CLAREMONT, Calif. – Senior women's tennis player Catherine Allen and senior men's tennis player Nikolai Parodi earned the 2019-20 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Female and Male Athlete of the Year Awards in a vote of the department's 17 head coaches and administrative personnel.
Allen was also the winner of the Scripps Athlete of the Year, giving her two of the department's major awards, while Reese Peterson of the men's track and field team captured the Harvey Mudd Athlete of the Year Award. The Claremont McKenna Female Athlete of the Year went to Phoebe Madsen of the volleyball team, while Kendall Hollimon of the men's swimming and diving team earned the Claremont McKenna Male Athlete of the Year.
The Hank Krieger Award, given to a graduating senior who displays athletic excellence, academic excellence and leadership, was shared between Lauren Longo of the women's basketball program and Daniel Park of the men's tennis program, while Longo also received the Noelle and Veronique Boucquey Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award from Scripps. Amanda Walker of the volleyball team was the recipient of the Scripps Alumnae Senior Athlete of the Year honor.
Claremont McKenna College's senior class athletic awards will be revealed at a later date as part of the college's annual senior awards announcements, along with the Claremont McKenna Dickinson Award.
Here is a rundown of the accomplishments from the 2019-20 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Year-End award winners:
Catherine Allen, Women's Tennis
CMS Female Athlete of the Year
Scripps Athlete of the Year
Allen had a dominant four-year career with the CMS women's tennis program, which saw her win a national championship with the Athenas as a sophomore in 2018, and then win another national title in doubles in 2019 (along with doubles partner Caroline Cox). She picked up key singles wins in the NCAA semifinals and finals as a sophomore, and then won all three of her singles matches at nationals as a junior as CMS finished as the national runner-up.
This year, she was a key part of a CMS team that finished a shortened season at 14-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Her three-set win over Emory broke a 4-4 tie and gave CMS a 5-4 win at the ITA Indoor Nationals, which vaulted the Athenas into the No. 1 spot. She also was ranked second in the nation in singles and first in doubles in the final ITA rankings (the second straight season she finished first in doubles), and earned All-America honors seven times (four in singles, three in doubles). Her career record was 190-27, including 90-12 in singles and 100-15 in doubles, and she helped the Athenas to an overall record of 99-5 in dual matches during her four seasons.
"I presently coach, and have coached, a lot of great players in my career," said Head Coach David Schwarz. "And I will coach more. But players such as Catherine Allen are why we coach. Her energy, competitiveness, and toughness have changed our program forever. Catherine never lost an NCAA team singles match, and her teams have finished ranked No. 3, No. 1, No. 2, and No. 1 in her career, the four highest finishes in CMS women's tennis history. I don't think that's a coincidence."
Nikolai Parodi, Men's Tennis
CMS Male Athlete of the Year
Parodi finished up his CMS career as a rare eight-time All-American, capturing the honor in both singles and doubles all four seasons. He ranked in the top five in the nation in the final singles rankings every year as well, including second as a freshman when he finished as the national runner-up. This year, he was ranked No. 1 in the country at the conclusion of spring sports in singles (as well as No. 3 in doubles), while helping the Stags to a No. 2 ranking in the final team poll. Twice he led CMS to the NCAA Division III national championship match while playing at No. 1 in both singles and doubles.
In addition to his success at the national level, Parodi became the first men's tennis player to win the SCIAC Athlete of the Year all four seasons. He also never lost a match in either singles or doubles at the Ojai Championships, becoming the first person to win six Ojai titles in a three-year span in the 100-year plus history of the event. His record this year was 27-7 (15-3 in singles and 12-4 in doubles) and he concluded his career with 191 wins, despite studying abroad in the fall as a junior and having his senior season cut short.
"Niko is a first ballot Hall of Famer who will be remembered as one of Stags Tennis' best ever," said Head Coach Paul Settles. "Much of what he has achieved at the conference, regional and national level in both singles and doubles we are likely to never see again. He is quite simply one of the finest athletes I've worked with at any level, and he has developed into a confident, highly competent leader among his peers."
Kendall Hollimon, Men's Swimming and Diving
Claremont McKenna Male Athlete of the Year
Hollimon had a spectacular career as a diver with the Stags, winning the SCIAC Championship in all eight events he competed in, sweeping the one-meter and three-meter all four seasons. He was also a six-time All-American, earning the honor four years in a row in the three-meter, and adding two more in the one-meter in 2018 and 2020. He finished in the top four at nationals in the three-meter every season, taking fourth as a freshman and sophomore, and third as a junior last year, before his final trip to NCAAs was canceled with the suspension of sports in March.
Hollimon's efforts were a big part in two narrow team SCIAC championships for the Stags, which won the 2017 title by only eight points and then captured the 2020 title this winter by only 14 points, with Hollimon providing 44 points with his two first-place finishes. He graduates with the second-best scores in CMS history in both diving events (594.05 in the one-meter, 624.50 in the three-meter), and added CSCAA Scholar All-America honors to his resume as a dual major in government and philosophy.
"Kendall has been a special talent for CMS swimming and diving," said Head Coach Charlie Griffiths. "A gifted and poised competitor, Kendall produced his best dives during the highest-pressure situations, with clutch individual performances keying our team's success. Bigger than that, though, Kendall's engaging and dynamic personality made the CMS diving team a joyous place, elevating competitors and teammates whenever he was on the pool deck."
Phoebe Madsen, Volleyball
Claremont McKenna Female Athlete of the Year
Madsen was part of the first national championship in CMS volleyball history as a sophomore in 2017, splitting time at setter with her older sister Clara and assisting on the championship-winning point against Wittenberg. As a junior and senior, she became a team captain and a full-time six-rotation player who saw time at both setter and hitter, earning first-team All-America honors both seasons. She twice finished as the runner-up for the National Player of the Year Award from the AVCA and twice earned the SCIAC Athlete of the Year Award and the AVCA All-West Region Award.
Over her four seasons, Madsen helped the Athenas to a combined record of 108-17, including 57-5 in the SCIAC. She ended her career ranked fifth in program history in career assists with 2622, and second in career service aces with 184. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2018 SCIAC Championship after leading CMS to the title, her second of three in a row to close out her four-year career.
"Pheobe is our heart and soul," said Head Coach Kurt Vlasich. "She plays harder and more competitively than any player I have ever coached. Each night she leaves it all out on the floor. As a second year captain, Phoebe also takes on the leadership role in a big way. She is an incredible communicator, and she thinks of others first. She is also an exceptional student and presence on campus. We are so proud of all that she has accomplished, but what I feel is most important to know about Phoebe is how proud she is of her team and all those who make up CMS Volleyball."
Reese Peterson, Track and Field
Harvey Mudd Athlete of the Year
Peterson had a major role in CMS winning the SCIAC men's track and field championship last spring. He earned top-two finishes in all three of his throwing events, winning the shot put title with the top throw of his career, which moved him into a tie for ninth in program history. He also added second-place finishes in both the hammer throw and the discus throw (behind teammate Matthew Sill) as the Stags swept all of the throwing events on their way to a first place finish in the team standings.
This year, Peterson earned the SCIAC Field Athlete of the Week for the third time in his career after a strong showing at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers Meet. He then capped off his career by winning all three of his events (shot put, hammer, discus) at a five-team SCIAC Multi-Dual hosted by Whittier in March. He earned All-SCIAC honors six times in three years, and was likely on his way to even more this spring before the suspension of athletics shortened his senior year.
"Reese's accomplishments over his three seasons competing for the Stags Track and Field Team were numerous," said Head Coach Glenn Stewart. "He was at his best when it came to SCIAC Championships competition. He scored points for the team in every championship event he competed in over the three years, with six of his performances resulting in a podium finish. 2019 was Reese's best performance, placing second in the hammer and discus and winning the shot put with a career best throw, and helping the Stags regain the conference championship for the second time in his three years with program. Reese has been a team leader on and off the field, and we have been priviliged to have him in the program for the past four years."
Lauren Longo, Women's Basketball
Co-Winner, Hank Krieger Award
Noelle and Veronique Boucquey Award (Scripps Outstanding Scholar-Athlete)
Longo served as a captain for the CMS women's basketball program this year after helping the Athenas to three straight SCIAC regular season titles in her first three seasons. She was a defensive standout for the team, earning the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week this year after a key role in a narrow win over Chapman. She also had 13 big points in a SCIAC Semifinal win over Whittier and had a career high 19 points, including five three-pointers, in a win over Hendrix.
Off the court, Longo served as a president of the CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and captured SCIAC women's basketball's Ed Baldwin Award for leadership this winter. She was also a SCIAC All-Academic team selection, carrying over a 3.8 cumulative GPA as a biology major at Scripps, and plans to enter medical school and pursue a career as a physician.
"Lauren played an integral role in the success of our team, specifically in her defensive presence," said Head Coach Chanel Murchison. "She was a captain and was invested in being the best leader that she could, and she pushed herself on the court and off the court in order to be a better player. She was also an active member of the athletics department as a whole. Her dedication to creating a SAAC that was engaged and impactful was felt, as she strived to create a student-athlete driven experience and support/engagement that transcends to campus."
Daniel Park, Men's Tennis
Co-Winner, Hank Krieger Award
Park is a two-year co-captain for the men's tennis program, twice helping the Stags reach the NCAA Division III national championship match during his career. His career record after the premature conclusion of his senior season stands at 125-40, while his 62-13 singles record gives him the third-best winning percentage (.827) in program history. He was ranked No. 31 in the nation in singles his senior year (No. 10 in the West Region) and among his big career wins was the clincher against No. 1 Chicago last year which moved the Stags into the top spot in the national rankings.
Park and the Stags were 14-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation when spring sports were suspended in March. The program's combined record in dual matches over his four seasons was an impressive 109-11, including 30 or more wins in each of his first three complete campaigns, a figure that the Stags were on track to reach again this spring. Off the court, he worked with RxAll to help confront the widespread problems of counterfeit drugs in Nigeria and helped coach tennis to students at nearby Mountain View Elementary School.
"Daniel is a student-athlete leader unlike any I have ever worked with in my seventeen years as a head coach," said Head Coach Paul Settles. "His maturity, poise, and self-awareness are beyond measure for a young man of only twenty-one years of age. He is an exceptional listener, organizer, and implementer, seeking out his teammates to understand them as people and as players."
Amanda Walker, Volleyball
Scripps Alumnae Senior Athlete of the Year
Walker was part of a CMS volleyball national championship-winning team as a sophomore in 2017, and then emerged as one of the program's most dominant hitters in its history over her junior and senior seasons. She earned third-team All-America honors as a junior, when she tallied the third-highest single-season total in program history with 407 kills. She followed that up with second-team All-America honors this fall, capping off her career with a spectacular effort with a career-high 24 kills in a five-set defeat to Carthage in the NCAA Tournament, giving her 367 on the year (11th all-time).
Walker was twice chosen as a first-team All-West Region selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, earned Tournament MVP honors at the Trinity Classic as a junior, and captured NCAA All-Region honors as a senior. In addition to her 24 kills against Carthage this fall, Walker also added 21 kills in a four-set win over WashU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and had kills on 15 of her 22 attempts in a three-set win over No. 1 Emory during the regular season.
"Amanda has been an incredible player for the CMS Volleyball program," said Head Coach Kurt Vlasich. "Her contributions on the court will forever be remembered as one of the most dominant attackers and blockers in the history of the program. Being left-handed, she was able to use that as an advantage, and this year alone, she was the most feared attacker in the SCIAC. She has taken the program to new heights, and we are forever grateful for the new standard she has set for all attackers to follow. While we will miss her on-court competitiveness, we are thankful for what she leaves us with her coachable attitude, warrior mentality, and most importantly, her smile."