PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) handed out its major intercollegiate senior student-athlete awards Monday night, April 16, in a ceremony held at The Inn at Penn. Five awards were handed out.
In the two largest awards of the night, men's basketball standout Zack Rosen was honored with the Class of 1915 Award while women's track & field star Paige Madison received the Association of Alumnae Fathers' Award.
The Class of 1915 Award, given annually since 1931, is presented to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit and tradition of University of Pennsylvania Athletics. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA. Voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn's men's varsity programs as well as selected athletic department administrators.
The Fathers' Award, meanwhile, has been given annually since 1945 to the person who is recognized for her contribution to Women's Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA, and voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn's women's varsity programs as well as selected athletic department administrators.
The Norman J. Goldring Award was given to Alek Ferro from men's lacrosse and Meg Krasne from softball. The Goldring Award is given to one graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year.
Grant Wilson, from men's heavyweight crew, was recipient of the George H. Frazier Award, which is given to a graduating student-athlete (male or female) with the highest GPA who competed on one of the following teams: basketball, crew, track, soccer, baseball or football.
CLASS OF 1915 AWARD - Zack Rosen, men's basketball
The Penn men's varsity coaches were put in an unenviable position this year, selecting a Class of 1915 Award recipient from arguably the strongest field of candidates in years. That Zack Rosen was a near unanimous selection probably says everything about what he has meant on this campus over the last four years.
On the court, where to start? Zack will graduate as the Penn men's basketball program's all-time leader in assists (588), games started (115) and minutes played (4,198), and his point total (1,723) is third behind only Ernie Beck and Ugonna Onyekwe. This season, Zack set program single-season marks for assists (173), starts (33) and minutes played (1,259), while his point total (602) was the best since Tony Price scored 633 points in 1978-79. Zack also hit 75 three-point field goals in 2011-12, the seventh-best single-season total in program history.
Almost single-handedly, Zack carried the Quakers to within a game of the Ivy League title. It's hard to pick his best performance. Was it at Harvard, when he scored Penn's last nine points in a 55-54 win over the Crimson? Was it the night before, when he scored the Quakers' final 16 points in a three-point win at Dartmouth? How about the week before that, when he figured directly in 26 straight points to help Penn come back on Cornell and defeat the Big Red? Or maybe the first Dartmouth game, when he drained the winning three-pointer in the dying seconds?
Among the many awards that Zack received this season, perhaps the most prestigious came when he was named one of 10 finalists nationwide for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. As a finalist, he took part in several events around the Final Four in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Zack was named honorable mention All-America from the Associated Press (AP), after he was the unanimous choice by the Ancient Eight coaches as Ivy League Player of the Year and first-team All-Ivy. Zack also received All-District honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches -- becoming the first Penn player honored three times by the NABC since Corky Calhoun and Bobby Morse from 1970-72 -- and was the only Ivy Leaguer to earn All-District from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as well as recognition as an ECAC Division I All-Star.
Enrolled in Wharton with a concentration in finance, Rosen is the first men's basketball player to earn the Class of 1915 Award since Steve Danley in 2007 and just the 12th since the award starting being given in 1931.
FATHERS' AWARD - Paige Madison, women's track & field
Currently a senior captain for the Quakers, Paige Madison already holds three school records and is listed among the top 10 all-time in four other individual events and five relays. The six-time All-Ivy honoree was the first woman in Penn history to break the one-minute barrier in the 400-meter hurdles and just the second track athlete selected for this award since 1997.
Paige made an immediate impact for the Quakers as a freshman; she was Penn's top hurdler throughout the year and moved into the school record book in the 100 and 400 hurdles. At the Penn Relays, she helped set a school record as a member of the Red and Blue's sprint medley relay team. In her first Outdoor Heptagonal championship meet, Paige helped the 4x100 relay team to a second-place spot on the podium and All-Ivy accolades.
A year later, Paige was even better. As part of some of the best relay teams in program history, she won indoor and outdoor All-Ivy and All-East honors in the 4x100 and the 4x400. Paige and the Quakers set the current school record in the outdoor 4x100-meter relay (46.03) that year. During the Outdoor Heptagonals, she claimed her first All-Ivy award in an individual event when she obliterated the school record in the 400-meter hurdles and became the first female in school history to finish the event in less than a minute (58.89). With that effort, Paige qualified for the NCAA Championships.
As a junior, she repeated as a two-time All-Ivy honoree and earned outdoor all-East accolades in the 400-meter hurdles. Now nearing her final Heptagonal meet, Madison is primed to add to her long list of accomplishments.
In addition to finishing her career as the school record holder in the sprint medley relay, the 400 hurdles and the outdoor 4x100 relay, Paige is also second all-time in the indoor 400 meters -- behind the only other track athlete to win this award in the last 14 years, Jesse Carlin. Paige ranks fifth in school history in the indoor 500, sixth in the 60-meter hurdles, and ninth in the 100-meter hurdles.
A nursing major, Paige has also thrived off the track. She was an Academic All-Ivy recipient in 2010 and was named Academic All-Area by the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2011.
GOLDRING AWARD (male) - Alek Ferro, lacrosse
GOLDRING AWARD (female) - Meg Krasne, softball
One of this year's captains, Alek has been a regular in the lineup for the men's lacrosse program the past three seasons, mostly as a short-stick defensive middie. Last year, he was part of a defensive unit that helped lead the Quakers to their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2006, and the team finished second in the Ivy League for the first time since 1989. As a defensive unit, Penn's scoring defense was Top 10 nationally. Alek is in the Management & Technology Program (Engineering & Wharton); he is a Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics major, Mathematics minor, and a Finance concentration at Wharton.
Meg is also a captain, although she was unable to play this season due to a season-ending injury. She was honorable mention All-Ivy as a freshman, when she started 22 games and finished third on the team with a .351 on-base percentage. Last year, Meg appeared in 18 contests, starting nine as the Quakers' designate player. She had two doubles and three runs batted in from her 29 at-bats. For her career, Meg is a Health & Societies major and an Urban Studies minor in the College.
FRAZIER AWARD - Grant Wilson, men's heavyweight rowing
A consistent member of Penn men's heavyweight crew's top boat, the varsity eight, Grant is a captain for this year's team.
Last season, he was seated in the third seat and helped Penn to its first Cup race win since 2006 with a seven-second win over George Washington in the McCausland Cup. The Quakers repeated that win a few weeks ago on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Grant was in the four seat at last year's Eastern Sprints, helping Penn to a 13th-place finish and a win in the Third Final, where the Quakers beat second-place Northeastern by almost three seconds.
Grant is a Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics major, with a Mathematics minor. He was an Academic All-Ivy and Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection last spring as a junior. Grant is also a member of SAAC and a student-athlete tutor.