April 27, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame Athletic Department held the fourth annual O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) on Wednesday, April 27 at the Joyce Center. The event honored the more than 750 student-athletes that competed on athletic teams at Notre Dame during the 2004-05 school year.
The presentation of the three major athletic awards – the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award and the Christopher Zorich Service Award – highlighted the evening’s festivities. A member of each team was selected for the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award and the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award.
In addition, certificates were presented to student-athletes who participated in the third annual Rosenthal Student Leadership Institute.
Chris Thomas was the recipient of the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award.
Three student-athletes were presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award – three-time NCAA fencing champion Alicja Kryczalo (Gdanski, Poland), men’s tennis player Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo.) and volleyball standout Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind.).
The Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor presented to student-athletes, has been given each year since 1927 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders. Chosen by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics, the awards are named in honor of Byron V. Kanaley, a 1904 Notre Dame graduate who was a member of the Irish baseball team as an undergraduate. Kanaley went on to a successful banking career in Chicago and served the University as a lay trustee until his death in 1960.
Women’s tennis captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and men’s basketball standout Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) were the recipients of the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award. Since 1993, the University has presented this award in the name of O’Connor, a former student-athlete who died in 1973 following his freshman year at Notre Dame. Pat was the son of William “Bucky” O’Connor who played guard for the Notre Dame football team in the 1940s.
The award honors one female and one male senior student-athlete who best display the total embodiment of the true spirit of Notre Dame as exemplified by their contributions and inspirations to their respective teams. To be considered, student-athletes must possess those qualities attributed to Pat O’Connor himself – caring, courage, confidence, encouragement, humility, honesty, humor, kindness and patience.
Sarah Jane Connelly was the recipient of the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award.
Senior Derek Curry (Sealy, Texas) received the Christopher Zorich Award, which was first presented in 1998. It was created to recognize the contributions of Notre Dame student-athletes to the University and community at-large. The award holds the name of Christopher Zorich, a two-time football All-American and 1991 graduate. He went on to play in the National Football League for both the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins and received his law degree from Notre Dame in 2002.
Kryczalo ranks as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Notre Dame history, claiming three NCAA women’s foil titles (’02, ’03,’04; plus ’05 runner-up) to join 1930s distance runner Greg Rice as Notre Dame’s only three-time NCAA champions. Just two previous fencers in NCAA history – and 29 total Division I athletes – have won four NCAA titles in the same event. She played a lead role in helping Notre Dame win the 2003 and 2005 NCAA combined fencing titles, including her first-place finish in the 2005 women’s foil round-robin (21-2) as the six women entrants combined for a record-setting win total (103) to complete Notre Dame’s 24-point comeback.
Kryczalo – the 14th Notre Dame fencer (fifth women) to receive the award, and first since Bill Lester in 1997 (Claudette de Bruin was a ’96recipient) – finished atop the NCAA round-robin charts three times in her career (in addition to then winning the three titles) and set the Notre Dame career record for most women’s fencing wins in NCAA round-robin bouts (84-8). As one of only 24 all-time Notre Dame student-athletes to be a four-year All-American, she joins just three others on that list who also have won multiple NCAA team titles. She became the first Notre Dame fencer ever to reach four NCAA title bouts and her stellar results in the 2005 NCAA round-robin featured a 6-0 combined record versus top contenders Ohio State, St. John’s and Penn State and a 6-0 record in one-touch bouts.
Alicja Kryczalo was presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award
Her dominating career included winning 93 percent of her overall bouts with the Irish (356-27), with her .931 career win pct. in the regular season (161-12) ranking second all-time among Notre Dame women’s fencers who have competed more than two seasons. She also won two Midwest Fencing Conference titles (53-2 record; ’04 runner-up, did not compete in ’05), was a four-time Midwest Regional champ (51-4) and totaled a 91-9 record in all NCAA bouts – in addition to winning three titles at the prestigious Penn State Open (semifinalist in fall of ,04).
Kryczalo is under consideration for Academic All-America honors and carries a 3.45 cumulative grade-point average – including three straight Dean’s List semesters – as a double major in psychology and political science. She was named the Notre Dame fencing MVP all four years of her career and her stellar leadership was recognized with the 2005 Walt Langford Memorial Award, the most prestigious Notre Dame fencing honor (awarded for sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork).
D’Amico has been a four-year starter for the Irish, playing mostly at No. 1 doubles and in the top half of the singles lineup over the last three seasons. He holds a 47-42 career record in singles and a 60-54 mark in doubles, with 30 of those victories coming in dual matches at No. 1. He is just the fifth player in the last 25 years to be a two-year captain for the Irish, having filled that role in both of the last two campaigns.
D’Amico, the ninth men’s tennis player – and sixth since 1991 – to win the Kanaley Award is the only player in the program’s history to have never seen Notre Dame lose a match in the BIG EAST tournament during his career. He has been ranked as high as 44th in the nation in doubles, as well as 99th in singles. The 2002-03 team MVP, D’Amico holds the Notre Dame record for career clinching victories in doubles action (21). He owns eight career victories (five singles, three doubles) over nationally-ranked opponents, highlighted by upsets of #50 in singles and #26 in doubles.
Brent D’Amico was presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award
A finance major in the Mendoza College of Business, D’Amico boasts a 3.758 grade-point average. Also a member of the Academic Honors Program at Notre Dame, he is a two-time recipient of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Scholar-Athlete Award and was the University’s male nominee for the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete award. He has been named the team’s top academic performer in both of the last two years, winning the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award.
Loomis is the only student-athlete in Notre Dame history to earn all-BIG EAST accolades in two distinctly different sports, having been a standout in track and field in addition to serving as a four-year starter in volleyball. In her primary sport, Loomis earned all-conference honors three times and also was honorable mention All-America in 2003. She was a four-time all-league performer in the high jump, including winning the 2003 outdoor BIG EAST title.
The seventh volleyball player to win the Kanaley Award, Loomis finished her career with 1,321 kills to rank fifth in Irish history. She posted 10+ kills on 72 occasions (third-most in ND history) and cracked the Irish top 10 in six other categories. Loomis started 116 of 120 matches during her career – including each of the last 80 – playing at outside hitter, opposite, and middle blocker. She played in 96.1% of the games over the last four years (420 of 437), the second-highest percentage in program history.
Emily Loomis was presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award
Loomis boasts a 3.613 cumulative grade-point average as a design and sociology major in the College of Arts and Letters. She earned the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award this year for being the team’s top academic performer.
Connelly, the lone senior and captain on the women’s tennis team, has been a starter throughout her career at Notre Dame, compiling a 76-52 record in singles, as well as an 81-56 mark in doubles. She has played in the bottom half of the singles lineup, posting 44 wins in dual matches, while notching a 50-35 record in dual action in doubles, with 45 of the victories coming at No. 3.
The honor continues the tradition of Irish senior women’s tennis players being honored by the University, as it is the seventh consecutive season that head coach Jay Louderback’s program has produced either a Kanaley winner or an O’Connor winner. Connelly is the sixth women’s tennis player to win the O’Connor, the most of any sport. She has to her credit 22 career clinching victories in doubles play, more than any other ND player since the current doubles-point format was adopted in 2000-01. Connelly has been ranked as high as 43rd in the nation in doubles and was a BIG EAST all-tournament selection in both singles and doubles in 2003.
A marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business, Connelly owns a 3.470 cumulative grade-point average. She is a member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program for Student-Athletes and has been a BIG EAST Academic All-Star on three occasions.
Thomas, a four-time BIG EAST Conference selection and BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2002, finished his career with a 17.1 career scoring average. Rounding out his career with 2,195 total points, he is the third all-time leading scorer in Irish history. One of only three players in NCAA history to tally over 2,000 points and 800 assists, Thomas is the holder of nine career records at Notre Dame career leader in three-point field goals made (302), three-point field goals attempted (833), assists (833), assist average (6.5), steals (244), steals average (1.9), free-throw percentage (.868), games started and consecutive games started (128). Thomas started more games in an Irish uniform than any other player and concludes his career third in career games played.
In honor of the 100th season of Irish basketball, Thomas was named to the All-Century Team as one of Notre Dame’s 25 greatest players of all time. He also becomes the first men’s basketball player to ever receive the O’Connor award.
Thomas carries over a 3.1 cumulative grade point average and will graduate in May with a degree in economics from the College of Arts and Letters.
Curry, who served as one of the Irish captains during the ’04 football season, started 35 games over the last three seasons and has played in every game of his Notre Dame career at linebacker. In ’04, Curry ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 65, is second on the team in tackles for loss with eight and was second in quarterback sacks with 4.5. He also intercepted two passes, recovered two fumbles and broke up three passes.
Curry was the recipient of the Nick Pietrosante Award presented each year to the Notre Dame player who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride of the late Irish All-America fullback Nick Pietrosante. The award is determined by a vote of the players and past winners have included Jeff Faine, Joey Getherall, Aaron Taylor and Chris Zorich. A double major in management information systems and theology in the Mendoza College of Business, Curry will graduate from Notre Dame in May.
The Student-Athlete Leadership Institute opened in 2002 and was initially made possible by the generosity of Richard (Dick) Rosenthal, who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University in 1954. An All-American on the men’s basketball team, he served as Notre Dame’s director of athletics from 1987-95.
Today, the Institute provides opportunities for leadership development and lifelong learning for select student-athletes at Notre Dame.
Student-Athlete Leadership Institute Certificates of Merit
|A.J. Andrassy (Bay Village, OH)||Men’s CC/Track|
|Ann Barton (Scottsdale, AZ)||Women’s Swimming|
|Meg Boyle (Pittsburgh, PA)||Rowing|
|Kevin Bradley (South Bend, IN)||RecSports|
|Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, TN||Volleyball|
|Joe Brockington (Palmyra, PA)||Football|
|Katie Brophy (Spokane, WA)||Women’s Golf|
|Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, TX)||Women’s Golf|
|John Carlson (Litchfield, MN||Football|
|Jake Carney (Lexington, KY)||Football|
|Katie Carroll (Toledo, OH)||Women’s Swimming|
|Candace Chapman (Ajax, ONT)||Women’s Soccer|
|Carolyn Cooper (Houston, TX)||Volleyball|
|Ben Crouse (Oak Park, CA)||Men’s Soccer|
|Meghan deMello (Manlius, NY)||Women’s Lacrosse|
|Kasey Farrell (Santiago, Chile)||RecSports|
|Crysti Foote (Suffern, NY)||Women’s Lacrosse|
|Marcus Freeman (St. Paul, MN)||Football|
|Breona Gray (Las Vegas, NV)||Women’s Basketball|
|Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, DE)||Men’s Swimming|
|Tiffany Gunn (Little Rock, AR)||Women’s Track & Field|
|Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland)||Women’s Golf|
|Georgia Healey (New York, NY)||Women’s Swimming|
|Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, GA)||Men’s Swimming|
|Kristen Hopson (Rosemont, PA)||Women’s Lacrosse|
|Molly Huddle (Elmira, NY)||Women’s CC/Track|
|Mike King (Sidney, OH)||Men’s Golf|
|Daniel Klauer (Granger, IN)||Men’s Golf|
|Andrew Kowalski (Edmond, OK)||Cheerleading|
|Courtney LaVere (Ventura, CA)||Women’s Basketball|
|Jamie Lutkus (Granger, IN)||Men’s Swimming|
|Stephanie Madia (Wexford, PA)||Women’s CC/Track|
|Katy Marvin (New Albany, OH)||Cheerleading|
|Maggie McGinn (Galesburg, IL)||Cheerleading|
|Rhema McKnight (La Palma, CA)||Football|
|Tony Megna (Middleton, WI)||Men’s Soccer|
|Justin Michaud (Austin, TX)||Men’s Soccer|
|Dave Moisan (Fisherville, KY)||Men’s Swimming|
|Meghan Murphy (Centennial, CO)||Women’s Lacrosse|
|Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, IL)||Women’s Golf|
|Selim Nurudeen (Friendswood, TX)||Men’s Track & Field|
|Gabby Obregon San Antonio, TX)||Cheerleading|
|Sunni Olding (Minster, OH)||Women’s CC/Track|
|Amy Orlando (Brookline, MA)||Women’s Fencing|
|Eddie Peckels (Pinehurst, NC)||Men’s Golf|
|Annie Pugel (Seattle, WA)||RecSports|
|Tim Randolph (Crown Point, IN)||Men’s Swimming|
|Casey Reising (Evansville, IN)||Cheerleading|
|Dale Rellas (Plano, TX)||Men’s Soccer|
|Mike Richardson (Warner Robins, GA)||Football|
|Megan Ruthrauff (La Mirada, CA)||Softball|
|Dan Santucci (Chicago, IL)||Football|
|Sara Schoonaert (Houston, TX)||Softball|
|John Stephens (Woodbridge, IL)||Men’s Soccer|
|Jess Stephens (Bloomsburg, PA)||Women’s Swimming|
|Mitchell Thomas (Opelika, AL)||Football|
|Jon Mark Thompson (Cape Girardeau, MO)||Men’s Soccer|
|Christopher Trick (Troy, MI)||Hockey|
|Darius Walker (Lawrenceville, GA)||Football|
|Jennifer Walls (Tulsa, OK)||Women’s CC/Track|
|Elizabeth Webster (Dearborn, MI)||Women’s CC/Track|
|Chrissy Williford (Kountze, TX)||Cheerleading|
|Ambrose Wooden (Baltimore, MD)||Football|
Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award Winners
|Baseball||Matt Edwards (Mechanicsville, VA)|
|Men’s Basketball||Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, IN)|
|Women’s Basketball||Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, IN)|
|Men’s Cross Country||Kurt Benninger (Chepstow, Ont.)|
|Women’s Cross Country||No Award Given|
|Men’s Fencing||Patrick Ghattas (Beaverton, OR)|
|Women’s Fencing||Alicja Kryczalo (Gdansk, Poland)|
|Valerie Providenza (Beaverton, OR)|
|Football||Justin Tuck (Kellyton, AL)|
|Hockey||Morgan Cey (Wilkie, SASK)|
|Men’s Lacrosse||No Award Given|
|Women’s Rowing||No Award Given|
|Men’s Soccer||Jack Stewart (Torrance, CA)|
|Women’s Soccer||Katie Thorlakson (Langley, BC)|
|Men’s Swimming and Diving||Tim Kegleman (Yorktown, VA)|
|Women’s Swimming and Diving||Katie Carroll (Toledo, OH)|
|Men’s Tennis||Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, NE)|
|Women’s Tennis||Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV)|
|Men’s Track and Field||TBA|
|Women’s Track and Field||TBA|
|Volleyball||Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, TN)|