Scholar-Athletes Recognized for 2023 Accomplishments at Awards Ceremony

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Florida Tech Athletic Department announced its yearly award winners April 26th at the 51st annual athletic awards banquet. The banquet highlighted the accomplishments of Florida Tech’s scholar-athletes on and off the field throughout 2022-23.
Here are the winners and nominees.
Women’s Team GPA winner: Florida Tech Volleyball with a 3.53 Cumulative GPA
Men’s Team GPA winner: Men’s Soccer with a 3.44 Cumulative GPA
Martha Work Sportsmanship and Andy Seminick Sportsmanship Award: Awarded to a scholar-athlete who exhibits respect, courtesy and restraint in their actions and remains positive in pursuit of excellence.  

>> Martha Work Sportsmanship Award: Winner: Isabella Leon (Women’s Soccer)
Nominees: Gillian Craig (Women’s Lacrosse), Whitney Ellis (Softball), Isabella Leon (Women’s Soccer), Lily Muszynski (Volleyball), Reegan Tiltmann (Women’s Swimming), and Mckenzie Winder (Women’s Basketball).
>> Andy Seminick Sportsmanship Award: Winner: Josh Ford (Baseball)
Nominees: Joshua Cajuaste (Men’s Swimming), Josh Ford (Baseball), Seth Heinzman (Esports), Hayden Linkel (Men’s Rowing), Elliott Yacu (Men’s Lacrosse).
Freshman of the Year Award: Winners must be freshmen in athletic eligibility with Florida Tech in 2022-23.

>> Female Freshman of the Year: Winner: Sophia Scichilone (Women’s Lacrosse)
Nominees: Kari Bogen (Volleyball), Kajsa Ekstrom (Women’s Soccer), Alex Knodel (Women’s swimming), Ella Niles (Softball), Tai Roberts (Women’s Basketball), and Sophia Scichilone (Women’s Lacrosse).
>> Male Freshman of the Year: Winner: Hugo Ruzicka, (Men’s Rowing)
Nominees: Dylan Cleveland (Baseball), Jax Francisco (Men’s Lacrosse), Gavin Lanka (Men’s Swimming), Johnathan Moore (Esports), and Hugo Ruzicka (Men’s Rowing).
Rising Star Award: This is presented to an emerging leader in their sport whose performance reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the team’s success and increased levels of leadership and responsibility.
>> Female Rising Star: Winner: Kate Helminiak (Women’s Swimming)
Nominees: Emily Acampora (Women’s Basketball), Lizzy Christ (Women’s Lacrosse), Kenzie Delacher (Volleyball), Kate Helminiak (Women’s Swimming), Allison Platon (Softball), and Daniela Tobon (Women’s Soccer).
>> Male Rising Star: Winner: Jax Francisco (Men’s Lacrosse)
Nominees: Tomas Casas (Men’s Soccer), Jason Demarest (Esports), Jax Francisco (Men’s Lacrosse), Sandro Gardella (Men’s Rowing), Michael Hill (Baseball), and Connor Orth (Men’s Swimming).
Sport Performance Award: This award is given by the Sport Performance Department to athletes whose athletic accomplishments reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning.
>> Female Sport Performance Award: Winner: Mikayla Lewin (Softball)
>> Male Sport Performance Award: Winner: Daniel Aizenberg (Men’s Swimming)
Panther Award: This award is presented to an individual outside of athletics who has shown continuous support and has made an impact within our programs.
>> Winners: Csaba Palotai (Associate Professor of Physics and Space Sciences) and Jessica Smeltz (Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering)
Nominees: Kathy Alger (Experience Coordinator), Javan Cameron (Barista, Lead Cashier), Paul Consentino (Mechanical and Civil Engineering Professor), Alexandra Easterling (Student Manager), Tim Fletcher (Director of Marine and Outdoor Operations, Lynne Mims (Instructor and Program Chair for Online Undergraduate Business Programs), Csaba Palotai (Associate Professor of Physics and Space Sciences), and Jessica Smeltz (Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering)
Upset of the Year Award: This award recognizes a contest that resulted in an outcome that was highly contrary to general expectations.
>> Winner: Women’s Soccer defeating #4 Lenoir-Rhyne at Lenoir-Rhyne
Nominees: Baseball defeating #12 Wingate, Men’s Rowing defeating Stetson in the Varsity 8,  Softball upsetting #23 Saint Leo, Volleyball defeating Embry-Riddle at Embry-Riddle, Women’s Basketball defeating Embry-Riddle, Women’s Lacrosse upsetting RV Alabama-Huntsville, and Women’s Soccer defeating #4 Lenoir-Rhyne at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Performance of the Year Award: This award recognizes an individual athlete’s best and most significant performance in a single contest in the 2022-23 year.
>> Female Performance of the Year: Winner: Nicole Rautenberg (Women’s Swimming)
Nominees: Alex Hendrian’s no-hitter against Tiffin (softball), Sarah Liberatore’s career-high 28 points against Embry-Riddle (Women’s Basketball), Carly Niro’s 7-point performance against Ashland (Women’s Lacrosse), Nicole Rautenberg’s record-breaking performance at the SSC Championships (Women’s Swimming), and Maria Sanchez Recuero’s heroics against Florida Southern in the SSC Tournament (Women’s Soccer)
>> Male Performance of the Year: Winner: Sean Houpt’s 36 points at No.1 Nova Southeastern in the SSC Tournament (Men’s Basketball)
Nominees: Daniel Aizenberg’s gold medal time and NCAA qualifying performance at the SSC Championships (Men’s Swimming), Jax Francisco’s second-half shutout at Flagler (Men’s Lacrosse), Sean Houpt’s 36 points at No. 1 Nova Southeastern in the SSC Tournament (Men’s Basketball), Sean Mean’s 5 and 1/3 shutout start against West Florida (Baseball), and Soeren Nygaard’s two-goal and one-assist performance in the SSC Championship (Men’s Soccer).
Leadership Award: The leadership award is given in appreciation of scholar-athletes who exemplify leadership and commitment.
>>Female Leadership Award: Winner: Victoria Bowerson (Volleyball)
Nominees: Ayana Aoyagi, (Women’s Soccer), Victoria Bowrosen, (Volleyball), Ella Gibson, (Softball), Sarah Liberatore, (Women’s Basketball), Kailee O’Brien, (Women’s Lacrosse), and Arianna Petrovia, (Women’s Swimming)
>> Male Leadership Award: Winner: JP Panchookian (Men’s Lacrosse)
Nominees: Nathaniel Allen, (Men’s Swimming), Parker Christensen, (Men’s Soccer), Andrew Dunham, (Baseball), Jake Elston, (Esports), Mekhii Noble, (Men’s Basketball), Justin Woodyard, (Men’s Rowing), JP Panchookian, (Men’s Lacrosse).
Champions Award: This award is based on his/her athletic performance and accomplishments during the 2022-23 athletic year.
>> Female Champions Award: Winner: Cheyenne Nelson (Softball)
Nominees: Katie Erdmann (Volleyball), Rachel Johnson (Women’s Lacrosse), Jordan Michaels (Women’s Soccer), Cheyenne Nelson (Softball), Nicole Rautenberg (Women’s Swimming), Tai Roberts (Women’s Basketball), Male Champions Award
>> Winners: Daniel Aizenberg (Men’s Swimming) and Sjur Dreschler (Men’s Soccer)
Nominees: Daniel Aizenberg (Men’s Swimming), Jason Blackstone (Baseball), Sjur Dreschler (Men’s Soccer), Domantas Marocka (Men’s Rowing), Josh McLean (Esports), Sesan Russell (Men’s Basketball), and Collin Stewart (Men’s Lacrosse)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award: Recipients of this were selected on the following weighted criteria: academic and athletic excellence, as well as years of service to the team.
>> Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Winner: Shaelyn Rutta (Women’s Swimming)
Nominees: Kari Bogen (Volleyball), Emily Harris (Women’s Lacrosse), Kelly McLaughlin (Softball), Marem Ndiongue (Women’s Soccer), Shaelyn Rutta (Women’s Swimming), and Lina Stranger-Johanessen (Women’s Basketball)
>> Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Winner: Niall Harris (Men’s Basketball)
Nominees: Hugo Catherine (Men’s Soccer), Sean Catron (Men’s Swimming), Ryley Griffin (Esports), Niall Harris (Men’s Basketball), Arnedas Kelmelis (Men’s Rowing), JP Panchookian (Men’s Lacrosse), and Ridge Skarbek (Baseball)
Team of the Year: This award is presented to the team that has achieved the most notable performance during the 2022-23 year.
Winner: Men’s Soccer
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