2002-03 Verizon Academic Award Winners

Brian Abram, Men's Track and Field
Brian Abram, who was named second-team Verizon Academic All-District II, served as co-captain of the men's track and field team as a senior. He won his first individual Heptagonals title this year when he took first place in the 400m hurdles with a time of 52.14, earning a first-team All-Ivy League nod. The time was also good for eighth-fastest in the event on the Penn all-time outdoor records list. During his sophomore and junior years, he was tabbed an All-East performer in the sprints. On the Penn all-time indoor records list, he ranks second in the 60m (6.91) and third in the 400m (47.92). Abram is also a two-time Academic All-Ivy League selection.

Erik Bolinder was named Verizon Academic All-District II after collecting career-highs with 47 catches, 592 yards and three touchdowns.

Erik Bolinder, Football
Senior football player Erik Bolinder was named to the Verizon Academic All-District II second-team. Bolinder, who was one of 15 Ivy Leaguers to be named to the first or second-team, graduated with a finance concentration from Wharton. He started all 10 games in his final season, collecting career-highs with 47 catches, 592 yards and three touchdowns. In the Red and Blue's Ivy League title-clinching victory over Harvard on Nov. 16 at Franklin Field, the Wellington, Fla. native pulled down four passes for 72 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Mitchell in the second quarter.

Sam Burley, Men's Track and Field
'With distinction' was Sam Burley's tagline in his final year with Penn Track, as the Cheyenne, Wyo. native captured his first NCAA title by winning the 800-meters at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Cal State Sacramento on June 14. Burley followed his All-American performance at the NCAAs with a sixth-place finish one week later at the 2003 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Stanford University. Burley, Penn's indoor and outdoor 800m record holder (1:48.16 and 1:45.39, respectively), was also named first-team All-Ivy in 2003 after capturing the indoor and outdoor Heptagonal Championships. The 2003 Outdoor Heps Athlete of the Meet, Burley became the first middle-distance runner to ever be named Mondo District Athlete of the Year of the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2003. Burley was crowned an All-American at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Arkansas after placing third in the 800m. Burley finished his collegiate career a five-time All-American, seven-time Indoor and Outdoor Heps champion, 13-time All-Ivy League honoree as well as a Verizon District II Academic All-American (2002), Academic All-Ivy League and recipient of a 2003 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Burley was recently named a member of the USA World Championship team that will compete in Paris Aug. 21-31, 2003.

Brian Chaput, Men's Track and Field (national)
Brian Chaput, who is a communications major in the College of Arts and Sciences, became the 10th Ivy League athlete to be honored as a Verizon Academic All-American second-team during the 2002-03 school year. Earlier this season, he was named Academic All-Ivy League and first-team All-District II Academic All-American, which qualified him for national honors. Chaput was the first-ever Penn men's track NCAA champion in the javelin, after posting a Penn and Ivy League record throw of 78.69 meters (258-2), which bested the second-place finisher by almost 12 feet. In addition, he broke his own Penn and Ivy League mark in the process. The victory stand has been a familiar place for Chaput this season. He was the javelin champion at the Penn Relays, Heps, the IC4As and NCAAs.

Katy Cross, Women's Soccer
Katy Cross, an undeclared major in the College of Arts and Sciences, was named Verizon Academic All-District II in 2002. She finished her sophomore season as the leading scorer in the Ivy League for the second consecutive year after tallying 14 goals and 32 total points. She was named Ivy League Player of the Year (Penn women's soccer's first), first-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy League in 2002.

Crista Farrell earned her second Verizon Academic All-District II honor in 2003.

Crista Farrell, Softball
Crista Farrell was named a Verizon Academic All-District II. It marks the second-consecutive year Farrell has received the honor. Penn's second baseman/shortstop led the Red and Blue in nearly every offensive category in 2003 including runs (18), hits (40), doubles (9), triples (2), batting average (.351) and slugging percentage (.481). Farrell graduates from the Penn second on the program's all-time career records list in at-bats (510), hits (154), runs scored (68), doubles (30) and stolen bases (32). The philosophy graduate holds the program's all-time single-season hits record with 48 which she set during the 2002 season.

Matt Feast, Wrestling
Matt Feast, a student-athlete in Wharton with a business concentration, earned All-American wrestling honors after placing seventh in the 285-pound weight class at the 2003 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Kansas City, Mo. While compiling a 34-5 record this season, Feast won his first Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championship along with earning first-team All-Ivy League honors. Feast captured the wrestling team's Richard DiBatista Award, presented to the highest finisher at the NCAA Championships, and the Most Takedowns Award. In addition, Feast led the team in wins and winning percentage. Feast was named a Verizon Academic All-District II, Academic All-Ivy League and National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic honoree.

Nick Italiano, Baseball
Nick Italiano was named Verizon Academic All-District II, Academic All-Ivy League and first-team All-Ivy for his accomplishments during his senior season. He became the third-straight Quaker to win the Blair Batting Title in 2003, leading the Ancient Eight in hitting with a .420 League average. Italiano left Penn as the Red and Blue's all-time hits leader with 194. Italiano finished the 2003 campaign with a team best .371 average and .491 on base percentage. He is currently playing in the Philadelphia Phillies baseball franchise.

Nick Italiano won the Blair Batting Title in 2003 and was named Verizon Academic All-District II. He is currently playing professional baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan, Volleyball (national)
Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan was named the MVP of the Wagner Invitational and was named to the All-Tournament teams at the Georgetown Classic and Penn's own Sheraton Invitational. On the academic front, Kwak-Hefferan, a communications major, was named CoSIDA Academic All-District II in 2002 and Academic All-Ivy League in 2001 and 2002. A success both on and off the court, the Wheaton, Ill. native recorded her second-consecutive season with 300 or more kills in 2002. She finished her third campaign with the Quakers averaging 3.76 kills and 3.42 digs per game en route to Penn's second consecutive Ivy League title. Her kills average led the Quakers and was good for sixth in the Ivy League, while her digs average was third on the team and sixth in the Ivy League.

Alex Maasry, Men's Soccer
Alex Maasry, who graduated from Penn with a dual Finance and Philosophy, Politics and Economics major, was named Verizon Academic All-District II and was the only Ivy League representative on the men's soccer list. During his career in the Red and Blue, Maasry received Penn's Arthur Binns Most Improved Player Award, was named as a Philadelphia Soccer 7 Player of the Week twice (10/8/00 and 11/4/01) and earned Academic All-Ivy League honors. The tri-captain played in over 50 games, making 34 starts. Maasry recorded eight goals and three assists for a career point total of 19. He was a strong contributor in Penn's left midfield for the past three years and helped the Quakers earn their first Ivy League title in over 22 years in 2002.

Julie Siebert-Johnson, Women's Track and Field
After a phenomenal senior campaign, women's track and field student-athlete Julie Siebert-Johnson was named first-team Verizon Academic All-District II for 2003. Siebert-Johnson, who graduated from Penn with a psychology degree, was named first-team All-Ivy and All-East after she captured both the Heptagonal and ECAC javelin titles. In addition to being the current school record holder, Siebert-Johnson concluded an impressive career by finishing 18th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field.