saint Michael's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), going from media relations coordinator as a sophomore to vice president as a junior to president as a senior. He is a six-time member of the NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll as a double major in economics and business administration. He studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, as a junior, and was selected for the Ireland National Lacrosse Team, competing in the 2016 European championship. He is also deeply involved in service to others, and participated in extensive youth coaching, peer tutoring and two MOVE extended service trips, to Immokalee, Fla., and Buffalo, N.Y.

The Purple Knight Coach of the Year award has been handed out since 2002. Hall just completed her seventh year as head coach of the men's and women's swimming & diving programs, and her student-athletes set nine school records, including as the women had their highest point total at an NE10 Championship in seven seasons. The women began the year 5-0 in dual meets for the first time since 1995-96, and along the way won the State University of New York at Potsdam's North Country Invitational. The season culminated in historic fashion, as one of her student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Championship in Birmingham, Ala., the first Purple Knight swimmer to qualify for NCAAs in the four-plus decades the College has sponsored swimming & diving. In Hall's head coaching career, student-athletes have been league champions 11 times, including twice in 2016-17.

Coaches Award Winners
Baseball - Senior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton)
Men's Basketball - Senior Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point)
Women's Basketball - Senior Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville)
Men's Cross Country - Senior Bryce Turner (Wayland, Mass./Wayland)
Women's Cross Country - Senior Alison Bourgeois (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans)
Field Hockey - Senior Monica Miles (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine/Foxcroft Academy)
Men's Golf - Sophomore Tucker Buteau (Gorham, Maine/Tilton School)
Men's Ice Hockey - Senior Caleb Lothian (Franklin, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep)
Women's Ice Hockey - Senior Erica Ragazzo (Mansfield, Mass./Ursuline Academy)
Men's Lacrosse - Senior Salvatore Loris (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe)
Women's Lacrosse - Senior Grace Gunning (Norwell, Mass./Norwell)
Alpine Skiing - First-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS)
Nordic Skiing - Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett)
Men's Soccer - Senior manager Chris Williamson (Middletown, N.J./Saint John Vianney)
Women's Soccer - Senior Michaela Horne (Southboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional)
Softball - Senior Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy)
Men's Swimming & Diving - Junior Michael May (Wallingford, Conn./Lyman Hall)
Women's Swimming & Diving - Sophomore Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich)
Men's Tennis - Senior Hayden Steward (Hamilton, Mass./Pingree School)
Women's Tennis - Senior Nicole Kellogg (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
Women's Volleyball - Senior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)