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 25, in a ceremony held at The Inn at Penn. Five awards were handed out.
In the two largest awards of the night, men’s track & field thrower Sam Mattis (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) was honored with the Class of 1915 Award while women’s rower Jenna Hebert (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) was awarded with the Association of Alumnae Fathers’ Trophy.
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.
The Fathers’ Trophy has been given annually since 1945 to the woman 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.
Hebert also was awarded the Norman J. Goldring Award on the women’s side, as well as the George H. Frazer Award. On the men’s side, Keaton Naff (Philadelphia/Masterman) was awarded the Goldring Award. 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. The Frazier Award, meanwhile, 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 – Samuel H. Mattis, men’s track & field
With the 2016 championship events still ahead of him -- Penn Relays, Heptagonals, NCAAs -- Sam Mattis has already established himself as the greatest thrower in Penn Track & Field’s illustrious history.
Last year, Sam won the NCAA title in the discus, becoming Penn’s first national champion in track & field since 2003 and just the second Ivy Leaguer to win that event. (The other came all the way back in 1949.) It capped a year that also saw him win the Heps championship for the third time in three years. As a sophomore, Sam took the IC4A crown as Eastern champ.
Already a two-time first-team All-American, Sam is showing this spring that the best might still be yet to come. On March 19, he had a throw of 67.45 meters (221 feet, 3 inches), the greatest discus throw ever by an American collegian. Not only was it an Olympic ‘A’ qualifying throw -- allowing him to compete at the Olympic Trials in June -- but if he had thrown at the 2012 Olympic Games he would have come in fourth place. Twice already this spring, Sam has been named National Athlete of Week by the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Assocation (USTFCCCA).
Sam also holds the second-best throw in Penn history in the indoor shot put; the fifth-best throw in the weight toss; the seventh-best throw in the hammer; and the ninth-best throw in the outdoor shot put.
Sam was the 2014-15 USTFCCCA Outdoor Male Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and is a three-time USTFCCCA All-Academic as well as a two-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection.
ASSOCIATION OF ALUMNAE FATHERS’ AWARD – Jennifer C. Hebert, women’s rowing
GOLDRING AWARD (female) – Jennifer C. Hebert, women’s rowing
FRAZIER AWARD – Jennifer C. Hebert, women’s rowing
Jenna Hebert made history earlier this year when she was named a prestigious Rhodes Scholar. As a Rhodes recipient, she will have all of her expenses paid for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. According to a brief biography put out by the Rhodes Trust, Jenna plans to pursue a Master of Science in Psychiatry at Oxford.
A Biological Basis of Behavior major in the College, Jenna is just the 22nd Rhodes Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania. Even more impressive, she is just the fifth Penn athlete ever to be so honored and the first in more than three decades. Heady numbers, considering the Rhodes Scholarship has existed since 1902.
The last Penn athlete to earn a Rhodes Scholarship was Stephanie Dangel, a women’s track & field letter winner who earned her Rhodes in 1984. Prior to that, the now-famous author John Edgar Wideman was a Rhodes Scholar in 1963; Wideman played basketball for the Quakers. The other two were Raymond Jack (lacrosse, track & field) in 1923 and William Lingelbach, Jr. (football, soccer, tennis) in 1926.
Jenna is not only a member of the Penn women’s rowing program; she is arguably the Quakers’ top oarswoman. A four-year member of the Quakers’ Varsity 8, she is a two-time first-team all-region pick by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) as well as a two-time CRCA National Scholar Athlete. In addition, last year Hebert was the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year in women’s rowing.
In the summer of 2013, Hebert rowed at the Under-23 World Championships in Linz, Austria, representing the United States as a member of the Vespers Boat Club quadruple sculls. The U.S. made the grand final and finished fifth overall.
Penn recently ended its Cup season, and looks ahead to the Ivy League Championships which will take place Sunday, May 15, on Mercer Lake near Princeton, N.J.
GOLDRING AWARD (male) – Keaton T. Naff, men’s track & field
*Scored at 2016 Indoor Heptagonal Championships (Heps) in the mile, placing sixth in a time of 4:16.55
*Scored at 2015 Indoor Heps as a member of the 4x800 meter relay team
*Scored at 2014 Indoor Heps as a member of the distance medley relay
*Competed in four cross country meets in 2015, with a top finish of 10th place at the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University
*Competed in four cross country meets in 2014
*Member of first-place 4x800 relay at first collegiate meet in 2012-13.