PHILADELPHIA - The Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania handed out its major senior awards Monday night at the second annual Senior Athlete Banquet, which took place at the Inn and Penn.
The event was hosted by Penn director of athletics Steve Bilsky W’71, and featured radio/TV personality Tony Kornheiser and former Penn football standout Jason Feinberg C’01 as guest speakers.
Senior basketball player Steve Danley was awarded the Class of 1915 Award, which 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.
Danley graduates from Penn as the embodiment of what a student-athlete is about. As a member of the men’s basketball team, he played a key role in the Quakers winning the Ivy League title each of the last three years. A two-time honorable mention All-Ivy selection, Danley was a three-year starter; during those three seasons, the Quakers went 62-27 overall and a staggering 38-4 in the Ivy League. Perhaps most impressively, Danley never lost an Ivy League game in the Palestra as a starter -- the Quakers went 7-0 at home each of the last three seasons.
Danley also proved that there is life off of the hardwood. A Benjamin Franklin Scholar, he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist this fall and has been a constant presence on the Dean’s List. Steve is a two-time recipient of Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), a two-time Academic All-Area Performer of the Year in his sport by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a two-time Academic All-Ivy honoree. Danley also participates on-campus with Project Excelano, Penn’s spoken-word performing arts group; was a columnist for the Daily Pennsylvanian; and worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Danley actually combined two of his passions -- basketball and writing -- during the NCAA Tournament, with a guest spot in the New York Times’ NCAA Tournament online blog; he submitted three entries, and the first one was so well-received the Times editors requested (and were granted) permission to re-print it in the hard edition of the New York Times.
The Association of Alumnae Fathers’ Award was presented to field hockey standout Elizabeth Schlossberg. The recipient of the Fathers’ Award 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.
Schlossbergwas a constant force in goal for the Penn field hockey team over her four seasons, including the 2004 season when the team won a share of the Ivy League title. A two-time first-team All-Ivy selection, including a unanimous selection her sophomore year, Elizabeth has also been named honorable mention All-Ivy (2006), All-Philadelphia (2004) and second-team STX/NFHCA All-Mid-Atlantic (2004).
The senior captain made a name for herself on the national stage as well. Her sophomore season, the Chevy Chase, Md. native ranked fifth in the nation in goals-against average (0.89) and second in the nation in save percentage (.828). As a junior, she was 20th in the nation in save percentage (.761) and eighth in goals-against average (1.32). Schlossberg has paralleled her victories on the field with her success in the classroom, as the English major is a two-time Academic All-Ivy recipient (2004, 2006) and was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad this fall.
Michael Cassidy of the men’s track team was honored with 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.
A four-year member of the men’s track and field program at Penn, Cassidy ran distance events for the Quakers. His highest finish came at the 2005 Quaker Invitational, when he finished sixth in the 10,000 with a time of 32:21.41. At the 2005 Penn Relays, Cassidy ran the 10,000 and finished 30th overall. Last year, he placed 29th in his event at the Fordham Invitational. The Staten Island, N.Y. native is a two-time Dean’s List selection, and will graduate later this week with dual degrees in Communications and Political Science.
Swimmer Ted Rainaud and fencer Eve Overton were the winners of the Norman J. Goldring Award, which is given to one graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year.
A senior captain and four-year letterwinner, Rainaud was a key part of the men’s swimming program in his time at Penn. He swam multiple events for the Quakers, including the 100 and 200 backstroke and relay events. He was co-winner of Penn’s Most Improved Swimmer Award in 2005, and showed that improvement again this season as he helped to set a new school record in the 200 medley relay (1:31.86). Rainaud is a four-time EISL finals qualifier, and a three-time consolation finalist in the 200 back. The Cheshire, Conn. native has served as a Penn peer advisor, and has been on the Dean’s List for the past three years as an Economics major, with a minor in International Relations and Political Science.
Overton, a four-year letterwinner in women’s fencing, helped the foil team to one of its best seasons in recent memory as a member of the squad that won gold at the IFA Championships, the first IFA gold medal for women’s foil in Penn’s illustrious fencing history. The women’s three-weapon team finished second at IFA’s overall, and third at the Ivy Championships. Overton finished her senior season with a 39-21 overall record, going 14-10 in the Ivy League including a perfect 3-0 performance against defending national champion Harvard. The Lake Grove, N.Y. native finished her fencing career with a 105-51 overall record. An Academic All-Ivy selection this year, Overton will graduate later this week with dual degrees in Biological Basis of Behavior and English.