Senior varsity athlete award winners celebrated virtually

All photos courtesy of www.mckeephotoarts.com
All photos courtesy of www.mckeephotoarts.com

Field hockey and women's hockey all-American Michaela Giuttari '20 (Warwick, R.I./Loomis Chaffee School [Conn.]) and men's basketball all-American Kena Gilmour '20 (New Paltz, N.Y./Kent School [Conn.]) received the 2020 Jack B. Riffle Awards as Hamilton College Director of Athletics Jon Hind '80 revealed this year's senior varsity athlete award winners via a live video announcement on Friday, May 22.

Giuttari is the first Hamilton non-cross country/track & field athlete to collect an all-America award in two sports. Gilmour capped his brilliant career with the Jostens Trophy, which is an award for one male and one female Division III student-athlete that takes into account basketball ability, academic prowess and community service.

The Riffle Awards have been presented annually since 1987 to the top male and female athlete in Hamilton's senior class. Riffle graduated from Hamilton in 1950 and passed away on Dec. 13, 1986. A group of Riffle's friends and associates established a memorial fund in his name because of his deep interest in Hamilton athletics.

Giuttari was selected a first team all-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association as a defender after her senior season. She was a two-time member of the all-NESCAC hockey team including the first team in 2020. She finished with 64 points on 26 goals and 38 assists in 92 hockey games despite playing defense most of her collegiate career. She helped the hockey team set a record for victories in a season with 16 in 2018-19 and they matched that total the next season. Giuttari was selected for the all-American team twice by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). She holds the field hockey program record for points and goals in a career and is tied for second in career assists. She helped lead field hockey to a top 20 finish in the final Division III coaches poll in each of her first three seasons. She was first team all-NESCAC for field hockey three times and was the 2016 conference rookie of the year. She was an all-New England West Region selection by the NFHCA all four years, including the first team three times.

Gilmour helped men's basketball win 74 percent of their games the past four seasons, and the team advanced to the NESCAC championship final for the first time in 2019. He helped guide the team to the third round of the 2018 and 2019 NCAA championship, and finished his career in fifth place on the team's all-time scoring list with 1,935 points. His finest season came during his junior year when he was chosen the district's player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the NESCAC player of the year. He later collected all-America honors from the coaches and D3hoops.com. He was voted first team all-NESCAC three times and was picked as the conference's rookie of the year in 2017. He's a three-time member of the NABC all-district team and the D3hoops.com all-region team.

Volleyball and softball player Kendall Searcy '20 (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park HS) and men's track & field athlete Ty Kunzman '20 (Spencer, N.Y./Notre Dame HS) received the Jean-Marius Gelas Memorial Awards. The Gelas Awards are presented annually to a male and female senior student-athlete who has displayed outstanding development in sportsmanship, leadership, character and athletic ability during their college years.

Searcy was a 2020 team captain for softball and a volleyball team captain her sophomore and senior years. She is a two-time member of the NESCAC fall all-sportsmanship team. She persevered and thrived as a leader under three head softball coaches and one volleyball head coaching change during her Hamilton career. She helped the softball team to a school-record 28 wins and their first appearance in the NESCAC championship as a junior and the three-year starter was later selected for the all-NESCAC team. She helped lead the volleyball team to a program-record seven NESCAC victories as a sophomore and played an important role as a defensive specialist.

Kunzman is a team captain who holds the school record in the 35-pound weight throw. He received indoor all-America honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross County Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as a senior. His outdoor season was cut short by illness his sophomore year and by injury his junior year. He qualified for the 2020 NCAA indoor championships in the weight throw, but lost his chance to compete the day before the event was due to start when the NCAA canceled all winter and spring championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He collected USTFCCCA all-region indoor honors for the weight throw three times, and captured first place in the event at the 2019 All-Atlantic Region Track & Field Conference Indoor Championships.

Women's rower Ann-Sophie Koglin '20 (Westfield, N.J./Westfield HS) and men's soccer player Luke Eckels '20 (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood HS) received the Milton H. Jannone Awards. The Jannone Awards have been presented annually since 2009 to a male and female senior athlete who exhibit outstanding athleticism, leadership and academic accomplishment.

Koglin is a team captain and biology major who rowed for Hamilton's varsity 8 all four years. She earned a spot on the NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team as well as Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete honors in 2018. She was selected for the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) all-America team as a sophomore and was a three-time member of the all-NESCAC team, including the first team as a junior. Koglin and the team earned an at-large bid in the 2019 NCAA championship where they finished in sixth place. She helped lead the varsity 8 to a top 10 ranking in the final Division III coaches poll in each of her first three seasons.

Eckels is a public policy major and two-year team captain who was a four-year starter at center back. He earned a spot on the NESCAC fall all-academic team as a sophomore and made the United Soccer Coaches scholar all-East Region team as a junior and a senior. He helped lead the team to four postseason appearances including the 2016 NESCAC championship final. He was a four-time all-NESCAC team honoree, including the first team as a sophomore and junior, and was the conference's rookie of the year in 2016. He was a three-time member of the United Soccer Coaches all-region team in the New England Region.