• Athlete of the Week - Archive

5-5-2003 | Entire Men's Golf Team

Head coach John Affleck and the entire men's golf team have been named Binghamton's Athletes of the Week for April 28-May 4. The team captured the America East Championship last week and on Monday, it received an at-large bid to the NCAA East Regional Tournament, which will be held at Auburn University May 15-17. The win at the America East Tournament marked the Bearcats' seventh title of the season, which is the most any collegiate golf team has won this year.

4-28-2003 | Entire Men's Tennis Team

Head coach Michael Starke and the entire men's tennis team have been named Binghamton's Athletes of the Week for April 21-27. The team captured the America East Championship with wins over Hartford and Stony Brook, becoming the University's first team to advance to the NCAA Division I Championship. Carrying the conference's automatic bid, BU will take on 11th-ranked Minnesota in an NCAA regional match on May 10.

4-21-2003 | Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./ Flager Palm Coast)

For the second consecutive week and third time in the past six weeks, sophomore Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./ Flager Palm Coast) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week. She earned the honor by virtue of her 4-0 record on the week, which included three straight complete-game shutouts (over Albany, Colgate and Hartford). Weeks was also honored this week by the America East Conference, which gave her Pitcher of the Week accolades. For the season, Weeks is now 9-2 with a microscopic 1.01 ERA and 100 strikeouts.

4-14-2003 | Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./ Flager Palm Coast)

Sophomore Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./ Flager Palm Coast) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for April 7-13. It marks the second time in the past five weeks she has received that honor. Weeks struck out a school-record 17 batters against Vermont on April 12 as the Bearcats won the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader. In the process, she shattered the previous school record of 11 strikeouts which was set by Charlene Cook, on March 7, 1997 against North Carolina Wesleyan and tied by Margaret Yerdon against Denison on March 17, 1998. For Weeks, the 3-0 win marked her fourth complete-game shutout of the season. She is now 5-2 on the season with a team-best 1.30 ERA. She has also struck out 60 batters in 54.0 innings of work.

4-7-2003 | Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India)

Sophomore Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for April 1-6. Rao spearheaded BU's 5-2 upset win over defending America East champion Hartford on Saturday. He scored wins at first doubles and first singles, taking down the two-time reigning conference player of the year in straight sets. Rao raised his singles record to 27-4 overall, including an 18-3 record in dual matches.

"Akshay has taken his game to the next level this year," head coach Michael Starke said. "He simply took over that doubles match at the end. He is a special player."

3-31-2003 | Justina Hakimi (Manhasset, N.Y./Herricks)

Freshman women's tennis player Justina Hakimi (Manhasset, N.Y./Herricks) has been named the Athlete of the Week for March 24-30. She earned the honor by winning both of her matches at first singles, leading the Binghamton women's tennis team to a 2-0 week. Binghamton is on a seven-match winning streak, its longest in eight years, and Hakimi has won at first singles every time. She now has a 14-8 record for the season.

"Justina has really started to win the close matches since the spring break," head coach Jamie Campbell said. "She is playing with a lot of confidence. Her determination and grittiness have set a great example for team, especially being a freshman at first singles."

3-24-2003 | Joe Costello (Ventnor, N.J./Cumberland County College)

Junior left fielder Joe Costello (Ventnor, N.J./Cumberland County College) was named the University’s Athlete of the Week after blistering Lehigh pitching to the tune of a .733 average (11-for-15). Costello collected six singles, three doubles, a triple, home run and seven RBI in the four games. The highlight was his 5-for-5 performance in game three, when he delivered an RBI single in the first inning, a triple in the second, a three-run home run in the third, and singles in the sixth and seventh innings.

“Joe had one of those weekends that comes around once in a great while,” Sinicki said. “He’s done a great job hitting cleanup for us — knowing his role and driving in runs.”

3-17-2003 | Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./Flagler Palm Coast)

Sophomore pitcher Michelle Weeks (Bunnell, Fla./Flagler Palm Coast) threw two complete-game shutouts during the Bearcats' four-game winning streak to close competition at the Central Florida Spring Fling. During the nine-game road trip, she went 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA. She struck out 28 batters in 27 innings and allowed no runs over her last 18 1/3 innings of work. Weeks pitched a pair of 1-0 wins over Central Florida, striking out 13 batters and surrendering just six hits.

3-10-2003 | Josh Ruff (Bainbridge, N.Y./Bainbridge-Guilford)

Sophomore wrestler Josh Ruff (Bainbridge, N.Y./Bainbridge-Guilford) has been named BU's Athlete of the Week for March 3-9. Ruff advanced to the 141-pound finals at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, earning a trip to the NCAA Division I Championship on March 20-22 in Kansas City, Mo. Ruff, the No. 2 seed, posted two wins before being defeated in the championship match, 8-3. He will bring a 28-7 record into the national tournament.

3-03-2003 | T.J. Kowalchuk (Stormville, N.Y./Carmel)

Junior baseball player T.J. Kowalchuk (Stormville, N.Y./Carmel) has been named BU's Athlete of the Week for February 24-March 2. Kowalchuk went 4-for-8 with three RBI in a two-game sweep of Maryland, and leads the team with a sparkling .421 average. He hit an RBI double in the third inning of game 1, and added a pair of RBI singles in game 2. Kowalchuk leads the team with four doubles and eight RBI while playing flawless center field.

2-24-2003 | Francisco Savinon (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Paul Carey)

Senior distance runner Francisco Savinon (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Paul Carey) has been named BU's Athlete of the Week for February 17-23. Savinon captured the 800 meter run at the America East Indoor Track Championship over the weekend, becoming the first men's track athlete to win a Division I individual conference championship. Last season, Savinon was a part of the 4x800 meter relay team that won a conference title. Savinon crossed in 1:53.53, and qualified for the IC4A/ECAC Championship March 8-9 in Boston.

"Frank had a very gutty performance," head track coach Mike Thompson said. "On the first lap he got boxed in and then worked his way up to the front in the last lap. He literally never held the lead until crossing the finish line. His time was a personal best and he qualified for the IC4A Championship."

2-17-2003 | Men's Swimming and Diving Team

The entire men's swimming and diving team has been named BU's Athlete of the Week for February 10-16. The team won the America East Championship by 93 points over runner-up Boston University, becoming the first BU team to capture a Division I conference title. The Bearcats, led by Most Outstanding Swimmer honoree Chris McGuire (Essex, England), won seven individual races, and three more relays.

2-10-2003 | Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India)

Sophomore tennis player Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) has been named BU's Athlete of the Week for February 3-9. Rao won three more matches to improve to 21-2 on the year. At No. 1 singles, he posted straight-set victories over Niagara, Bucknell and Marist as the Bearcats went 2-1 in the weekend format. In the team's 4-2 loss to Marist, Rao didn't a drop a single game in a 6-0, 6-0 rout. He is 12-1 in dual matches, and 35-7 for his short collegiate career.

"Akshay continues to wield magic with his magic wand," BU head coach Michael Starke said. "He has clearly established himself as a top 20 regional player, and his game has elevated to a level where anyone who is not at that level of play is in for a tough day."

2-3-2003 | Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska)

Sophomore basketball player Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) was named BU's Athlete of the Week for January 27-February 2. Billings averaged 8.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 8.0 blocks in a pair of games this week. The Bearcats fell to Northeastern 59-48 on Wednesday night but then moved into second place in America East play with a 61-50 victory over Vermont on Sunday afternoon at West Gymnasium.

"Nick is a great young player and he can play at a very high level," said BU coach Al Walker. "Our team defense is obviously much better with him in the lineup."

Billings enjoyed the finest game of his young collegiate career against Vermont, scoring 13 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. He recorded a double-double in the second half alone, scoring all 13 of his points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the second stanza. He nearly had the first triple-double in BU history, as he blocked eight shots for the second game in a row. Against Northeastern, Billings blocked five shots in the opening 10 minutes of the game, and wound up with four points, seven rebounds and eight rejections.

1-27-2003 | Josh Ruff (Bainbridge, N.Y./Bainbridge-Guilford)

Sophomore wrestler Josh Ruff (Bainbridge, N.Y./Bainbridge-Guilford) was named BU's Athlete of the Week for January 20-26. Ruff went 5-0 in dual matches during the week, and remains unbeaten in duals for the season (10-0). At 141 pounds, he pinned opponents from Drexel and Wagner, rallied for an overtime decision against Hofstra, and earned a 6-3 decision over a national qualifier from James Madison.

"Josh's match against Hofstra exemplifies his wrestling style," head coach Mike Fusilli said. "Losing 5-3 with seconds left, he hit a beautiful 'double leg,' scored a takedown at the buzzer, and scored right away in overtime to win the match. Josh is a relentless wrestler, and is always looking to attack. He has the ability to get to the NCAAs. I know that's what he wants."

Ruff is 20-5 overall this season and 38-9 in his two-year collegiate career.

1-20-2003 | Robert Kaczynski (Tychy, Poland)

Sophomore swimmer Robert Kaczynski (Tychy, Poland) has been named BU’s Athlete of the Week for January 13-19. In a dual meet against Drexel on Jan. 15, Kaczynski captured the 200 IM (1:57.47) and 200 breaststroke (2:10.72). Both of his times were personal-best performances. For the season, Kaczynski's times place him second in the America East Conference behind only teammate Chris McGuire.

This marks the second time Kaczynski has been honored as the BU Athlete of the Week. He also earned the honor on Nov. 25.

"Robert has been a great addition to the team this season," head coach Benji DeMotte said. "He is everything we hoped he would be for us. He swam super against Drexel and should really help us at the conference meet."

1-13-2003 | Rob Sckalor (Chester, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury)

Sophomore wrestler Rob Sckalor (Chester, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) has been named BU’s Athlete of the Week for January 6-12. Sckalor was one of five Bearcats to go undefeated at N.C. State, and has now won eight of his last nine matches. He began the day with a 14-5 major decision against UNC Greensboro at 157 pounds. Sckalor then moved up to 165 and followed with a pin in 4:49 against George Mason. He also earned an 8-3 decision at 157 against Campbell.

“Rob is wrestling with confidence right now,” Fusilli said. “He did well over the holidays at the Wilkes Open (5th), and is doing a lot of things the right way on the mat. He is looking to attack, and is gaining success. I think he’s turned the corner.”

12-16-2002 | Kate Townley (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham)

Basketball player Kate Townley (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for December 10-15. A junior point guard, Townley averaged 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals in two games. She had 11 points against Columbia, and 10 points against Manhattan. She was a part of the key sequence of Saturday's win over the Jaspers. With Binghamton clinging to a 60-58 cushion, Townley made a key steal and was immediately fouled with just 39 seconds remaining in the game. She then converted both free throws, giving the Bearcats the eventual winning cushion.With six assists against Columbia and against Manhattan, Townley now has 206 career assists, making her the eighth player in school history to go over the 200 mark. After leading the America East Conference last season with 4.3 assists per game, the third-team all-star is averaging a career-high 5.6 assists so far this season

12-9-2002 | Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./International)

Basketball player Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./International) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week, December 2-9. Green, a senior guard, was also named America East Player of the Week after averaging 19.3 points per game during the week. He shot 50% from three-point range, and was selected to the all-tournament team after helping BU advance to the title game of the Iowa State Cyclone Challenge. Green leads the team in scoring, rebounding, three-pointers, assists and steals.

12-2-2002 | Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./International)

Basketball player Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./International) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for November 26-December 1. Green, a senior guard, has the Bearcats off to the program's best start in nine years. He averaged 16.5 points per game in two BU victories during the week. Green poured in 20 points in a home win over Columbia, and added 13 points in a road win at LIU. His three free throws in the final 44 seconds clinched the victory. For the week, Green also averaged four rebounds and four assists, and shot 80% from the free throw line.

11-25-2002 | Robert Kaczynski (Tychy, Poland)

Swimmer Robert Kaczynski (Tychy, Poland) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for November 18-25. A sophomore swimming his first season for the Bearcats, Kaczynski won three events at the Northeastern Invitational Friday and Saturday. He captured the 100 breaststroke (58.96), 200 breaststroke (2:12.86) and 200 IM (2:00.44). In the 200 IM, Kaczynski lowered his personal best by three seconds, and he also dominated the 200 breaststroke race, winning by more than 10 seconds. In addition, he swam a leg on BU's first-place 400 medley relay.

"Robert has consistently worked hard this year," head coach Benji DeMotte said. "It's nice to see it pay off. He's extremely valuable to our team, and his training has been impressive thus far."

11-18-2002 | Jennifer Smith (North Tonawanda, N.Y.)

Volleyball player Jennifer Smith (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for November 11-17. Smith, a sophomore hitter, averaged 20 kills and 13 digs for the week, guiding the Bearcats to a pair of wins in the team's final three matches. She collected a career-high 30 kills in a win over Hartford, and produced an attack percentage of .358 for the week. Smith concluded her season with a 3.27 kills per game average - the sixth-best single-season average in program history.

"Jen ended up playing really well this season," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "She became our go-to person on our attacks."

11-11-2002 | Huijue Cai (Shanghai, China)

Swimmer Huijue Cai (Shanghai, China) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for November 4-10. Cai, a sophomore, set two Georgetown pool records, one BU team record, and led the undefeated women's team to pair of wins over Big East members Seton Hall and Georgetown. Cai captured the 50 free in a school and pool record time of 24.50, and also won the 100 fly in a new Georgetown pool record time of 56.76. In addition, she helped lead BU's 200 medley relay team to a win (1:51.53). In four meets thus far this season, Cai has set two school records and six pool records.

11-4-2002 | Chris McGuire (Essex, England)

Swimmer Chris McGuire (Essex, England) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for October 28-November 3. McGuire had an outstanding meet against Towson University on November 2, winning three individual races. McGuire set pool records in the 200 fly (1:53.71) and 200 breast (2:07.21). He also captured the 200 IM (1:57.06). Despite being defeated by Towson 120-112, the showing was one of Binghamton's best against the Tigers, and the meet was not decided until the final relay. In Binghamton's first three meets of the season, McGuire is undefeated in eight individual races. He has won the 200 fly in all three meets and captured the 200 IM twice. He has also won the 500 free and 200 free once. McGuire holds seven individual school records and has been a part of four record-setting relays as well.

10-28-2002 | Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India)

Tennis player Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for October 21-27. The sophomore had a strong showing at the ITA Regional over the weekend, advancing to the round of 16 with two victories. Rao posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over an opponent from Manhattan before pulling out a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) upset over sixth-seeded Mark Riddell from Harvard. In the match, which lasted more than three hours, Rao fought off cramps and two match points to post an 8-6 win in the third-set tie-break. In the round of 16, Rao battled the 12th-seed from UMBC for more than three hours before succumbing 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. He fought off a remarkable seven match points. Rao finished the fall season with a stellar 13-1 record.

"Akshay put forth a tremendous effort," head coach Michael Starke said. "He displayed excellent tennis skills, excellent concentration skills and was a fierce competitor. We've never experienced a win over Harvard or any Ivy League player before, and it's always a feather in your cap when you can defeat a sixth seed. His fall season serves as an example to the rest of our team. Great athletes don't stop improving and don't rest on their laurels, and Akshay has taken his game to that next level."

10-21-2002 | Yun Qu (Hangzhou, China)

Swimmer Yun Qu (Hangzhou, China) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for October 14-20. The junior won three events and hit a provisional NCAA qualifying time in the 200 fly as BU swam past visiting Niagara in the season-opening meet. In the 200 fly, Qu touched first in 2:00.76 - more than 20 seconds faster than the rest of the field. She also capured the 200 free (2:00.30) and anchored the winning 400 free relay.

"Yun is very calculating with her races," head coach Benji DeMotte said. "She told me she would be about 2:00 in her first meet and she was. I expect we'll see that time turn into an "A" cut in the next month. To have someone cruise into an NCAA "B" cut in the first meet of the season is remarkable. She is an amazing talent."

10-14-2002 | Anne Crocus (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom)

Sophomore Anne Crocus (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for October 7-13. The second-year middle blocker had two outstanding matches to lead the Bearcats to victories over America East opponents Albany (3-2) and Maine (3-1). Against Albany, she registered 12 kills and eight blocks as BU rallied from two games down for the win. On the road at Maine, Crocus was near perfect on the attack, putting down 13 kills with no errors for an attack percentage of .565. She also recorded eight blocks, and continues to lead the entire conference in that category. For the week, Crocus maintained an attack percentage of .457. She now has 107 blocks for the season - the most since 1999.

"Anne is a relentless blocker," head coach Glenn Kiriyama. "She gets her hands on a lot of balls, and is intimidating opposing hitters right now."

10-07-2002 | Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./JFK-Plainview)

Senior golf captain Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./JFK-Plainview) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for September 30-October 6 after capturing medalist honors at the ECAC Championships. Competing at the Links at Hiawatha Landing in nearby Apalachin, Fuchs carded rounds of 70-76=146. Fuchs, who opened the tournament with a brilliant 2-under 70, grinded out his final round with one birdie and 13 pars. He won by one stroke over junior teammates Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y.) and Keith Hendrickson (Syosset, N.Y.) and Harvard junior Andrew Klein, who each stood at 147. Hendrickson's final-round even-par 72 tied for the best among the 80 golfers, and spearheaded BU's 296 on Sunday.

For Fuchs, the individual championship caps a stellar four-year career that has seen the Long Island native win nearly every big tournament except the ECAC crown. Fuchs' one-stroke win on Sunday was his 10th tournament title in his collegiate career. It also extended his remarkable streak of top-10 finishes to 16 consecutive tournaments, dating back to last fall.

"Adam wanted this one," Affleck said. "And that's what makes a great athlete. His 2-under 70 on Saturday in those conditions was incredible. Sunday he showed he's a great grinder. I'm so happy for him."

09-30-2002 | Tracy Kasmarcik (Binghamton, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley)

A junior forward for the women's soccer team, Tracy Kasmarcik (Binghamton, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley) has been named Binghamton's Athlete of the Week for September 23-29. Kasmarcik produced five goals and an assist in a pair of Binghamton victories during the week. She netted her first collegiate hat trick against Howard and then scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime against Colgate. Her highlight-reel tally to beat Colgate came with just two seconds left in the second overtime. She took a 40-yard pass down the left side, popped the ball up and over a rushing defender, and beat the Red Raiders keeper high with a volley from 15 yards out. Kasmarcik, who also assisted on BU’s third goal of the game, now has a team-high seven goals and 18 points in nine games.

09-23-2002 | Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./JFK-Plainview)

After winning medalist honors for the ninth time in his stellar career, senior golf captain Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./JFK-Plainview) was named the University’s Athlete of the Week for September 16-22. He topped the field at the Dartmouth Invitational by five strokes, setting the course record at Hanover Country Club in the process. With his rounds of 67 and 68, Fuchs was the lone golfer to shoot below par for the tournament, and he did it twice. He has now placed among the top-10 in all three tournaments this fall, and leads the team with a 71.8 scoring average. Fuchs has been honored as Binghamton’s Athlete of the Week seven times during his collegiate career.

09-16-2002 | Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y./Webster/Monroe Community College)

Junior Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y./Monroe CC) has been named the University's Athlete of the Week for the second straight week. Last week, Kunz shot 71-75 to top 111 golfers and win the Colgate Invitational. At Bucknell this past Friday and Saturday, he delivered rounds of 71-74 to claim medalist honors for the second consecutive tournament.

The Binghamton record for consecutive tournament wins is held by senior Adam Fuchs, who won the first three tournaments (Elmira, Cornell-Colgate and Yale) last fall. He now carries a team-best stroke average of 72.8. Last spring, Kunz captured the NJCAA Division III individual championship for Monroe CC in Rochester, N.Y.

"Joe played solid golf in very difficult conditions," Affleck said. "On Saturday he had two of the best 'up-and-downs' I've ever seen."

09-09-2002 | Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y./Webster/Monroe Community College)

Junior golfer Joe Kunz (Monroe, N.Y.), a transfer from Monroe Community College in Rochester, has been selected as the University's Athlete of the Week for September 9. His opening-round 1-under 71 featured four birdies -- including three in a row on the front side. In Sunday's final round, Kunz hit 11 of 14 fairways and shot even-par for the final seven holes to win the individual crown.

"Joe brought his junior college national championship experience into our format, and if he continues to play like this, he will lift the rest of our team," head coach John Affleck said. "He is an outstanding golfer, and an even nicer young man."

Last June, Kunz captured the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Championship for Monroe CC with rounds of 75-73-73-72. He defeated 86 other elite golfers to win the national title by two strokes.

09-02-2002 | Lauren Massey (Burlington, Ont./Notre Dame)

Women’s soccer player Lauren Massey (Burlington, Ont./Notre Dame) has been named BU’s Athlete of the Week for September 2. Massey, a freshman midfielder, scored two goals as the Bearcats posted two wins for the week. Massey scored the team’s opening goal in a 2-1 win over Lafayette, then netted an insurance goal in BU’s 2-0 victory over Mt. St. Mary’s.

“Lauren had a really good game against Mt. St. Mary’s,” fifth-year coach Jeff Leightman said. “We expect a great deal from her, and I’m pleased so far. We didn’t recruit her primarily for her scoring, but we’ll certainly take a goal a game. We expect more great things from her.”

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