May 13, 2022 | NEWS | By Will Sylvain

CC Athletics held its seventh annual Golden Awards in Ed Robson Arena Tuesday night. Teams gathered in the space to celebrate the athletes, programs and staff that shined this year.

The event featured great speeches from student-athletes and coaches, a year recap video and a senior recognition video, all topped off with some chicken tenders and cookies.

Here are this year’s Golden Award winners:

Best Competition Event – The women’s cross-country team winning the SCAC Championship.

Best Upset – The hockey team defeating #10 Boston College, 5-3, on the road for first-year head coach Kris Mayotte’s first win.

Best Moment (Team) – The men’s and women’s cross-country teams sweeping the SCAC team titles.

Best Performance (Individual) – Josh Fry ’22, who finished second among 130 Division I, II and III runners and set a school record in the 1500-meter race at the Occidental Distance Classic.

Community Service Award – Megan Koch ’22 for all her work with the National SAAC and NCAA Constitutional Committee.

Best Team of the Year – The women’s cross-country team winning the SCAC title and advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time since 2016.

Coaching Staff of the Year – Men’s and women’s cross country. Congratulations to head coach Alex Nichols and assistant coaches Katie Bretscher and Mitch Black.

Newcomer of the Year – Elliot Singer ’25, who won the SCAC cross country title and earned All-America honors by finishing 29th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Sportsmanship Award – Bryan Yoon ’22 (Hockey)
Jerry Carle Weight Room Award (Female) – Olivia Xerras ’24 (Women’s Basketball)      Jerry Carle Weight Room Award (Male) – Brant Billingsley ’22 (Men’s Lacrosse)      Diversity and Inclusion Award – Key Macfarland ’22 (Women’s Swimming and Diving)   Tiger Award (Best Tiger Spirit) –Kiley Suter ’22 (Women’s Soccer)
Mentorship Award –Tedy Reed ’23 (Women’s Basketball)

Senior Male Student-Athlete of the Year – Josh Fry ’22 (Men’s Cross Country / Track and Field)

Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year – Georgia Mullins ’22 (Volleyball)
Chris M. Quon Award (Established by the SAAC in 2010 following Quon’s untimely death after graduating from CC in 2009) – Cole Thumann ’22 (Men’s Swimming and Diving)

The Catalyst sat down with a few of this year’s winners to get a glimpse into the lives of these star athletes.

Fry earned two awards this year: the Senior Male Athlete of the Year, and the Best Individual Performance award for his second-place finish amongst 130 Division I, II and III runners. Fry, the only athlete taking home multiple individual trophies this year, said that his success on the track and cross-country teams is largely due to the support of great coaches and teammates.

“[Cross country and track] is about camaraderie and cheering teammates on, and supporting teammates in practices, workouts and races,” Fry said.

Having missed his entire freshman season due to illness, and weathering two years of COVID-19 seasons, Fry said he’s come a long way since he first got to CC. “I wasn’t very fast my freshman year, so it’s been special to see the progress I’ve made. And that’s honestly just a testament to the coaching.”

Fry’s teammate, Elliot Singer ’25, wasted no time from the jump. Taking the SCAC by storm, Singer won the conference title and earned All-American honors after placing 29th at the DIII Cross Country Championships. She is the first first-year runner at CC to be named all-American.

Her quick ascendence not only surprised the whole cross-country team, but her, too.

“It was very unexpected. I took a gap year and wasn’t at all a star in high school, so the whole thing was sort of a shock to me.” Having even started the year with an injury, Singer was shocked at how well she did.

But, like Fry, she had a great team cheering her on. “I was so surprised by how supportive the team was,” Singer said. “That was a huge highlight for me, and very instrumental in how well the running went.”

One of the leaders of this supportive team was Megan Koch ’22, who also took home some hardware at this year’s ceremony. Koch’s incredible work with the NCAA and National SAAC earned her the Community Service award, and the chance to address the crowd at the start of the event.

When Koch isn’t running the 800, 1500 or the 4×400 relay, she spends hundreds of unpaid hours advocating for student-athletes at CC and across the country. She did this for a year, starting in January of 2021, by sitting as the only active student athlete on an NCAA committee to rewrite the Association’s constitution. Not only did she earn the title of representative for all of Division III athletics, but her teammates also took to calling her a “Founding Father.”

As a drafter of the new constitution, Koch said it’s important to bring up the tough topics because she is a voice for tens of thousands of student-athletes across the country. “It’s important to ask those hard questions,” Koch said. “And not be intimidated by talking to people with PhDs. It’s really important to have that voice, and they’re giving us that voice, so I thought, time to use it.”

Koch attributes much of her success in advocacy to the support of faculty at CC. When asked about how she was able to seize these great opportunities, Koch said: “it was CC’s ability to tap into leadership and to have our administration so accessible to us.”

The cross-country and track teams obviously had a very successful night, taking home eight of the seventeen awards, but there’s more to CC athletics than running.

Kiley Suter ’22, a forward on the women’s soccer team, won the Tiger award, which recognizes her incredible Tiger spirit. If you’ve attended almost any CC athletic event, you’ve probably seen Kiley cheering from the stands, storming the court, or pounding on the glass –– if she’s not out on the field scoring goals, that is.

Suter said she’s always been a fierce competitor and a passionate supporter. “I know the energy I bring can be infectious,” Suter said. “I find extreme joy out of getting the people around me excited and involved in school spirit.”

Even at the awards ceremony, when she wasn’t at the podium accepting her own accolades, she loved seeing fellow athletes being recognized for their hard work.

“Being an athlete at CC, I know how much time and effort it takes to balance school and athletics,” she said. “Seeing my teammates and the other athletes winning awards for their commitment and success is extremely uplifting.”

The Golden Awards was a time for all of Tiger athletics to come together to recognize and celebrate the dedication of our student-athletes, the training staff, coaches, and those who make sports at CC happen. Glimpses into the lives of just a few of this year’s winners tell us the stories of Tiger pride, dedication and camaraderie within CC athletics.

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