WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College athletics department and special guests gathered at the Casey Theatre within the Fine Arts Center on campus Friday night, April 26, to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.
The Regis-Casserly Awards, the highest award presented to one male and one female graduating student-athlete by the department, were awarded to Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Kiana Koke (Queensbury, N.Y.). Afonja completed his collegiate career with 1,294 points, second-most in the history of the men's basketball program, plus he set a new single-season school record with 416 points. Koke has been a leader on the field for both the field hockey and women's lacrosse teams as well as within the Regis community, highlighted by her term this year as the president of the Regis Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Academic performance at both the team and individual levels were also emphasized, starting with the presentation of the Judith W. Burling Team Award for Academic Excellence to the women's soccer team for posting a team cumulative grade point average of 3.53 over the past year. The Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards, given to the male and female senior student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average, were presented to Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) of the women's volleyball team and Andrew Cook (Bedford, Mass.) of the men's lacrosse team.
The top male and female athletes at each level of matriculation were recognized, culminating with the Senior Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year awards presented to Fatima St. Hilaire (Dorchester, Mass.) and Daniel LaFlamme (Watertown, Conn.) of the track and field teams and Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) of the men's swimming team.
There was also a tie for the Female Outstanding Junior Student-Athlete of the Year honors, as both diver Elisabeth McQuaid (Marlborough, Mass.) and Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) of the women's volleyball and women's basketball team received the award. Jovan Sematimba (Burlington, Mass.) of the cross country and track and field teams took home the Male Outstanding Junior Student-Athlete of the Year award.
Grant Kollien (Acton, Mass.) of the men's swim team and Brittany McPherson (Lynn, Mass.) of the women's lacrosse team received the Outstanding Sophomore Student-Athlete of the Year honors. GianCarlos Banrey (Roslindale, Mass.) of the men's swim squad and Kaylee Francis (Millis, Mass.) from women's soccer were named the Outstanding Freshman Student-Athletes of the Year.
The SAAC Executive Board, led by Koke, vice-president Mary Costantino (Abington, Mass.) of field hockey and women's lacrosse, secretary Erika Andreoli (Naugatuck, Conn.) of women's volleyball, and SGA representative Noelle Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.) of women's soccer, presented Renato Capobianco, head men's soccer coach and director of strength and conditioning at Regis, with the SAAC Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award for his work with the student-athletes as well as his efforts to establish the new athletics weight room.
In addition, SAAC spearheaded the Reggie Awards, a series of five awards voted on by student-athletes. The men's volleyball team received the Best Comeback Award for its victory over Emerson College after being behind two sets to one, while the track and field teams earned Best Championship Performance for winning the 2018 GNAC Championships, which took place after last year's awards ceremony.
In addition, Veasey received the award for Record-Breaking Performance after setting the single-season and career kills records for Regis during the 2018 season. The women's basketball team's victory at Brandeis on New Year's Day was voted as Best Upset, and the victory at Saint Joseph's College in extra time by the women's lacrosse team was tabbed as the Best Overtime Win.
Before the awards ceremony, graduating seniors and their families were invited to a reception where they received stoles signifying their status as student-athletes which they will wear at Commencement in two weeks. Julie Rando Ranucci '94, a Regis Athletics Hall of Famer and previous Mother Regis Award recipient, spoke to the assembled crowd about how she valued her time at Regis College.
Regis College sponsors 20 intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division III level competing within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.