The D Sports Awards: Female and Male Athletes of the Year

by Devan Fink , Olivia Morton , Ethan Strauss and Benjamin Ashley | 5/26/20 2:10am

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by Dylan Cerveny / The Dartmouth

At the end of each academic year, The Dartmouth sports section nominates athletes to be voted on by the Dartmouth community as the best of the best. In this year’s sports awards, six of the top rookies, six of the top moments, five of the top female athletes and five of the top male athletes are pitted against each other, with the winners emerging after a vote by members of the Dartmouth community. 

This year, we are breaking up voting into three one-week voting periods, with all winners to be announced next Tuesday, June 2.

In the initial installment of the D Sports Awards, The Dartmouth sports section selected six nominees for Rookie of the Year. Last week, we presented the choices for Moment of the Year. In the final voting round, we turn to the nominees for Female Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year. In order to vote, students and community members can click on the link below to cast a single ballot before the end of the day on Saturday, May 30. Note that the voting timeline is shorter for this last set of awards.

Vote here: https://dartmouth.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0fwrjayRlH8AGuV

Nominations are listed in alphabetical order below:

Female Athlete of the Year:

Annie McKenna ’20 (Basketball)

Point guard phenom Annie McKenna saved her best season for last, putting together an excellent senior year, including leading the Ivy League in both assists and minutes. She also led the Big Green in scoring and steals, demonstrating her dominance on both ends of the court. A highlight of McKenna’s career came in the Ivy League home opener this season against Harvard University, when she hit a game-winning layup to propel Dartmouth to a big win. With McKenna, a native of Elmwood Park, Illinois, starting all 27 games this past season and playing 35.3 minutes per game, including all 40 minutes in eight games, she proved her durability and left a lasting legacy on the program. Named the Gail Koziara ’82 Most Valuable Player as well as the co-winner of the Larry Leavitt Leadership award, McKenna excelled this season and will be missed by the team.

Katharine Ogden ’21 (Nordic Skiing)

A member of both the Dartmouth and U.S. ski teams, Katharine Ogden’s junior season was off to another hot start before the NCAA skiing championships were canceled. Ogden, from Landgrove, Vermont, started out her season at the Harvard Carnival taking second in the 5K freestyle and first in the 15K classical. This performance earned her an Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Female Nordic Skier of the Week award. After finishing either first or second in her first six carnival races of the year, Ogden took a break in her collegiate season to compete for the U.S. in the World Cup. When she returned for the NCAA championships, she earned her fifth All-American First Team honor by finishing fourth in the 5K freestyle. This race proved to be the last of the season, as the championships were canceled after this first day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Had she been able to defend her 15K freestyle crown, Ogden would have had the opportunity to become the second Dartmouth athlete to win four national championships and the first since the 1960s.

Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 (Track and Field)

Track star Cha’Mia Rothwell, a Durham, North Carolina native, had a historic Big Green career, setting records while earning multiple accolades. This season, Rothwell continued her success by winning the 60m hurdles at the indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, becoming only the third woman in league history to win the race in four consecutive years. Rothwell’s consistent success in the indoor 60m hurdles led to her selection on the All-Ivy First Team for the race all four years of her career. In addition to the 60m hurdles, Rothwell was an excellent long jumper, winning the event at four competitions just this season. Rothwell also served as a team captain for the past two seasons, demonstrating her commitment to the team while dominating in her individual events. Although Rothwell will use her final year of NCAA eligibility at Duke University, her remarkable achievements at Dartmouth will leave their mark both in the record books and within the track and field program for years to come.

Katie Spanos ’20 (Field Hockey)

Throughout her four years at Dartmouth, Katie Spanos has consistently played a big role for the Big Green field hockey team. The Hummelstown, Pennsylvania native, named team captain her senior year, had a stellar season during her final year. Scoring eight goals and 21 points, the team leader in both for the season, Spanos scored two of the Big Greens’ four game-winning goals on the season and had a goal and an assist in four games early in the season. Spanos scored her final goal of the season against the University of Vermont in November, finishing her career with 29 goals, the eighth most in program history. She was awarded a spot on the All-Ivy League Second Team — her third straight year being named to one of the All-Ivy teams — and was a member of the NFHCA All-Northeast Region Second Team for the second year in a row. Spanos leaves a strong legacy for her teammates to build upon in the future. 

Allie Winstanley ’23 (Soccer)

Allie Winstanley started out her freshman season on top of the Ivy League. She began her Big Green career with a record-breaking season, scoring the most goals by a freshman in school history. The Concord, Massachusetts native started in all 17 games at forward and led the Ivy League in goals and points as a freshman. Winstanley’s scoring prowess led to her selection to the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Soccer Association First Team All-Region, the United Soccer Coaches First Team All-Region and the Second Team All-Ivy. She shone with the game on the line, co-leading the Ivy League with three game-winning goals. While she was a top scorer, Winstanley was also a great passer, tying for the team lead in assists with five during the season. A highlight of her season came against Merrimack College when she scored a hat trick en route to a 4-0 win. With just one season under her belt, the Big Green will benefit from her play for years to come.

Male Athlete of the Year:

Charlie Broom ’20 (Tennis)

Although it was cut short, Charlie Broom’s senior season was historic for the Dartmouth men’s tennis team. Broom went 17-7 overall playing at the No. 1 singles spot — his best record in his three years at the top of the lineup — and peaking with a national ranking of No. 52. With partner David Horneffer ’20, he went 12-9 and reached a national doubles ranking of No. 28. Fittingly, Broom was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Northeast Region Player of the Year at the end of this season after having won Rookie of the Year four years ago. The highlight of his senior year came with a clinch victory at home over the Big Ten’s University of Minnesota. The teams were tied at three wins-a-piece with Broom and the Golden Gophers’ top singles player entering a third set tie-break. Broom dominated the tie-break and secured the victory for the Big Green. He said that he was hoping to compete again in the NCAA Tournament in both doubles and singles before the spring season was canceled. 

Chris Knight ’21 (Basketball)

For the second consecutive season, Chris Knight was the lone Big Green selection to the All-Ivy League Second Team for men’s basketball. He earned recognition by posting an average of 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, all while shooting 55.4 percent from the field. Knight finished the year on a hot streak, as his final eight games represented the most successful stretch of his college career. During that span, Knight averaged 19.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game on an astounding 73 percent shooting from the field, tallying four double-doubles. In a Feb. 22 loss to Princeton University, Knight tied his career-high in scoring with 27 points and added 13 rebounds, setting a new career mark. Knight’s strong finish helped the team to its best season in five years. Next year, Knight will look to become the first player since Shaun Gee ’00 to earn All-Ivy basketball honors three times in a Dartmouth career. 

Drew O’Connor ’22 (Hockey)

After his second impressive season in Hanover, Drew O’Connor signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a college free agent, becoming the first Dartmouth player to secure an NHL deal since 2013. O’Connor outpaced the Eastern College Athletic Conference with 21 goals at the close of the season, cementing his legacy as the fourth player in program history to win a share of the Ivy League Player of the Year award and first to lead the conference in goals. In addition, O’Connor became the first Dartmouth player in 12 years to earn a spot on the All-ECAC First Team, while also garnering unanimous selection to the All-Ivy First Team. In a Feb. 28 game against Union College, the Chatham, New Jersey native scored his first career hat trick. He contributed to multiple other significant wins for the Big Green, scoring twice in under a minute to beat Boston University and netting the overtime winning goal against Princeton in his home state. Though O’Connor’s final season at Dartmouth ended earlier than the team had hoped it would, he stood out for the Big Green with a stellar finish. 

Justin Sodokoff ’21 (Diving)

Diver Justin Sodokoff, hailing from Greenwich, Connecticut, set new school and pool records on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards en route to a selection on the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America’s All-American team. Sodokoff won on both boards at the Tate Ramsden Invitational and against the University of Connecticut. Sodokoff qualified for the NCAA Division I National Diving Championship on the 1-meter board following a score of 672.35 at the Zone A Diving Championship. Although the championship was eventually canceled due to COVID-19, his qualification represented an impressive accomplishment in his already decorated career. As a testament to his outstanding year and continued success, Sodokoff earned the Ron Keenhold Outstanding Diver Award for the third time. Sodokoff said that he hopes to build on this season’s success, using the disappointingly abrupt ending to the season as motivation to propel him even further during his senior year.

Jack Traynor ’19 (Football)

Jack Traynor wrapped up one of the most successful Dartmouth football careers with his best season to date. A three-time unanimous All-Ivy League First Team selection, Traynor became just the 13th player in Dartmouth football history to be named team captain multiple times. He finished third in the conference this season with 75 total tackles while adding four takeaways, a career-high. He returned two of these turnovers — his fumble recovery at the University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 4 and his first interception at Marist College on Oct. 19 — for touchdowns. As a result of his outstanding play, Traynor received the Bushnell Cup, honoring him as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year as voted by the coaches. Along with Isiah Swann ’20, Traynor was instrumental in leading a Big Green defensive unit that allowed just 124 points — the fewest in the conference by far — en route to the program’s 19th Ivy League championship title.

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