BLU Crew Awards honors year’s top perfomers

It is a rare occasion to catch the athletes at Lawrence dressed in nice attire instead of the classic shorts, sweatpants, and a T-shirt look. However, last Friday, every athlete came together, dressed up and honored those who have shown outstanding accomplishment in athletics this year.

The third annual BLU Crew Awards was hosted by senior swimmer and track runner Eryn Blagg and freshman basketball player Kenya Earl. They opened the evening with a funny video of the two of them competing in Lawrence Trivia, which of course included some athetes inside jokes. Following their introduction, each Student-Athlete Advisory (SAAC) representative played a role in announcing each award and their respective winners. Some of them tried to be funny and others kept it simple, but all were fun to see get up there and talk.

In the middle, to break up the ceremony, there was a live jokes competition where two teams of random athletes got up to participate in reading off bad jokes to each other and attempting not to laugh. Some cracked early, and others survived quite a few hilarious jokes.

Needless to say, it was a fun night, and many athletes were recognized for their successes. Many deserving athletes were nominated for awards, but only select few were able to receive one. The following are those who received awards. Biggest Upset: Men’s and Women’s Fencing Epee Squads; Male Rookie of the Year: [freshman] Nicholas Jatta; Female Rookie of the Year: freshman Ceara Larson (Softball) and freshman Kenya Earl (Basketball); Iron Vike: freshman Quinn Bingham (Soccer), junior Rachel Urich (Softball), junior Nolan Spencer (Baseball), sophomore Joe Duero (Basketball); Defensive Award: senior Jake Gostisha (Football); Best Individual Performance: junior Josh Janusiak (Cross and Track); Viking Award: senior Lewis Berger (Soccer) and junior Madeline MacLean (Softball); Most Outstanding Play: senior Lane King (Hockey) and sophomore Amanda Karnatz (Softball); Breakthrough Athlete of the Year: sophomore Joe Kortenhof (Track); Give Back Award: Softball; Best Rehab Athlete: sophomore Liam Wulfman (Swim); Best Win: Baseball; Bob “Dinger” Wurdinger Award: Dave Burrows; Coach of the Year: [head hockey coach] Mike Szkodzinski (Hockey); Female Athlete of the Year: Ceara Larson (Softball) and Kenya Earl (Basketball); Male Athlete of the Year: senior Matt Holliday (Baseball).

A special shout out goes to Administrative Coordinator for Athletics Abby Screnock. Without her, this event wouldn’t have been possible. It is her first year working in the Lawrence University Athletics Department, and she stepped up and coordinated everything to make the BLU Crew Awards happen. It was a stressful process to get everything lined up, but Screnock held down the fort and took care of business. All of the athletes at Lawrence appreciate her so much.

Another year has come and gone in the athletics sphere. There were moments of defeat and moments of triumph. No matter the end result of competition, a family can always be seen within Lawrence Athletics. Returners are already getting excited for next season, and the seniors are reflecting on the four years of memories they have accumulated through their collegiate careers. It was a great year. Let’s make next year even better. As always, go Vikes!

Madeline MacLean