Naval Academy Announces Major Athletic Award Winners
ANNAPOLIS, Md.-- The United States Naval Academy announced its major athletic award winners Thursday afternoon at the annual Prizes and Awards Ceremony at Alumni Hall.
Stephen Born (Strafford, Pa.) of the baseball team was awarded the NAAA Sword for Men, which is presented to that man of the graduating class who is considered by the Association's Athletic Council to have personally excelled in men's athletics during his years of varsity competition
Born won four varsity letters for the Mids, playing in 198 career games (fifth most in school history) and starting 181 games (eighth most in school history).
Born was part of a senior class that won 155 games in its four years, making it the winningest class in Navy baseball history. Navy won a school-record 43 games in 2016 during its run to the NCAA Regionals and won 38 games this year, which ranks second all-time in school history. The Mids won four-straight Patriot League regular season titles and four-straight N-Stars.
Born finished his career with 141 runs scored (seventh in school history), 222 hits (sixth in school history), 43 doubles (fifth in school history), 13 triples (10th in school history), 133 RBI (fifth in school history) and 36 stolen bases (15th in school history). He is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (could be named for a third time next week) and a two-time Second Team All-Patriot League selection.
Born is the first baseball player to win the award since Craig Candeto in 2004 (Candeto was also the star quarterback for the football team) and the first baseball only student-athlete to win the award since R.C. Needham in 1907.
The other nominees for the NAAA Sword for Men were Shawn Anderson (basketball), Jadaen Bernstein (wrestling), Sam Haber (lightweight rowing) and Sean Richards (track & field).
Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) of the women’s lacrosse team was awarded the Vice Admiral Lawrence Sword for Women, which is presented to that woman of the graduating class who is considered by the Association's Athletic Council to have personally excelled in women's athletics during her years of varsity competition.
Collins won four varsity letters for the Mids and will graduate as the greatest women’s lacrosse player and one of the best female athletes in school history. She is a three-time Patriot League Midfielder of the Year, as well as a four-time member of the Patriot League First Team.
Collins is a two-time Inside Lacrosse All-American, while earning IWLCA All-South Region and All-ECAC accolades for three consecutive seasons. She was a nominee (one of 25) for the Tewaaraton Award, which is awarded to the top lacrosse player in the country.
Collins was a three-time member of the Patriot League All-Tournament team, while earning MVP honors in 2017. She helped Navy win back-to-back Patriot League Tournament Championships and make a pair of appearances in the NCAA Tournament where the Mids advanced to the quarterfinals both years and to the 2017 NCAA Final Four – the first appearance by a women’s team from a Service Academy in history.
Collins finished her career as the school’s record holder in goals (224), shots (487), shots on goal (365), free-position goals (58), games played (84) and games started (84). She is the third player in program history with 200 or more goals and the third player with 300 or more points. With two assists in the Patriot League Semifinals against Lehigh, she became the first player in school history with both 200 or more career goals and 100 or more career assists.
Collins is the first women’s lacrosse player to win the sword since Lizzy Rullan in 2016 (Rullan also played soccer) and the first women’s lacrosse only student-athlete to ever win the award.
Other nominees for the award include Emily Cecchini (rowing), Ashanti Curry (track & field) and Meghan Hegarty (soccer).
Meghan Hegarty (Richmond, Va.) was awarded the Thompson Trophy Cup, which is presented to that midshipman, male or female, who has done the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy.
Hegarty, the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for NCAA Division I women's soccer and 2017 Patriot League Midfielder of the Year, has shown prowess both on and off the field for her entire four-year career in Annapolis. This past fall, Hegarty was selected by the Patriot League’s coaches as the premier two-way player in the league as she started all 21 games for the Mids as the team’s holding midfielder. With responsibilities on both ends of the field, she notched eight points on two goals and four assists on offense, while providing strong defensive marking and veteran leadership to a defense that posted 13 shutouts, the fifth-most in program history, as the Mids finished 16-4-1 and won the Patriot League regular season title with an 8-0-1 mark.
Hegarty is just the second athlete at Navy (male or female) to be named the overall Academic All-American of the Year for their respective sport joining Beth Reed (women’s soccer in 2009). Hegarty will also go into the record books as one of just four Midshipmen in the history of the athletic department to earn Academic All-America honors on three separate occasions joining Kelly Zahalka (’09, women’s swimming), John Dowd (’12, football) and Ellen Bradford (’16, women’s swimming).
In the classroom, Hegarty has a 3.98 GPA in operations research and ranks 20th in the Naval Academy’s Overall Order of Merit and eighth in Military Order of Merit.
Hegarty was also named the winner of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and will pursue her postgraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $7,500 are awarded three times a year corresponding to each sport season (fall, winter and spring). Awardees are chosen by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee, which includes faculty athletics representatives, athletics administrators and a conference commissioner.
Hegarty is the first female to win the award since Jasmine DePompeo (women’s lacrosse) in 2013, the first women’s soccer player to win the award and just the sixth female to win the award in school history.
Other nominees for the Thompson included Shawn Anderson (men’s basketball), Jenna Collins (women’s lacrosse), Taylor Dunham (women’s basketball), Mac Lavis (sprint football), Patricia Mattingly (volleyball), D.J. Palmore (football), Noah Song (baseball) and Corey Wilding (wrestling).
Caleb Robertson (Annapolis, Md.) of the heavyweight rowing team was awarded the men's Coaches' Calvert Award, which recognizes a graduating varsity letterwinner who displayed leadership, consistent effort, loyalty and dedication to the sport and who has taken their abilities beyond the expectations of the coach, peers and themselves.
Robertson overcame severe rhabdomyolysis as well as compartment syndrome in his left leg during military training in October of 2016 and nearly had his leg amputated. He was a four-year member of the heavyweight rowing team, rowing with the second varsity eight in 2018 while serving as the team captain. The Mids will compete at the IRA National Championship June 1-3 in Mercer County, N.J.
Robertson is the first heavyweight rower to win the award since Will Race in 2012.
Amanda Keller (Jacksonville, Fla.) of the women’s tennis team was awarded the women's Coaches' Calvert Award, which recognizes a graduating varsity letterwinner who displayed leadership, consistent effort, loyalty and dedication to the sport and who has taken their abilities beyond the expectations of the coach, peers and themselves.
Keller, who was the 2018 team captain, was a four-time all-league honoree making the first team twice and the second team twice. She finished her career as Navy’s all-time leader in doubles wins (71) and combined singles and doubles wins (160), while ranking second in career singles wins (89). She became the first Navy women’s tennis player to play the No. 1 singles position for three years and her 24 doubles wins this year tied the Navy single-season record. She was named Patriot League Women’s Tennis Player of the Week six times.
Keller is the first women’s tennis player to win the award.