Elon runners receive top athletics awards

Phoenix cross country standout Luis Vargas and track champion Kimberly Johansen received this year's Basnight outstanding athlete awards during ceremonies on May 11.

2014-15 Phoenix athletics award-winners
The Elon University Department of Athletics held its 41st annual athletics awards banquet on Monday evening, May 11, in Alumni Gym, recognizing and remembering many of the outstanding performances of the 2014-15 school year. Cross country All-American Luis Vargas and two-time CAA track champion Kimberly Johansen were selected as the Stein H. Basnight Outstanding Athlete award winners.

The Stein H. Basnight Outstanding Athlete Award has been presented annually since 1958 in memory of the late Stein H. Basnight of Chapel Hill, N.C. The award honors the most outstanding Phoenix male and female athletes of the year, as determined by the Elon Department of Athletics’ administrative staff. Jesse Basnight, Jr. represented the Basnight family at the banquet.

Basnight award-winners Luis Vargas (left) and Kimberly Johansen (r) with Head Cross Country Coach Nick Polk.
Vargas became Elon men’s cross country’s first-ever All-American after the Angier, N.C., native finished 25th overall at the NCAA Championships. Vargas raced in his first NCAA Cross Country championship meet after he won the NCAA Southeast Regional title and earned the Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year award. Prior to the NCAA Championships, Vargas went undefeated in each of his six races he competed in, including capturing the Colonial Athletic Association’s men’s cross country individual championship at the league’s championship meet, clocking a time of 24:11.37 in the men’s 8K race and breaking his own school record. He was named the league’s Most Outstanding Performer at the conclusion of the meet and announced as the CAA Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

Johansen helped the Phoenix women’s track and field team to Elon’s first-ever CAA team championship after the Chelmsford, England, native won both the 800 and 1,500-meter races at the league meet. Johansen ran a CAA-record time of 4:22.82 in the 1,500-meters and broke her own school-record in the 800-meters with a time of 2:10.42. For her efforts, Johansen was named the CAA Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet. Johansen also set three indoor school-records in the 800-meters, 1,000-meters and one-mile run, while also earning all-conference accolades in cross country and helping the Phoenix to a runner-up finish in the league championships. She then aided the Phoenix to its highest finish ever at the NCAA Southeast Regional with an eighth-place standing.

Men’s tennis player Stefan Fortmann and women’s tennis player Barbora Lazarova were recognized as the recipients of the Robert C. Browne Memorial Sportsmanship Award. The Browne Award was established in 1972 in memory of Elon alumnus Robert C. Browne by his sister, Pretto Browne-Crumpton, and her husband, Dr. J.L. Crumpton, and is presented annually to the Elon male and female athletes who have best displayed exemplary qualities of sportsmanship as determined by the Elon Department of Athletics administrative staff.

Fortmann was named the 2015 CAA Men’s Tennis Player of the Year after finishing the season with a 13-7 mark in singles play at the No. 1 spot. Fortmann also compiled a 14-5 record in doubles this season, earning first-team All-CAA accolades in both singles and doubles.

Lazarova picked up academic all-conference laurels for the third straight season in 2015. On the tennis court, she finished the year with a 14-7 record in singles play and ended the year on a five-match winning streak. Lazarova’s 58-career singles wins are good for second in program history.

Men’s golfer Jonathan DiIanni and women’s golfer Sunna Vidisdottir were the recipients of the A.L. Hook Scholar-Athlete accolades. DiIanni maintains a 4.0 grade point average as a finance major, while Vidisdottir holds a 3.96 GPA as double major in finance and statistics.

The Hook Award has been presented annually since 1975 in honor of Dr. A.L. Hook to the Phoenix male and female junior or senior athletes who possess the highest cumulative grade-point average with a minimum of two years of playing time at Elon.

Fall MVP Awards

Football – Jonathan Spain

Volleyball – Chanelle Smith

Women’s Soccer – Mel Insley

Men’s Soccer – Miguel Salazar

Women’s Cross Country – Tereza Novotna

Men’s Cross Country – Luis Vargas


Winter MVP Awards

All-Female Cheerleading – Sarah Creus

Co-Ed Cheerleading – Shannon Moree

Dance – Taylor Luce

Men’s Basketball – Elijah Bryant

Women’s Basketball – Sam Coffer

Women’s Track and Field – Kimberley Johansen

Service – Matt Krause


Spring MVP Awards

Baseball – Ryan Cooper

Softball – Alaina Hall

Women’s Lacrosse – Stephanie Asher

Women’s Tennis – Barbora Lazarova

Men’s Tennis – Stefan Fortmann

Men’s Golf – Jonathan DiIanni

Women’s Golf – Kelsey Badmaev


Football Team Awards

Chris Blair (Most Outstanding Defensive Back)

Ikenna Nwokeji (Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman)

Odell Benton (Most Outstanding Linebacker)

Dustin Ruff (Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman)

Kierre Brown (Most Outstanding Offensive Back)

Jonathan Spain (Most Outstanding Defensive Player)

Michael Crispi (Most Outstanding Special Teams Player)

Dustin Ruff (Coaches’ Award)


Volleyball Team Awards

Megan Gravley (Coaches’ Award)

Sydel Curry (Most Improved)

Sydney Busa (Top Newcomer)


Women’s Soccer Team Awards

Raychel Diver (Most Valuable Leader)

Grace Bennett (Newcomer of the Year)

Sam Burch (Most Improved)


Men’s Soccer Team Awards

Jonathan Coleby (Top Newcomer)

Chris Shannon (Scholar Athlete)


Women’s Cross Country Team Awards

Jenny Gallagher (Coach’s Award)

Elyse Bierut (Most Dedicated)

Jenny Gallagher (Most Consistent)

Emily Dunne (Most Improved)


Men’s Cross Country Team Awards

Luis Vargas (Coach’s Award)

Ari Rothschild (Most Dedicated)

Ryan Gwaltney (Most Improved)


Cheerleading Team Awards

Kali Snuggs (All-Female Coach’s Award)

Terrell Wagner (Co-Ed Coach’s Award)


Dance Team Awards

Alexa Durante (Maroon Coach’s Award)

Stephanie Driscoll (Gold Coach’s Award)


Men’s Basketball Team Awards

Austin Hamilton (Coaches’ Award)

Kevin Blake (Phoenix Award)


Women’s Basketball Team Awards

Shay Burnett (Best Offensive Player)

Jenifer Rhodes (Best Defensive Player)

Autumn Carter (Most Improved)

Sam Coffer (Coaches’ Award)


Women’s Track and Field Team Awards

Jen Esposito (Outstanding Track)

Bryanna Hames (Outstanding Field)

Emily Dixon (Top Point Scorer)

Emily Dixon (Freshman of the Year)


Baseball Team Awards

Nick Beaulac (Pitcher of the Year)

Andy Moore (Golden Glove Award)

Austin Leeney (Danieley Memorial Sportsmanship)


Softball Team Awards

Aly Quintana (Golden Glove)

Kara Shutt (Best Offensive Award)

Hannah Olson (Top Newcomer)

Carey Million (Hustle Award)


Women’s Lacrosse Team Award

Jane Ruede (Scholar-Athlete)


Women’s Tennis Team Awards

Kirsten Ward (Most Outstanding Doubles Player)

Olivia Lucas (Coach’s Award)

Erica Braschi (Heart & Hustle Award)

Taylor Casey (Most Improved)


Men’s Tennis Team Awards

Chris Humphreys (Most Improved)

Jordan Kaufman (Heard & Hustle Award)

Brian Kowalski (Doubles Specialist Award)


Men’s Golf Team Awards

Robbie Seebold (Most Improved Award)

Charlie May (Leadership Award)

Troy Beaver (Coach’s Award)


Women’s Golf Team Awards

Emily Brooks (Coach’s Award)