NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The Mitchell College Department of Athletics held its annual Senior Banquet last week and handed out several major awards.
The department honored its 33 senior student-athletes from 12 varsity programs. As a group, the senior class accounted for:
• 4 NECC Championships in three different sports
• 4 NCAA Tournament appearances
• 22 NECC Academic All-Conference selections
• 2 NECC Player of the Year winners
• 1 NECC Rookie of the Year winner
• 14 NECC 1st Team All-Conference selections
• 9 NECC 2nd Team All-Conference selections
• 7 NECC 3rd Team All-Conference selections
• 7 NECC All-Tournament Team honorees
• 8 members of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national college athlete honor society
After head coaches were given an opportunity to speak about their seniors and their accomplishments, the program turned over to master of ceremonies Todd Peretz for the presentation of awards. The awards and winners are listed below.
Alumni Excellence Award
Given annually to the man and woman graduates (seniors) recommended by the Department of Athletics who achieved the highest degree of competence in sports while also attaining outstanding academic records.
Pinard was a four-year letterwinner on the cross country, basketball and lacrosse teams who majored in environmental studies. She never missed a meet in her cross country career, running in a total of 26 races over four seasons. On the basketball court she was an all-conference selection in 2018 and finished with career totals of 619 points and 511 rebounds in 87 games. A two-time all-conference honoree in lacrosse, she holds the program record for assists and wrapped her career as the third-leading scorer in program history. She was also a six-time NECC Academic All-Conference selection—as well as a member of Chi Alpha Sigma—and graduated with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.79.
Abate was a four-year letterwinner on the baseball team who majored in environmental science. He played in 131 career games while making 113 starts—at third base, designated hitter and second base—and during his time at Mitchell he led the Mariners to a pair of NECC titles. A two-time all-conference selection and a three-year team captain, he finished his career with 95 hits, 73 RBI, 106 runs scored, 89 walks and 18 stolen bases. A three-time academic all-conference selection and a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, he graduated with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75.
Wilbur Baratz Award
Established in memory of Mr. Baratz (an avid tennis player) by his widow, this award is given annually to the man and woman considered the best all-around athlete in the varsity sports program.
McCormack, a repeat winner of the award, was a three-sport athlete at Mitchell, competing on the cross country, basketball and lacrosse teams. She was a two-time all-conference selection in lacrosse—including a first-team nod in 2019—and ranks second in career scoring with 130 goals and 17 assists for 147 points. In 2018 she became just the fourth Mitchell women's cross country runner to garner all-conference status and the first since 2013. As a point guard on the basketball court, she played in 98 career games and ranks second all-time in school history with 353 assists. She also exceled inside the classroom, as she was a six-time NECC Academic All-Conference Team selection and a member of Chi Alpha Sigma.
Santiago was a four-year member of the men's basketball team who played in 101 games while making 100 starts. He was a three-time all-conference selection who was named NECC Rookie of the Year in 2016 and NECC Player of the Year in 2019. His 1,135 rebounds are the most in school history, and he also ranks third all-time in scoring with 1,653 career points. In 2019 he was one of five players in the region named to the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Team, becoming the first Mitchell men's basketball player to earn the honor. He was also a three-time academic all-conference selection and a member of Chi Alpha Sigma.
Awarded to the person who contributes most to the varsity athletics program by helping to promote excellence in all varsity sports. This person can be a student athlete, intern, team manager, or anyone associated with varsity sports. This year we have one recipient of this award.
Melendez, a four-year starter on the baseball team and a captain in his final season, played in 151 games and made 145 starts behind the plate. He holds the highest career fielding percentage in school history and also ranks second in putouts and third in runs scored, and his 140 career hits were the most of any member of the senior class. As one of 40 student-athletes in the country selected to the NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program in 2018, he represented Mitchell College at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis last year. He also served as a student ambassador on campus and was an avid supporter of all the athletic teams.
Michael T. Jenkins Memorial Award
This award is given each year to a baseball player who, through determination and love for the game, has overcome life's adversities and has become a member of the Mitchell College Baseball Team. It is given in memory of Michael T. Jenkins II, who died in a car accident in June of 1995. Michael attended Mitchell from 1994-1995 and was a member of the baseball team in the spring of 1995.
The Dean Roberts Distinguished Service Award
This award is designed to embody the concepts of leadership, selflessness, and overall commitment to team and sport. Dean would you please come up and present The Dean Roberts Distinguished Service Award.
Bing was a four-year member of the men's basketball team who was the epitome of a leader and good teammate. His selflessness and team-first mentality inspired those around him, and his effort on the court was always been exemplary. Off the field he was also a model student, serving as a student ambassador for Admissions, a resident assistant in the dorms, and a worker in the fitness center. He was also heavily involved in the Mitchell SAAC for the past three years and serves as the group's Project Manager, and he was a 2019 inductee into Chi Alpha Sigma.
Mitchell Athletics Wraps 2018-19 Season with Senior Banquet