Ten Penn Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-Ivy

PHILADELPHIA – The Ivy League office announced its 2006 Spring Academic All-Ivy honorees on Thursday. To be recognized, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve on an officially recognized varsity team with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average.

The 10 student-athletes recognized from Penn were Jesse Carlin (track & field), Christina Khosravi (softball), Julia Koulbitskaya (women’s tennis), Lauren McDermott (women’s lacrosse), Kim Thompson (women’s golf), Mikhail Bekker (men’s tennis), Andrew Blechman (men’s lacrosse), Joey Boaen (baseball), Colin Groshong (lightweight crew) and Mike Hall (track and field).

Carlin broke the school record in the 400 meter dash at the Heptagonal Championships with a time of 53.62 to win the title. A week later, she came within .27 seconds of breaking her record at the ECAC Championships where she also placed first. The sophomore also anchored the 4x400 relay team that finished second to Cornell. Carlin was also a member of the distance medley relay team that shattered the school record with a time of 11:17.99 at the Penn Relays. With all that she has accomplished this spring, Carlin is not done yet. This weekend she will compete in the 400-meter dash and the 4x400 relay at the NCAA Regional at North Carolina A&T.

Earlier this month Khosravi became Penn softball’s first Ivy League Player of the Year. She batted .407 on the season with a .607 slugging percentage and a .465 on-base percentage. She also tied the single-season school records with 57 hits and five home runs. Khosravi was also named Second-Team Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Mid-Atlantic Region. She is now eligible for All-America honors, which will be announced next week.

Koulbitskaya tied for second on the women’s tennis team with 17 victories on the season. She was a first-team All-Ivy selection in both singles and doubles. Koulbitskaya helped Penn in its upset over No. 30 Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 12. After picking up a win at No. 1 doubles, she put the Quakers ahead 3-0 with a straight set victory at No. 2 doubles.

McDermott, one of three Penn seniors to earn Academic All-Ivy, was a second-team All-Ivy selection in women’s lacrosse. She collected 22 ground balls, had 14 caused turnovers and eight draw controls. She scored her first career goal and scooped up three ground balls at Delaware in March.

Thompson, another senior, finished third at the Ivy Golf Championships and garnered All-Ivy honors. She finished second among Penn players this season with a stroke average of 84.9. Her low round of 79 came in her final full collegiate round, at the Ivy League Championships. She carded a 42 in a nine-hole second round for her third place finish at the Ivy Championships.

Bekker played an integral role in leading the men’s tennis team to its first Ivy League title in 35 years. The junior co-captain was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, picking up 28 wins on the season and seven in the Ancient Eight. One of Bekker’s most memorable matches of the spring came in a three-set win over Brown’s Basudev Ratnam to clinch the match for Penn and help them remain undefeated in Ivy play.

A senior defender, Blechman started every game for the Quakers men’s lacrosse team and earned second-team All-Ivy. He came up with 12 ground balls and nine caused turnovers. Blechman led a defense that allowed 8.26 goals per game and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

Despite missing the last 11 games of the season due to a broken hand, Boaen still led the Quakers with a .349 batting average, four home runsand a slugging percentage of .596. He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II First Team and is now eligible for Academic All-America consideration.

Groshong, a junior, was coxswain for the lightweight crew’s Varsity Eight.

Hall had a solid spring for the Quakers. He finished second at the IC4A’s in the decathlon with 6,673 points. A week earlier, Hall came in third at the Heptagonal Championships with an identical point total.