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BU honors nine student-athletes at awards reception

Terrier seniors lauded for determination, leadership, and academic excellence

Colleen McClay was one of the top defenders to ever wear a BU field hockey uniform.

During their four years at BU, David Van der Gulik and Colleen McClay wielded their hockey sticks like magic wands. On April 20, as a result of the wonders they worked on the ice and on the field, respectively, they were named the University’s top athletes of the year.

Van der Gulik (CAS’06) is this year’s winner of the Mickey Cochrane Award, given annually to BU’s best male athlete. McClay (CFA’06) received the Mildred Barnes Award, which goes to the top female athlete. Cochrane (SMG’24), a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Detroit Tigers, is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Barnes (SAR’51, SED’56, ’61), who was elected to the BU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978, was a nine-sport athlete.

The first player in Hockey East history to net two hat tricks in one postseason tournament, Van der Gulik scored three goals in both this year’s conference quarterfinal game and the championship game. Field hockey tricaptain McClay, a second-team All-American, was instrumental in leading BU to the NCAA tournament and a 16-6 record last fall after the team claimed the America East regular season and tournament titles.

David Van der Gulik scored two hat
tricks in the Hockey East tournament.

They were among nine seniors honored at the annual student-athlete awards reception at the Metcalf Trustee Center. Jed Prescott (SAR’06) and Kara Vaneck (CAS’06), members of the BU golf teams, earned Student-Athlete Service Awards, while basketball standouts Kevin Gardner (CAS’06) and Rachael Vanderwal (SED’06) received the John B. Simpson Award, given each year to both a male and a female senior who has demonstrated enthusiasm and leadership. The award was named for former BU athletic director Simpson (SED’50,’54).

Three seniors received scholar-athlete awards: men’s crew Terrier Florian Mennigen (CAS’06), who was named to the CAS Honor Roll three times; men’s track cocaptain Lucjan Zaborowski (CAS’06), a four-year member of the America East Honor Roll; and Brittany McDonald (SAR’06) from the women’s soccer team, who earned Dean’s List status for three semesters.

Van der Gulik, after missing the first 15 games of the hockey season because of a groin injury, battled through pain and helped lead a team turnaround that pushed the Terriers to a 20-3-2 record in their last 25 games and their first league tournament title since 1997. The team cocaptain twice made the Hockey East Honor Roll during his shortened season and once was the league’s Player of the Week. After finishing March with eight goals in eight games, he was selected Player of the Month. In the 2006 Hockey East Tournament, Van der Gulik earned MVP honors and was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team.

McClay, a two-time selection to the all-region first team, tied for second on the field hockey team in assists this season with six, and two of her three goals were game winners. Her 22 career assists place McClay 10th on BU’s all-time list. She was named to the America East All-Conference First Team twice, was the Most Outstanding Player at this year’s conference tournament, and earned a spot on the 2005 America East Fall All-Academic Team. After concluding her field hockey career, McClay played goalkeeper for the lacrosse team. 

The Student-Athlete Service Award recognizes Terrier seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to serving BU, the athletics department, and the larger Boston community. Prescott, cocaptain of the men’s golf team, is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and has led numerous service initiatives during his career at BU, including SAAC’s Teddy Bear Toss and Habitat for Humanity projects. Vaneck is a cocaptain of the women’s golf team and also a SAAC member. She represented Boston University at the annual leadership conference last summer, as well as working in Greece at a therapeutic riding facility for people with special needs. She also organized a campus drive for donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina and participated in toy drives and reading programs to benefit local youth.

Simpson Award–winner Gardner not only led the men’s basketball team in scoring in 14 games, earning a spot on the America East All-Conference First Team, but as cocaptain also served as a mentor for the team’s seven newcomers. This past spring, Vanderwal was the leading point scorer on the women’s basketball team as the Terriers went to the America East championship game for the fourth straight year. She was the only player in the conference to be ranked among the top 10 in points, rebounds, and assists in the 2005–2006 season. Vanderwal is fifth on the Terriers’ all-time assist list, with 349.