WALTHAM, Mass. — On Thursday, May 5, the Brandeis University Department of Athletics handed out its annual end-of-season awards. The following senior student-athletes were all recognized at the department's awards dinner.
Three Athletic Director's Awards were presented to student-athletes who have displayed general excellence in representing Brandeis Athletics. They went to:
Paige Blasco of Greeley, Colo., co-captain of the volleyball team. A three-year starter at outside hitter after missing her rookie season because of injury, Paige is one of only eight players in school history with 1,000 career kills. Paige was a three-time All-University Athletic Association selection and an honorable-mention All-New England honoree as a sophomore;
Melisa Cagar of Ridgewood, N.J., two-time co-captain of the softball team. Cagar was another three-year starter who missed an entire season due to injury. She earned three All-UAA and three All-New England honors in her career, including first-team All-Region as a sophomore. Cagar helped the Judges to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III title as a rookie in 2008 and to the program's first NCAA tournament as junior in 2010 and became the school's career leader with 72 stolen bases in 75 attempts;
And Rachel Rosman of Bonita Springs, Fla., captain of the women's tennis team. Rosman was a four-year starter, playing nearly all of her singles matches at No. 1 on the ladder. She became the program's career leader with 120 career victories overall and 67 in singles action. Rosman helped the team to national rankings as a junior and senior.
The Morris Sepinuck Award, presented to the varsity athlete who not only displays outstanding sportsmanship but also makes a significant contribution to the athletic program and to campus life at Brandeis, went to Abby Blasco of Greeley, Colo. Abby, twin sister of Paige Blasco, was a four-year starter and two-time captain of the volleyball team, playing setter. She is second on the Judges' career assist list and leads in assists per set. Abby earned All-New England and UAA Rookie of the Year honors in 2007, when she led the Judges to their second-straight ECAC tournament title. Off the court, Abby served as an officer for Brandeis's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including serving as a vice president as a senior. She was also active with Brandeis's Relay For Life committee and the campus's Big Brother/Big Sisters program.
The Morry Stein Award of Valor, presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated courage both on and off the playing fields and/or intervened to better the lives of others, went to Mia DePalo of Rumson, N.J. DePalo, a captain of the women's basketball team, became a starter for the first time as a senior. She joined the Judges in 2007 after battling serious illness in high school. After breaking into the starting lineup in 2010-11, she ranked in the top 25 in the University Athletic Association's top 25 in 3-point field goals, 3-point percentage, steals and scoring average. She was actively involved at Brandeis in the Relay For Life, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Colleges Against Cancer and Kids In Sports Day.
The Charlie Napoli '58 Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to an outstanding student athlete who has excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field, went to Taryn Martiniello of Wilmington, Mass. A four-year starter at back on the women's soccer team, Martiniello never missed a practice or game, playing virtually every minute of every game in her four-year career. She was an All-UAA and All-New England selection as a junior and senior, helping the Judges to two ECAC tournament titles and an NCAA tournament berth in her career. Martiniello is a double-major in economics and business with a minor in Italian who earned three Academic All-UAA honors and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection as a senior.
The Harry, Joseph and Ida Stein Award, presented to the outstanding male athlete, was given to Paul Norton of Amherst, Mass. A four-year member on the cross country and track and field teams, Norton was a team captain of both squads as a junior and a senior. He led the cross country team to three consecutive berths in the NCAA championships, earning All-America honors as a junior when he finished seventh in the field of 276 runners. In 2011, Norton guided the Judges to a 16th-place finish, their highest since 1998. He was a two-time UAA Champion during the indoor track and field season, winning the 3,000-meters as a junior – when he earned Most Outstanding Performer at the UAA championship meet - and in 5,000 as a senior. Overall, Norton is a seven-time All-UAA performer overall and four-time All-New England Division III and four-time All-New England All-Division performer.
The Max I. Silber Award, presented to the outstanding female student-athlete, was given to Grayce Selig of Narberth, Pa. Selig, also a member of the track and field and cross country teams, is a three-time All-American in track and field. She was the runner-up in the mile run at the 2011 NCAA Division III indoor track and field Championships, was a member of the third-place distance medley relay team indoors in 2010, and placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run at the 2010 NCAA outdoor championships. Selig also qualified for the NCAA cross country championships as a junior in 2009. She is a school-record holder at three distances (1,500 meters, mile and 3,000 meters) and as part of the 3,200-meter relay team. Selig is a three-time UAA champion and two-time New England champion and will have a chance to add to her All-America honors in either the 1,500- or 5,000-meters at the 2011 outdoor championships.
Additionally softball team captain Courtney Kelley of Leicester, Mass., and men's tennis captain Simon Miller of Plantation, Fla., were selected as senior speakers. Kelley and women's soccer captain Tiffany Pacheco of Rehoboth, Mass., were announced as winners of the James McCully Award, which will be formally presented on May 22 at the annual Charlie's Breakfast for senior student-athletes
Abby and Paige Blasco are a 2007 graduates of Frontier Academy. They are the daughters of Leon and Ellie Blasco, Greeley, Colo.
Cagar is a 2007 graduate of Ridgewood High School. She is the daughter of Cengiz and Virginia Cagar, Ridgewood, N.J.
Rosman is a 2007 graduate of Estero High School. She is the daughter of Jay and Cathy Rosman, Bonita Springs, Fla.
DePalo is a 2007 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School. She is the daughter of Dominick and Leslie DePalo, Rumson, N.J.
Martiniello is a 2007 graduate of Wilmington High School. She is the daughter of Anthony and Wendy Martiniello, Wilmington, Mass.
Norton is a 2007 graduate of Amherst Regional High School. He is the son of David and Claire Norton, Amherst, Mass.
Selig is a 2007 graduate of Springside School. She is the daughter of William and Deborah Selig, Narberth, Pa.
Miller is a 2007 graduate of Plantation High School. He is the son of Steve and Amy Miller, Plantation, Fla.
Pacheco is a 2007 graduate of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School. She is the daughter of Tim and Barbara Pacheco, Rehoboth, Mass.