BROOKLINE, Mass. - For nine Nighthawk student-athletes, today marked a day that etched their names in the history of Newbury College, as the selected student-athletes, along with one coach, were presented a variety of awards at the 16th Annual Newbury Athletic Awards Ceremony on Friday afternoon.
Nighthawks sophomore Desiree Snead made history by becoming the first student-athlete from women's track & field to be named the Female Nighthawk of the Year.
"I'm really excited to win this award because this is one of the first track athlete awards given to us," said Snead. "Getting this is a big accomplishment and I'm really excited to have this."
The track & field season is still in progress with Snead and the track & field Nighthawks competing in the New England Collegiate Conference Championships this weekend at Regis College.
"We're going to go for it and go out there and win a championship," said Snead. "All of us are healthy and we're ready to win."
Snead's individual accomplishments this season include 13 top-five finishes between 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, the 200-meter dash, the long jump, and the triple jump. Among those 13 top-five finishes, Snead has been in the top-three on seven occasions.
Nighthawks junior Andrew Kalombo added more hardware to his trophy case as the NECC Player of the Year in men's soccer was named the Male Nighthawk of the Year this afternoon.
Kalombo and the Nighthawks men's soccer program became the first team in program history to win both the NECC Regular Season and Postseason Championships, which qualified them as the first team in Newbury history to reach the NCAA Tournament.
"I wasn't really expecting this but when I heard my name I was shocked," said Kalombo. "This means a lot to me and the team worked so hard and everything is paying off. My teammates and coaches and staff are all amazing and I couldn't be more grateful for this."
Kalombo was the NECC's Player of the Year, becoming only the fourth defender in conference history to win the award. He was also the first player in program history to be named to the United Soccer Coaches East Region All-Academic Team, earning his way to a third-team selection.
It was a successful afternoon for the men's and women's volleyball programs, as for the second consecutive year, the Scholar-Athletes of the Year came from both programs.
Nighthawks junior Mackenzie Tourville earned the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, posting a 3.95-grade point average after five semesters of school. In those five semesters, Tourville has never received a final grade below an A-.
Nighthawks senior Cesar Cruz grabbed the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award with his 3.76 GPA. Given the several roles on campus from class president to orientation leader to men's volleyball player, Cruz is seen as a one-of-a-kind student-athlete. Cruz is planning on resuming his education this fall at Boston College.
In 15 instances of this award, Tourville and Cruz become the third men's and women's volleyball players to win the award in the same year.
History was made in the final ceremony in the College's history as for the first time, a three-sport athlete was awarded one of the Major Accomplishments.
Freshman Shakira Henriquez stands alone as the only three-sport athlete to ever win a major award as she was named the Female Rookie of the Year. Henriquez competes for the Nighthawks in cross country, basketball, and track & field.
In her cross country season, she amassed three top-20 finishes, including an 11th place finish at the NECC Championships; a finish that gave her a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.
Her hard work in practice and in the weight room for basketball led to 11 appearances for the Nighthawks program.
And finally, Henriquez's adjustment to shorter distances hasn't stopped her as she has been named a NECC Rookie of the Week on one occasion and has a personal-best finish of seventh in the 400-meters.
"I was shocked that I got this award," said Henriquez. "It shows that my hard work paid off being both a student and athlete. This was a great experience and I'm happy to leave this legacy at Newbury College and I hope that wherever I go, I am able to accomplish the same things."
Between the three sports, Henriquez made appearances in 23 different contests or events.
More success for cross country and track & field as freshman Anthony Crocco was named the Male Rookie of the Year.
In Crocco's cross country season, he finished in the top-20 on two occasions and set his personal-best 8k time at the New England Regional Championships. Shifting to his track & field season, Crocco has eight top-20 finishes over various events, including a program-record and personal best finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
"It was a total surprise, honestly," said Crocco. "I didn't I was going to get an award but it's a real honor to be bestowed the Rookie of the Year."
Crocco becomes the third student-athlete in the last four years with ties to the track & field program to win the male Rookie of the Year.
The ceremonies newest award, the Career Achievement Award, was given to one senior for her work in competition and in the classroom.
The winner, Noelle Sass, is one of Newbury's most decorated student-athletes, having written her name in the history books of women's soccer and softball in 32 different categories. Sass is the reigning NECC Player of the Year in softball, a three-time preseason All-American, and one time All-American from the Fastpitch News. Sass has the most home runs in NECC history with 32.
In women's soccer, there is no goalie with more wins, saves, or shutouts in program history and over the last two years, Sass led the nation in saves in all three of the NCAA's Divisions.
Nighthawks senior Madison Elliott was named the Female Sportsmanship Award winner. Elliott became the third consecutive softball player to win the female Sportsmanship Award.
Sophomore Dylan Presby took home the Male Sportsmanship Award as a member of the baseball program. Presby joins only two other baseball players in history to win the Male Sportsmanship Award.
Nighthawks coach and Class of 2009 graduate Bill Maddock broke through for coach of the year.
In what was thought to be a rebuilding season coming off a 5-15 record in 2017, Maddock brought over 20 recruits to his team and provided Newbury College with its first-ever Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament birth.
In total, 44 student-athletes were also recipients of the Nighthawks Academic Award for a GPA of 3.3 or above. The list includes:
Alyssa Aurora, Hannah Besaw, Monica Bolduk, Brett Cabral, Samantha Cannan, David Center, Brian Cipolla, Casey Cisero, Anthony Crocco, Cesar Cruz, Nadiyah Davis, Megan DeBona, Venezia Delgadillo, Nick Dorazio, Katie Flake, Dawnisha Franklin, Jada Gee, Cameron Goike, Nicole Goncalves, Ryan Gonzales, Hamido Hassan, Shakira Henriquez, Averi Johnson, Andrew Kalombo, Nhuelle Le, Cameron LeClairs, Nicholas Luciano, Jahna Macnamee, Adrian Maldonado , Meechie Manuel, Keely Molloy, Rony Morales, Joseph Munro, Sophia Ortiz, Amanda Payne, Jasiah Placencia, Francisco Santiago, Noelle Sass, Desiree Snead, Mallory Stefan, Mackenzie Tourville, Alexis Vieira, Geralson Withrow, and Ronald Zabala.