CASTLETON, Vt. – The coaches and student-athletes of Castleton's winter sports gathered at the Casella Theater Tuesday night to celebrate the season's achievements and honor those who led their teams to success.
For the first time since taking over as Castleton University President, Dr. Karen Scolforo presented the President's Cup for Academic Excellence, awarded each season to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average. Due to eligibility rules relating to team size, the women's Nordic ski team (3.74 GPA) and the men's ice hockey team (3.535 GPA) were named co-recipients of the award for Winter 2018.
Men's Alpine Skiing
For the second consecutive year, the Castleton men's alpine ski team finished third at the USCSA National Championships, combining a second place finish in the slalom with a fourth place finish in the giant slalom. Team MVP Paul Rechberger won the slalom and combined national titles and finished third in the giant slalom to become a three-time All-American, plus he received Scholar All-American honors.
Women's Alpine Skiing
The Spartan women's alpine ski team produced its best-ever result at the USCSA National Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., combining a third place finish in the giant slalom with a program-best second place finish in the slalom to complete the championships in third place. Kylie Mackie received team MVP honors after becoming a three-time All-American and finishing eighth in the combined standings at the national championships.
The Castleton men's basketball team enjoyed high-scoring victories over Curry and Plymouth State as well as a win over eventual NAC champion New England College to end up at 9-9 within the league, qualifying for the NAC Tournament and pushing Colby-Sawyer to double overtime. Tondi Mushandu received the team MVP award after coming alive during conference play, averaging 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game against NAC opponents.
The Spartans returned to the top of the NAC standings in women's basketball, winning the regular season title with a 16-2 league mark as part of a 21-5 overall record, the team's sixth 20-win season over the past seven years. NAC Defensive Player of the Year Ashlie Fay received team MVP recognition after leading the squad with 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.9 steals per game.
Men's Ice Hockey
The highlight for the Castleton men's ice hockey team was its title in the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational on Thanksgiving weekend after one-goal wins over King's College and Brockport. Senior Trevor Hanna earned team MVP honors after playing in 25 games for the Spartans this season, earning five goals and seven assists, including the game-winning goal against Brockport in Castleton's holiday tournament.
Women's Ice Hockey
The Spartans earned their first-ever WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational title with one-goal victories over Salem State and Manhattanville, plus they won four of their last five regular season games to finish third in the NEHC standings and advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament. Hannah Rose was named team MVP for the second straight year after collecting five goals and 16 assists for Castleton in her final season.
Men's Indoor Track and Field
The Castleton men's track and field team saw competition at Smith College, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, and Boston University during the 2018 indoor season, breaking school records along the way. Team MVP Austin Beauregard qualified for the New England Division III Championships in the 60-meter hurdles and then broke his own school record with a time of 8.80 seconds at the meet to finish in 16th place.
Women's Indoor Track and Field
Several school records were broken by the Spartan women's track and field team during the 2018 indoor season as the team competed against some of the top participants from all three divisions at a variety of meets. Ally Stearns picked up her second straight team MVP award after qualifying for the New England Division III Championships in the weight throw, and then tying that mark of 14.35 meters to finish eighth in the meet.
Men's Nordic Skiing
The Castleton men's Nordic ski team once again qualified for the USCSA National Championships and improved one position from the previous year, finishing in seventh place in the final overall team standings. Jared Wheeler continually showed improvement throughout his first season of Nordic skiing to earn the team MVP award, eventually finishing in 41st place in the final standings at the national championships.
Women's Nordic Skiing
For the second straight year, the Castleton women's Nordic ski team qualified for the USCSA National Championships, using a program-best fourth place finish in the Classic sprint to move up to sixth place overall in the final standings, one spot higher than in 2017. Team MVP Megan Greene made history with a fourth place finish in the 15k Classic at the national championships, the highest placement by a Castleton Nordic skier, as she finished in a tie for sixth overall, earning four All-America awards along the way.
The Spartan wrestling team won 11 dual matches for the second straight year, finished 11th at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships, and boasted three All-Region honorees, one more than in 2017. Jesse Webb received the team MVP award after winning four tournaments in the heavyweight weight class, posting a 36-8 overall record, finishing fifth at the regional championships, and earning NWCA Scholar All-America honors.