WATERVILLE, Maine – Ten Seniors and one staff member were recognized for outstanding achievement in athletics at the 31st annual Colby Senior Awards Night.
Zane Fields and Sophie Stokes Cerkvenik won the Ellsworth “Bill” Millett Award, which is presented to the male and female student-athletes who have contributed the most to Colby athletics throughout their careers.
Fields leaves Colby the most successful nordic skier in program history. Competing against division I scholarship athletes his entire career because of skiing’s single division structure, he was a two time All-American, won seven conference races including two regional championships, and was a three time All-East skier in his four years. He is Colby’s first male nordic skier to win a conference race, owns the top NCAA championships finish of any Colby nordic skier, and is the team’s only repeat All-American. In addition, he became one of only two eastern conference male skiers in recent history to win all of the races of a given discipline over a season when he won every skate race his junior year, and one of only two repeat All-Americans to come from a division III school.
Stokes Cerkvenik is already one of the school’s most decorated female athletes in history. Thus far at Colby, she has won the 2018 Division III National Championship in the 100 m hurdles in outdoor track, earned two All-Americans, is a two-time NESCAC Champion, and holds school records in the 60 m hurdles for indoor track and the 100 m hurdles, the 200 m, and the 4 x 100 m relay for outdoor track. In addition, her times in the 60 m, 100 m, 4 x 200 relay, and the 4 x 400 relay rank in the top ten fastest in school history. She finishes her career this weekend at the outdoor track and field national championships starting on May 23rd, where she races the 100 m hurdles.
This year’s Warren J. Finegan Award recipients were Kallie Hutchinson and Holli Olson. The award is presented to the person/s who has made significant contributions behind the scenes to the success of Colby athletics. Both Kallie and Holli were members of the field hockey team and served as co-presidents of Colby SAAC during their senior years. They were also both on-site directors for Let’s Get Ready, a non-profit program in which college students offer SAT prep and mentorship for first-generation and low-income high school students during the college application process, and were members of CCAK. Kallie worked in the athletic department as an assistant to the SWA, while Holli served on the executive board of the NESCAC SAAC.
Rachel Leonard was awarded this year’s Patty Valavanis Award, which recognizes a female student-athlete with qualities of academic and athletic excellence and personal leadership and sportsmanship. Leonard holds the school record in the 500 m and is a two-time nationals qualifier. She served as a captain of the track and field team and owns times in the 200 m, 400 m, 4 x 200 m, and 4 x 400 m that rank in the top ten in school history. She competes at the outdoor track and field national championships starting May 23.
Ethan Ashley won this year’s Donald P. Lake Award, given to a male student for outstanding athletic ability, leadership, and academic accomplishment. Ashley rowed on the first varsity eight all four years of college, earning Second Team All-NESCAC in 2017 and 2019. Ashley was a captain in the 2018-19 season and is on Colby’s all-time record board for the 2k erg.
This year’s Majorie D. Bither Smith Award, which recognizes a female student-athlete for academic ability, athletic ability, and leadership in athletics and on campus, was awarded to Helen Chavey. A 12-season varsity athlete at Colby, Chavey earned All-NESCAC and ALL-New England recognition and qualified for NCAA’s during her 2018 Cross Country season. In track, her 4 x 800 m relay team set a school record en route to a NESCAC championship, and she qualified for nationals in 2018. A 2018 Cross Country captain, Chavey was counted on as a team leader throughout her time at Colby.
Sebastien Philemon received this year’s Norman White Award, given to a male student-athlete for inspirational leadership and sportsmanship. Philemon brought consistent integrity, commitment, and focus to the football team. After leading the team in tackles (76) his junior year, Philemon suffered a severe injury on the first day of practice his senior year. His remarkable optimism and focus during recovery set the tone for the team, and he returned to play the last four games of the season.
The Pamela Hoyt-Sanborn Award was given to Sarah Hancock. The award recognizes a female student-athlete for contributions of sports and leadership. Hancock consistently provided a spark for her team through hustle, communication, and grit. Her joy on and off the court was effusive and her competitiveness inspired her teammates towards excellence.
This year’s Richard L. Whitmore, Jr. Award, given to a male athlete for qualities of outstanding academic and athletic excellence to the college, was awarded to Cam Clouse. Clouse totaled seven goals and five assists during his career and in 2018, he was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team, Fall All-Academic Team, and Fall All-Sportsmanship Team. He was named to three NESCAC All-Academic teams during his time at Colby and volunteered with both CCAK and Playground Pals.
Nicki Veilleux was awarded this year’s Mule Impact Award, which recognizes a faculty or staff person at the college for their engagement, leadership, and support of Colby Athletics. As a member of the department's administration, Veilleux has served as a consistent backbone and resource for the department through change and has been integral to the development of new and veteran faculty and staff alike.