The Castleton State College Department of Athletics honored the 2008-09 President's Cup Winners winter sports teams at an awards ceremony last week. All six teams were honored for a very successful winter sports season, and team most valuable player awards were given.
The event kicked off with the presentation of the annual President's Cup for Academic Excellence. The award is given out each season to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average.
Winning the award for the winter season was the men's ice hockey team, with a team grade point average of 3.357, edging out last year's recipient the women's ski team which attained a GPA of 3.25. The 2006-07 winner of the award, the women's basketball team ranked third with a team GPA of 3.18.
Team MVP Awards:
Men's Basketball: Kevin Cayea. Cayea earns his first-ever Most Valuable Player award in his final season. Cayea ranked third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.1 points per game and dished out a team-leading 104 assists. Cayea ends his career with 794 points, 211 assists and 143 steals. He was instrumental in the leadership and improvement of a young Spartan team in 2008-09.
Women's Basketball: Jessica Banks. Banks was named team MVP for the second-straight season. The senior point guard was named to the NAC All-Conference First Team for the second year in a row, averaging a team high 12.1 points. Banks also hauled in 4 rebounds per contest, while also leading the team with 106 assists. She ends her career with 1120 career points, becoming the eleventh player in Castleton history to achieve the milestone earlier this season. She also led the conference in assists-to-turnover ratio in each of her four seasons, compiling 426 assists and 182 steals for her career. Banks also ranks third all-time in three-pointers made with 205 and shot 36 percent from distance for her career. Banks capped her career with a North Atlantic Conference Championship, and led Castleton to its first ever berth in the NCAA National Tournament.
Men's Ice Hockey: Steve Culbertson. Culbertson earned his first MVP award in his third season with the Spartans. Culbertson ranked second on the team with 10 goals and 18 assists, and was instrumental in the team's success down thee stretch. Over the team's final nine regular season games, Culbertson scored five goals and dished out seven assists, as Castleton went 8-1 over that span earning the second seed in the ECAC East Tournament.
Women's Ice Hockey: Adrian Riggio. Riggio earns her first Most Valuable Player award in her final season at Castleton. The forward ranked second on the team with five goals and six assists and led the Spartans to a berth in the ECAC East Tournament.
Men's Skiing: Justin Schwartz. Schwartz was named Most Valuable Skier for the third time in his four-year career, leading the team to a tenth place finish at the USCSA National Championships in March. The senior earned a spot on the ECSC All-East Region squad, placing fifteenth in the overall competition at the ECSC East Regional Championships. Schwartz also earned a spot on the ECSC All-Thompson Division Team, finishing tied for second in the overall standings at the end of the season. Schwartz wraps up a four-year career in which he ranks first all-time in wins with 13, podium appearances with 24 and top-10 finishes with 33.
Women's Skiing: Heather Patterson. Patterson wins her second Most Valuable Skier award as a junior. Patterson finished third overall in the ECSC Thompson Division, earning a spot on the All-Division Team. Patterson ranks first all-time in top-10 finishes with 29.