Sports Shorts: May 13, 2005

By Joe Katz

WAA recognizes top female athletes

For the 101st time in the organization’s history, Chicago’s female student-athletes came together to celebrate their accomplishments at the Women’s Athletics Association awards banquet.

Fourth-year distance runner Erin Steiner received several prestigious honors, including the top award, the Gertrude Dudley Medal for leadership and skill in women’s athletics. She also earned the Patricia R. Kirby Multisport award for holding the most varsity letters, with 10. Steiner has been a key member on the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track teams, earning spots on six All-UAA honor lists and winning four individual league titles.

Joining her in the winner’s circle was fourth-year swimmer Erin Lyons, who won the Mary Jean Mulvaney Scholar-Athlete Award for notching the highest third- and fourth-year GPA among three-letter athletes. First-year tennis player Cassie Kramer won the Max Davidson Award for dedication to the sport of tennis.

Other honorees include:

For their overall contribution to the athletic program (Edith Ballwebber Awards): third-year Randi Leppla (soccer/softball), first-year Nicaya Rapier (basketball), second-year Korry Schwanz (basketball), fourth-year Stephanie St. Clair (track and field), and fourth-year Ann Zimo (soccer).

Team MVPs: third-year Jacqui DeLeon (soccer), third-year Susie Gutowski (basketball), first-year Aparna Hirve (indoor track and field), first-year Cynthia Lin (outdoor track and field), second-year Ade Omodele-Lucien (tennis), second-year Dilshanie Perera (cross-country), third-year Erica Pettke (volleyball), third-year Hannah Roberts (softball), and second-year Katherine Yang (swimming).

Roberts wins academic honor

It turns out third-year pitcher Hannah Roberts brings a sharp curveball to the mound and a sharp mind to the classroom.

Yesterday, ESPN The Magazine recognized Roberts for her scholastic achievements with a spot on the Aademic All-District V College Division Softball first team.

The Maroons’ leader in career shutouts is a human development major who posted a 3.56 GPA to earn the honor. She is now eligible for a place on the Academic All-American Team, to be announced later this month.

With a 16-4 record, and a 0.36 ERA ranked fifth in Division III, and 205 strikeouts, Roberts will also be hoping to be named an All-American for her athletic accomplishments. She made the second team last year, leading Division III with a 0.25 ERA, and the third team two years ago.

Winter named UAA Athlete of the Week

Third-year middle distance runner Jessica Winter was named UAA Athlete of the Week for women’s track and field, the league announced Tuesday.

Winter scored her first victory in the 1,500-meter run this season at the Butler Twilight Invitational despite being the only Division III runner in the field. She came home in 4:35.26, more than six seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. The time was the fourth-fastest performance in Division III this year and should guarantee her a spot at the national championship meet May 26 to 28.

The honor was the second of the season for Winter and the sixth of her career.

Bortz to keep at national tournament

On the heels of one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Chicago men’s tennis team, third-year Ward Bortz is on the hunt for individual glory.

Bortz will get a shot at the men’s singles title at the Division III Men’s Tennis Championship, the NCAA men’s tennis subcommittee announced Tuesday.

One of the crucial players on a team that made it to the NCAA tournament, Bortz racked up a 25-9 record in singles matches this season. He is currently ranked 14th in Division III, and will be among 32 participants in the tournament.

The subcommittee selects competitors for the singles and doubles competition based on won-lost record, strength of schedule, eligibility, and availability. Tournament play runs May 21 to 23 at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

-—Joe Katz