April 30, 2007
EASTON, Pa. - At the Senior Student-Athlete Awards Reception on Monday afternoon, the Lafayette Athletic Department announced the recipients of the department's most prestigious awards, the Class of 1913 and the Charles L. Albert trophies. Football's Jonathan Hurt and Brad Maurer swept the male awards, while Veronica Canto-Ponce of volleyball and Lori Cooper of track and field also took home hardware at the event, which was held at the Pfenning Alumni Center's Wilson Room on campus.
The Class of 1913 Trophy is presented annually to the senior male and female student-athletes who have attained the greatest distinction both as an athlete and a scholar as voted on by the head coaches and administration.
Maurer has become the epitome of a Lafayette student-athlete during his four years at Lafayette. He came to College Hill as a Marquis Scholar, the highest level of scholarship awarded by the College to an incoming freshman and has upheld that status ever since.
He boasts a 3.51 grade-point average as a Neuroscience major and Spanish minor and is also a member of Lafayette's EXCEL Scholar program. He has performed research that has included a study of the mating behaviors of zebra finches with Professor Wendy Hill, and examination of the lyrical poetry of the "bolero," a Latin American music style, with Professor George Torres.
Maurer has excelled in both arenas of his life during his tenure at Lafayette. He led the Leopards to their first three postseason appearances in school history, earning the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs in 2004 and 2006, and an at-large bid in 2005. He is also one of four Lafayette players to be named MVP of the Lafayette-Lehigh game, the most-played series in the history of college football, twice in their careers. Maurer joined Jonathan Hurt as the first teammates to earn co-MVP honors following the Leopards' 49-27 victory in the 142nd meeting last fall. He was the third straight Leopard to win the Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award this past season, following teammates Stephen Bono in 2004 and Maurice Bennett in 2005.
Cooper has also managed to showcase her time management skills during her time at Lafayette. A four-year letter winner on the Outdoor Track and Field team, she has made the finals in three straight Patriot League Outdoor Championships in the javelin.
She ranks second in school history in the javelin and has improved her distance over 30 feet since she came to College Hill. A four-time ECAC Championships qualifier, Cooper will be heading to Princeton University, the site of this year's ECAC Championships, in two weeks to compete in the javelin for the fourth consecutive year.
In the classroom, Cooper has seen her name on the Dean's List in all seven semesters at Lafayette. She has been recognized on the Patriot League Student-Athlete Honor Roll for the past three years and is currently completing her thesis in Neuroscience. She was named the EXCEL Scholar for 2005-2006 by the Neuroscience Department and is the co-author of three publications with Professor Robert Dearworth.
The Charles L. Albert '08 Trophy is awarded to the senior male and female student-athletes who are judged to be the most outstanding athletes as voted on by the head coaches and administration.
This year the department voted Hurt, one of the most decorated tailbacks ever to don the Maroon and White, its 2007 Albert Award Recipient. Hurt will forever be remembered for reeling in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Pat Davis '06 to give Lafayette its second straight Patriot League Championship in a 23-19 win over Lehigh in 2005. Although that certainly serves as a career highlight, the list of Hurt's accomplishments extends far beyond just one catch.
The 2006 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Hurt was simply phenomenal against Patriot League competition this season. He ran for 124.5 yards per game, averaged 6.3 yards per carry, and scored 12 touchdowns in the six league contests. He missed the final three quarters at Fordham after leaving with a mild concussion, and averaged 142.8 yards rushing, 170.8 all-purpose yards and 15.6 points per game in the other five contests.
Hurt is sixth all-time at Lafayette with 2,534 rushing yards and ranks third in career rushing touchdowns with 33. He collected MVP hardware following the Lafayette-Lehigh games in both 2005 and 2006.
The 2007 Female Charles L. Albert Trophy was awarded to right side hitter Canto-Ponce. She undoubtedly goes down as one of the program's most prolific players for an entire four years. Her ability to change the game and thrust Lafayette volleyball into the Patriot League Tournament for the first time in 10 years will serve as a legacy. She holds nine Lafayette records, including career kills with 1,600 and career aces with 250. She is a two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection and was named to the second team as a sophomore and all-rookie team as a freshman.
Canto-Ponce captained this year's club that posted the most wins at 18-10 since 1986 and made its first post-season appearance in the conference tournament since 1995. The La Jolla, Calif. native punctuated her career with mention on the Patriot League All-Tournament team. She still holds the NCAA Division I record for aces in a three-game match with 15 against Delaware State in 2003.
The athletic department honored all senior-student athletes at the reception, as all were awarded commemorative plaques for their time spent in a Lafayette uniform.