BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College Athletics Department held its 34th Annual Senior Awards Banquet on Friday night where nine individuals were honored, highlighted by the selections of cross country and track student-athlete Marina Capalbo (Gainesville, Va.) as Female Athlete of the Class, and Mike Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) of ice hockey and basketball’s John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) as the Male Co-Athletes of the Class.
Alex Freeman (Medfield, Mass.) of women’s tennis received the Conlon Award, which is presented in honor of both Michael Conlon ’96 and Michelle Conlon ’94, while Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.) of women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer All-American Justin Laurenzo (Park Ridge, N.J.) were recognized as the Dr. Norm Govoni Scholar-Athletes of the Class. Dominic Esposito (Massapequa, N.Y.) of men’s track & field was also honored with a special recognition award for his effort and commitment to the success of the athletics department.
In addition to the senior awards, the Babson College Grounds Operations was presented with the prestigious Paul C. Staake Award for outstanding contributions to Babson Athletics. A pair of first-year athletes were also recognized as Victoria Penta (Belmont, Mass.) of women’s soccer received the Lori Vengrow Award, while men’s soccer’s Logan Ventura (Pittstown, N.J.) was named as the winner of the Colin “Chip” Brown Award.
A two-time NCAA national championship qualifier in both cross country and track & field, Capalbo is the top student-athlete in the history of both programs. She is a three-time All-New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic (NEWMAC) and All-New England honoree in cross country, and became the first in school history to earn NEWMAC Track Athlete of the Year honors last Saturday after winning the individual title in the 800-meter run and earning all-conference accolades in the 1500 meters. She holds both the 5k and 6k records in cross country and owns four more school marks in track & field.
Driscoll and Wickey were named Male Co-Athletes of the Year after enjoying tremendous individual and team success throughout their careers. Driscoll, who was an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-America third-team selection and a New England Hockey Writers Association All-Star in 2014, played in 111 career games and helped lead the Beavers to back-to-back Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East titles and consecutive NCAA national quarterfinal appearances in 2013 and 2014. Wickey, who was a three-time All-NEWMAC first-team selection and a D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region pick this past winter, led the Green and White to its first Division III Final Four appearance in March, and graduates as the only player in school history to surpass 1,300 points and 700 rebounds while making over 100 three-point field goals.
A four-year member of the women’s tennis team and President of the Babson Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Freeman received the Conlon Award for her excellence in the areas of leadership, integrity, loyalty, academic excellence and care for others. The 2014 NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Freeman had the best season of her career as a senior while leading the Beavers to their first conference title since 2003, and the program to its first NCAA Tournament berth.
The Dr. Norm Govoni Scholar-Athlete of the Class awards went to a pair of athletes that established themselves as two of the top players in the history of their respective programs. A two-time All-NEWMAC and All-New England selection, Secrist finished her career ranked eighth in points (214), ninth in goals (161) and seventh in assists (53). Laurenzo had a tremendous senior campaign that saw him earn all-league, all-region and All-America honors from both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and D3soccer.com, in addition to earning CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition while leading the Beavers to a NEWMAC title and the NCAA Tournament.
As part of a longstanding Babson tradition, the Senior Awards Banquet also included a pair of first-year award winners. Penta was selected as the Lori Vengrow Award winner, which is given annually to a first-year female athlete that best represents the qualities of loyalty, selflessness, and a positive attitude. Ventura was the recipient of the Colin “Chip” Brown Award, which is presented annually to a first-year male athlete that exhibits energy, spirit, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to his team.
Awarded each year to a person or entity that shows outstanding support of Babson’s athletic programs, the Paul C. Staake award was presented to supervisor Erik Shaw, who oversees the Grounds Operations Crew. Babson College boasts some of the top fields and playing surfaces in the region year in and year out, thanks to the tireless work of Shaw and his crew.