St. Francis Student Athletes Excel in Competition
Dozens of Students Recognized During 2008-09 Campaign
From Tennis to Track, on land and in the water, a number of St. Francis College athletes performed at an exceptional level during the 2008-2009 school year.
The student with the most accolades was Tennis team member senior Jindrich Chaloupka (Summerk, Czech Republic/Lincoln Memorial University). Chaloupka is the first Terrier to win the NEC Player of the Year award.
Chaloupka was a primary catalyst in what was a landmark season for the upstart Terriers as the team increased its win total from one to seven. Chaloupka’s three-year stint at St. Francis (NY) yielded a 28-6 (.824) singles record, all in the No. 1 position, and culminated with the Conference’s highest individual athletic honor. The 6-foot-5 hard-serving senior posted the NEC’s top win percentage in each of the past three seasons. In addition to Conference Player of the Year, he was also named to the 2009 NEC Men’s Tennis Singles All-Conference First Team, the first Terrier to ever attain all-NEC first team status. Chaloupka, owned a 15-3 (.833) top-flight singles mark this season. Winning in straight sets every time, Chaloupka compiled a perfect 7-0 mark against Northeast Conference competition. Chaloupka finished his three-year career with a perfect 17-0 record against conference opposition and a 38-6 overall mark. He also vaulted into the ITA national rankings, reaching as high as 106th in March.
In Doubles, Chaloupka added another accolade to his resume when he earned all-NEC second team honors along with sophomore partner Esteban Mesa (Bogota, Colombia/Mars Hill College). The top flight tandem went 5-2 (.712) for the Terriers.
Chaloupka also laid claim to the NEC Scholar-Athlete honor in men’s tennis, which he shared with Monmouth senior Benjamin Evenden. His 3.52 grade point average majoring in Economics also helped him with the St. Francis (NY) Men’s Athlete of the Year award and earned him a spot on the Dean’s List and NEC Honor Roll in every semester at the College.
Jumping head first into the mix, in his first year at St. Francis College is Track & Field stand out, High Jumper Dean Brown (New York, NY/August Martin). Brown (watch a profile on Brown) took the Gold Medal at the NEC Conference Championships and owns the highest jumps in the conference for the year with several at over 7 feet. He competed at the NCAA East Regionals and the IC4A Championships where he placed 6th.
Also in Field Events, Matthew Megerdichian (Queens, NY/Molloy) continued his stellar career with St. Francis College again qualifying for the NCAA East Regionals in the Javelin after winning the NEC Championship in the event. In addition, Megerdichian competed in the IC4A Championships in both Javelin and Hammer Throw, in which he holds the St. Francis College record.
On the women’s side, Dominique Burrus (Queens, NY/Jamaica) was named a Northeast Conference Outdoor Track Rookie of the Week. Burrus claims the Terriers’ first women’s weekly award of the season thanks to her jump performance at UVA’s Lou Onesty Invitational. The Queens native posted the NEC’s second-best mark (5.57m) to finish third in Virginia. The distance stands .02 meters better than that of the next-ranked Northeast Conference rookie, Long Island’s Jessie Gaines.
In Men’s Basketball, Ricky Cadell (New York, NY/The Patterson School) was named to the NEC’s Second Team and was also selected Third Team All-Met by the Metropolitan Sportswriters Association. Cadell took his game to another level during the second half of the season and helped keep the Terriers in contention for an NEC playoff spot after leading scorer and rebounder Kayode Ayeni went down with a season-ending injury. Over the last 11 regular-season games, the New York City native averaged 19.5 ppg, including a career-high 33-point explosion against Sacred Heart. The scoring surge lifted Cadell’s season average to a team-best 15.3 ppg, the ninth-best mark in the NEC. He ranked second among conference guards and 14th overall in field goal shooting at 47.0 percent. Cadell was also eighth in the league in three-point accuracy (.406) and ninth in made three-pointers (1.9 per game).
For the Women’s Team, Kara Ayers’s (Galloway, New Jersey) 19.2 points per game made her the second highest scorer in the NEC this year and in the Top 20 nationally. She passed the 1,000 point plateau, finishing sixth all-time at St. Francis and was named to the NEC All Conference Second Team.
Moving to Women’s Water Polo, sophomore Andrea Dolnay (Budapest, Hungary/St. Margaret) who led the team to its first ever playoff appearance, was also named to the All-MAAC First Team after having earned a Women’s Water Polo Offensive Player of the Week award earlier in the season. During that span, Dolnay scored 10 goals as the Terriers split a conference doubleheader with Iona and Marist. For the season, Dolnay, led the Terriers with 51 goals, including a season and career-high 6 goals in the Terriers 10-7 loss to Iona. Second in scoring for the Terriers was Thalita Paladino with 42 goals. She was named to the All-MAAC Second Team.
Also in the pool, Women’s Diver Christiana DiBianchi (Staten Island, NY/St. Joseph Hill Academy) was named NEC Diver of the week four times this year and earned two Bronze Medals at the NEC Championships for her One Meter and Three Meter Dives. Sonya Jaggernaught (Port of Spain, Trinidad/Notre Dame Convent), earned the NEC Swimmer of the Week award twice during the season for her times in the 100 Meter Freestyle and 200 Meter Freestyle Relay. For the 100, she posted multiple top ten conference times.
The Men’s Soccer team, which had its best season in 10 years with an 11-4-3 record had two players named to the 2008 First Team All Conference squad; John Sallhag (Vaxjo, Sweden/Katedralskolan) and Semso Nikocevic (Brooklyn, NY/Kingsborough CC). The duo proved nearly unstoppable in a turnaround season for the Terriers which saw the team lift its win total from the year before by 7 games.
Photos: Jindrich Chaloupka, Andrea Dolnay, Dominique Burrus & Dean Brown
St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201