Wrapping up an eventful day at the Events Center on Monday, Binghamton University held its 68th annual Varsity Athletics Awards Banquet in the evening, following the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon in the afternoon.
At the awards banquet, select standouts from the more than 400 student-athletes at Binghamton were honored for athletic, academic and career achievement as well as individual perseverance and community service involvement.
Thirteen awards were granted through the night, beginning by recognizing trainers and tutors and culminating in the Athlete of the Year awards.
Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott, University President Harvey Stenger and two senior student-athletes — women’s volleyball setter Amanda Dettmann and wrestling heavyweight Tyler Deuel — addressed the crowd through various stages of the night, honoring the student-athletes for their commitment and perseverance.
Sophomore Keishorea Armstrong was named Female Athlete of the Year after her stellar season on the track and field team. At the America East Indoor Championships in February, Armstrong earned 22 points — more than any other competitor — to lead Binghamton in a runner-up finish. She received the conference Coaches Award after her sophomore outing, which has so far featured two program record-breaking performances.
“I didn’t expect it, but it’s a great honor, and I only have my family, friends and coaches to thank,” Armstrong said.
With the outdoor season and two years of eligibility remaining for the sophomore, one might expect great things from Armstrong.
“You can always do better,” Armstrong said. “Beyond our conference, there are bigger meets that you hope to qualify for individually, regionals and nationals.”
Due to the impressive achievements of 2014-15’s student-athletes, the Male Athlete of the Year award was split. Deuel and senior middle-distance runner Jesse Garn both garnered the distinction, with Garn accepting his second plaque bearing that honor.
Despite having been through the process before, Garn was still excited to receive the honor.
“I was just as nervous going into it, just because this year especially there have been so many great performances individually,” Garn said. “It could have gone to a lot of people, but I was very excited that it went to me. I knew that Tyler absolutely deserved it, as far as the co-part goes. His wrestling feats this year were tremendous.”
Garn earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 800-meter category after his performances through the indoor season and was named Northeast Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. His 1:46.98 record in the 800 was the sixth-fastest indoor time in the nation, and for all that, his outdoor season records are still in the setting.
“Our conference meet is this weekend and we’re looking to get a couple more conference titles under our belt,” Garn said. “I have regionals at the end of May, hopefully nationals soon after that in Oregon, and USA Championships also in Oregon which I already have qualified for. So really, big things to look forward to for the rest of this year.”
Deuel likewise stood atop the competition this season, finishing his senior year with a 28-6 record and entering the NCAA Championships as the 13th-seed after taking the EIWA heavyweight title. He was Binghamton’s most reliable wrestler, producing a 17-2 record in duals this season and delivering individuals victories to secure overall match wins each of the five times that opportunity was presented him in 2014-15. Through his four years, Deuel has accumulated 75 wins.
Honored for having the highest GPAs among this year’s student-athletes were men’s tennis senior Robin Lesage, who averaged a 3.88 GPA in management, and women’s soccer senior Emily Nuss, who earned a 3.86 GPA in biology.
Lesage also took home the Jake Pitler Award, distinguished for recognizing career achievement and leadership. Women’s soccer senior Connie Gormley won the Jessie A. Godfrey Award, which likewise recognizes career achievement and leadership.
Dettmann and baseball senior left fielder Jake Thomas won the John Bilos Award, granted to two student-athletes based upon their career achievements. Both were two-time all-conference players, and both were integral in bringing their teams to the NCAAs at some point in their careers.
One team award was granted, with the women’s basketball team under first-year head coach Linda Cimino taking home the Binghamton Bearcats Athletics Association Team Community Service Award.