WUSTL Presents 12 Student-Athletes With W Club Awards at 28th Annual Student-Athlete Banquet

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St. Louis, Mo., April 29, 2014 – Washington University in St. Louis named 12 student-athletes as the top performers in their respective classes for the 2013-14 school year at the 28th annual athletic department student-athlete banquet, held Monday night at the WU Field House.

In addition to the William H. and Elizabeth Danforth and William K.Y. and Anne Tao Distinguished Senior Awards and the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Rookie Awards, the Carl and Alice Briggson Sophomore Awards, and the Art and Marge McWilliams and the Stanley and Ann Rosen Junior Awards were presented.

Established in 1989-90 by the school’s athletic support group, the W Club Distinguished Senior Athlete of the Year Award is bestowed annually to a male and female athlete for their contributions to the athletic program at Washington University.

Kate Doyle of the women’s soccer team and Anna Etherington of the women’s track & field team received the honors on the women’s side, while Chris Klimek of the men’s basketball team and Nelson Nwumeh of the football team earned the men’s accolades.

Doyle excelled on and off the field in her four years at Washington University, becoming the first player in women’s soccer history to earn All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season. A 2013 first-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America honoree, Doyle started all 22 games in the midfield and backfield for Washington U. with eight goals and three assists for 19 points. She was seventh in the University Athletic Association (UAA) in goals scored, and netted the game-winner in a 1-0 win at then-No. 7 Emory University Oct. 6. A three-time NSCAA all-Central Region and four-time all-UAA selection, Doyle started 82 of 86 games played in her career with 11 goals and 20 assists for 42 points. The 20 assists are tied for 10th in Washington U. history. She is also a two-time Capital One Academic All-America and Academic All-District, and a three-time Academic All-UAA honoree.

Etherington completed a perfect sweep of the indoor and outdoor UAA titles in the women’s pole vault for the fourth year in a row. Already a four-time All-American in the pole vault, she added another All-America honor with a seventh-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, and she currently ranks second in the 2014 NCAA Division III outdoor leaderboard. Etherington has received UAA Athlete of the Week recognition five times this year, giving her 15 honors in her career. She has also excelled academically in her four years on the Danforth Campus, as a three-time Academic All-UAA and two-time UAA Presidents Scholar-Athlete honoree. Etherington was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team and is a two-time Academic All-District First-Team selection.

Klimek concluded his career by earning National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) third-team and D3hoops.com honorable mention All-America honors in 2013-14. He is the 19th men’s basketball student-athlete in school history to earn All-America honors. Klimek was named the 2014 UAA Player of the Year, and also picked up first-team all-region and all-UAA honors. He averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, and led the UAA in field-goal percentage (.613). Klimek scored in double figures in 23 of 27 games played, and became the 21st player in school history to join the 1,000-point club with 23 points against the University of Rochester Feb. 7. He started 74 of 76 games in his career and ranks 19th on the all-time scoring list with 1,125 points. A three-time all-UAA and all-Midwest Region selection, Klimek finished his career ranked third in school history in field-goal percentage (.579).

Nwumeh was recognized as one of the top small-college defensive players in the country after helping lead Washington U. to the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the second time in school history. He was named the 2013 UAA Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the 10th player in school history to earn the honor. A first-time all-UAA and second-team D3football.com all-South Region honoree, Nwumeh led the team with 79 tackles and four forced fumbles. He ranked first in conference games in forced fumbles (two) and tackles for loss (six), and was third in sacks (two) and fourth in tackles (26). Nwumeh made a career-high 10 tackles on three occasions, and finished his four-year career with 142 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. A three-time all-UAA honoree, Nwumeh competed in the Fourth Annual National Bowl Game in Miami. 

Awarded for the 15th year, the Art and Marge McWilliams Junior Award was presented to Melissa Gilkey of the women’s basketball and track & field teams and Sara Taege of the women’s swimming team, while the Stanley and Ann Rosen Junior Award was presented to Drew Padgett of the men’s cross country and track & field teams and Matt Palucki of the men’s basketball team.

Gilkey made her junior season of women’s basketball her best yet at Washington University by earning All-America honors from Women’s DIII News, D3hoops.com and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for the second year in a row. She is just the fifth player in school history to earn repeat All-America accolades from the WBCA. A first-team all-UAA honoree for the second straight year, Gilkey was also named the 2014 UAA Player of the Year. In the Bears’ 65-58 win at the University of Rochester Jan. 31, she became the 13th player in school history to surpass 1,000 career points, finishing the season ranked eighth on Washington U.’s career scoring list. In addition, Gilkey’s 450 points this season is the ninth-highest single-season point total in school history. In track & field, she won the women’s javelin UAA championship for the second year in a row in 2014.

Taege swam to All-America honors in six different events to lead the Washington University women to an eighth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. She placed eighth in the 500 freestyle to pick up All-America honors for the third year in a row, while also breaking her own school record in the event. On the second day of the NCAA Championships, Taege earned All-America honors in three events, placing sixth in the 400 individual medley, 13th in the 200-freestyle relay and anchoring the 400-medley relay to 10th place and a school record. She completed her outstanding NCAA Championships by helping the Bears place 11th in the 400-freestyle relay and seventh in the 800-freestyle relay. Taege also led Washington U. to a runner-up finish at the UAA Championships, and was part of four of the Bears’ eight all-UAA finishes at the meet.

Padgett opened the cross country season by setting a course record at the Gabby Reuveni Early Bird Aug. 31 and has continued that success throughout the year. He was the top finisher for Washington U. at five cross country meets, including earning UAA Runner of the Year honors with a first-place finish at the UAA Championships. Padgett earned All-America honors by placing 25th at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships. During the indoor track & field season, he set the UAA record in capturing the conference title in the 3,000 meters. Padgett broke his own school record in the 3,000 at the NCAA Indoor Championship to place seventh and earn All-America honors, while also anchoring the Bears’ distance medley relay to a 10th-place finish. He currently ranks second in NCAA Division III in the 10,000 and fourth in the 5,000 after shattering the outdoor school records in both events. A seven-time UAA Athlete of the Week this year, Padgett was also twice named the Division III National Cross Country Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Palucki capped his junior season by earning first-team all-UAA honors and helped lead the men’s basketball team to a 14-0 record in conference play. He started all 27 games at shooting forward for the Bears, averaging 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Palucki scored in double figures 18 times, including a career-high 32 points vs. Webster University Jan. 4 and at Brandeis University Feb. 14. He pulled down six or more rebounds in 19 games, and was fourth in the UAA in rebounding (6.9). Palucki was also a 2014 Capital One Academic All-District and Academic All-UAA selection.

Also being awarded for the 15th year, the Carl and Alice Briggson Awards are presented to the top sophomore male and female student-athletes, respectively, for their achievements through the first half of their collegiate careers. Connie Zhou of the women’s golf team was tabbed as the women’s honoree, while Reed Dalton of the men’s swimming team earned the men’s award.

After earning second-team All-America honors as a freshman, Zhou has not missed a beat in her second year on the Danforth Campus. She ranks first in the Central Region and sixth in NCAA Division III with a 76.84 stroke average. Zhou has recorded 16 of 19 rounds at 80 or lower, and won the Golfweek Fall Preview with the lowest 54-hole score in school history of 219 (76-72-71). She has finished in the top-10 in seven of nine tournaments played, and earned All-Tournament honors at the Olivet Labor Day Tee-Off, DePauw Small College Classic, George Fox Invitational, and WUSTL Spring Invitational. Zhou and the Bears were ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history on April 2.

For the second year in a row, Dalton finished in fourth place in the 100 butterfly at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, missing his own school record by four-hundredths of a second. He also achieved All-America honors in the 200- and 400-medley relays. Dalton earned All-UAA honors in three events as well. He finished third at the conference championships in the 100 butterfly, and was a member of the runner-up 400-medley relay and the third-place 200-medley relay.

Named in honor of two dedicated supporters of Washington University, the Lopata Rookie of the Year Awards were inaugurated in 1997 and are presented annually to the top male and female freshman athletes. Caroline Dupont of the volleyball team was named the women’s winner, and Michael Lagieski of the men’s swimming team was the men’s recipient.

Dupont became just the second volleyball player in Washington University history to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America First-Team recognition as a freshman. In addition, she was named the AVCA Division III National Freshman of the Year, also just the second honoree in school history. A first-team all-UAA and all-Central Region selection, Dupont led Washington U. with 3.02 kills per set and a .351 hitting percentage in her first collegiate season. She finished second on the team with 374 kills, 105 blocks, 35 service aces, and hit .500 or better in 10 matches. Dupont was named the UAA Athlete of the Week four times during the season, and was selected as the Sports Imports/AVCA Division III National Player of the Week Sept. 10.

Lagieski swam into the record books on his way to becoming the fourth individual swimmer in school history to win a National Championship. He broke the NCAA Division III Championship meet record and Washington University school record with a time of 54.10 seconds to win the title in the 100 breaststroke. Lagieski also earned All-America honors in the 200 breaststroke and 200- and 400-medley relays. At the UAA Championships, he set conference records in winning both the 100 and 200 breaststroke titles. Lagieski became the second swimmer in Washington U. history to be named the UAA Men’s Swimmer of the Year, and was the Bears’ fifth UAA Rookie of the Year honoree in men’s swimming history.