ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University Athletics Department held its annual Senior Honors and Awards luncheon Thursday, recognizing student-athletes for their outstanding accomplishments in competition and in the classroom.
Seven athletes were named recipients of four annual department awards. Christine Hanley (women’s lacrosse) and Anna Cunningham (women’s soccer) shared the female Letterwinner Award, with Dawid Kundzik (men’s swimming) earning the male honor. Catie Greene (women’s lacrosse) and Kevin Okapal (men’s soccer) were given the male and female Merit Awards. Women’s soccer players Sarah Clark and Nicole Markert received the Service and Ray Dee Leadership Awards.
The Letterwinner Award is presented annually to a senior male and senior female student-athlete who has assembled outstanding athletic records and accomplishments over his or her career.
Hanley was an All-Conference selection all four of her at SBU – All-Rookie in 2008, Second Team in 2009 and First Team in each of the past two years. She is the second all-time leading scorer in Bona’s women’s lacrosse annals with 195 points on a program-record 154 goals with 41 assists.
Cunningham was named to the A-10 All-Rookie team in 2007 and twice earned First Team All-Conference honors, including this past fall. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America named her to the Mid-Atlantic All-Region Second Team after she helped lead the Bonnies to their third straight A-10 Tournament berth. Cunningham ranks sixth on the all-time points list with 76 on 27 goals and 22 assists.
Kundzik participated on five Atlantic 10 Champion relays over his career and won individual events at the A-10 Championship meet three times: the 100 fly in 2008, the 50 free in 2009 and the 100 fly again this past February. He was an A-10 Championship finalist 12 out of a possible 12 times during his career and never finished lower than fourth in any of those swims.
The Merit Award is given to a senior male and senior female student-athlete each year for outstanding academic achievement, significant athletic achievement and meaningful contribution to the St. Bonaventure community.
Greene holds a 4.0 grade point average as a psychology major and graduated in three-and-a-half years. A three-year starter for the women’s lacrosse team, she was named to the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference team each of the past two seasons. An active volunteer, Greene serves as a teacher’s assistant, a peer tutor and a team rep on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Next fall, she will remain Bona’s to continue the graduate program she started earlier this year.
Okapal was a four-year defensive starter for the men’s soccer team, helping SBU earn back-to-back Atlantic 10 Tournament appearances the last two seasons. The biology major has received a plethora of academic honors, including Academic All-Conference twice, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District and NSCAA East Region Scholar distinctions. He has been accepted into the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences program.
The Service Award is presented each year to a senior for outstanding service, dedication and commitment to the Department of Athletics. It may go to either a student-athlete or to a non-athlete.
Clark was a four-year starter whose role did not bring her great glory or statistics but was nevertheless instrumental in the success of the program. Clark is equally accomplished in her studies as a Spanish major with a minor in biology. Just last month, she was honored by the NSCAA with a spot on its Scholar All-East Region team. She also has been the student representative on the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Athletics.
The Ray Dee Leadership Award is named for the 1964 Bona graduate who has served on the Board of Trustees for many years and is a tremendous supporter of, and donor to, all SBU athletic programs. The award is presented to the senior who, through his or her leadership skills, sets a positive example for others to follow and builds pride for St. Bonaventure Athletics. The person will have maintained the highest standards of performance, integrity, sportsmanship and respect.
Markert, the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, also held down the pressure-packed position of goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team for the better part of her four seasons and helped lead that program to three straight A-10 Tournament appearances. Markert has also excelled in the classroom, and was named the recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which she will use to attend the University of Kentucky.