Sports Short: WAA honors female athletes

By Audrey Henkels

The Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) hosted its 104th annual awards banquet Tuesday night at the International House, where athletes celebrated their 2007–2008 seasons by receiving awards and certificates and enjoying a three-course meal.

The presentation of awards was preceded and followed by remarks by current WAA president Eva DeLaurentiis and was complemented by entertainment provided both by a team (the softball team performed an amusing skit) and an individual (first-year sprinter Jordan Dexter sang Anna Nalik’s “Breathe”).

Team MVP awards were presented to second-year midfielder Claire Gill, fourth-year cross-country runner Hannah Moots, fourth-year middle-hitter Koryn Kendall, first-year swimmer Ellie Elgamal, fourth-year guard Nofi Mojidi, fourth-year jumper Appie Hirve, first-year tennis player Chrissy Hu, third-year shortstop Jen Jacobson, and second-year thrower Claire Ray.

The Gertrude Dudley Medal, given to an outstanding fourth-year for her leadership and skill, and the Patricia R. Kirby Multi-Sport Athlete Award, given to the fourth-year who earned the most varsity letters, were both awarded to Mojidi, who earned 10 varsity letters during her athletic career at Chicago; she received four in basketball, four in indoor track and field, and two in outdoor track and field. Additionally, she was a four-time basketball All-UAA selection and a five-time UAA track-and-field champion.

The May Jean Mulvaney Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to the fourth-year with the highest third-year and fourth-year grade point averages who has earned at least three varsity letters, was given to fourth-year catcher and designated hitter Vanessa Pineros.

The Edith Ballwebber Awards, given to members of each class for their contributions to the athletic program by the Graduate Women’s Athletic Association, were awarded to first-years Elgamal and defender Claire Denz, second-year guard Jamie Stinson, third-year defender and swimmer Callie Brown, and fourth-years DeLaurentiis and Moots.

The fourth-years who competed all years of eligibility with at least three years in one sport and earned at least three major letters (one during their fourth year) were presented with blankets adorned with stars representing each sport they played and denoting if they were also captain. As per tradition, the two current WAA vice-presidents draped the proud fourth-years with the blanket like a cape as the crowd applauded.

The banquet concluded with a video slideshow featuring candid and posed pictures of members of each of the teams, including a special section set to upbeat and sentimental music honoring all of the fourth-years and celebrating their four years spent as University of Chicago varsity athletes.