O’Neill, McCandless Awarded Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year Honors at Annual Senior Awards Banquet

DURHAM, N.H. – Seamus O’Neill (Manchester, N.H) of the football team and Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) of the women’s swimming and diving team were named the 2013-14 Jim Urquhart Student-Athletes of the year by the University of New Hampshire athletic department. The award was handed out on Tuesday night at the Senior Awards Banquet at Huddleston Hall.

The Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award, which was established in 1999, is named in memory of longtime UNH coach and administrator Jim Urquhart, who coached the men’s lacrosse team for 17 seasons and mentored the wrestling program for 11 seasons. He served as the University’s associate athletic director of event management from 1997 until he passed away after suffering a heart attack Jan. 14, 1998. The Urquhart award is bestowed upon senior student-athletes who excel in both athletic competition and in the classroom, as well as possessing great character, sportsmanship and a passion for sports.

O’Neill, who graduated in December with a Kinesiology: Sport Studies degree, was a stalwart on the Wildcats’ offensive line for four straight years. After working his way into the starting lineup as a right guard on the opening day of his redshirt freshman season (2010), O’Neill shifted to left tackle as a sophomore and showed tremendous durability by starting the remaining 38 games of his career from 2011-13.

The second-generation Wildcat was a three-time All-CAA selection (Third Team-2011, First Team-2012, Third Team-2013) who served as a co-captain during his senior season and was presented with the program’s Bo Dickson Spirit Award in March. In 2012, O’Neill was named an ECAC All-Star and received Beyond Sports Network All-America Honorable Mention.

Among the team achievements during O’Neill’s tenure: two Colonial Clash victories (2010-11) against UMass at Gillette Stadium; four straight NCAA playoff appearances, which extended the nation’s longest current streak to 10 years in a row; the 2012 co-CAA championship and, this past season, the first Division I national semifinal appearance in school history.

McCandless, who will graduate with magna cum laude distinction in May with a degree in molecular & cellular biology/biochemistry, owns the all-time UNH record in the 500- (4:51.20, 2013) 1,000- (10:00.97, 2011) and 1,650-yard freestyle (16:35.31, 2011), leading the Wildcats to three conference titles in four years (ECAC, 2011; America East, 2013; America East, 2014). In addition, McCandless is also associated with the program’s fastest relay times in the 200-(1:41.70, 2011) and 400-yard medley relay (3:34.89, 2011).

At the America East Swimming & Diving Championships, McCandless became just the fifth swimmer in conference history to win the same event all four years (1,650-yard freestyle). Over her collegiate years competing at the America East Championships, the two-time conference Scholar Athlete of the Year (2012 & 2014), racked up the most points (215) among all league swimmers to earn the David Alexander Coaches' Award. 

Furthermore, McCandless was bestowed the Dean Williamson Award, which goes to a senior who has been outstanding and well rounded in extracurricular activities, scholarships, athletics and loyalty to UNH.

In addition to O’Neill, the other men’s nominees for the Urquhart Award were men’s basketball captain Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) and men’s soccer captain Jeffrey Turner (Blandon, Pa.).

The other women’s nominees for the Urquhart Award were Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) of the gymnastics team, Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) from the field hockey team, Jamie DePetris (Radnor, Pa.) from the women’s lacrosse team, Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) from the women’s basketball team, and Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) from the volleyball team.

The Tina True Memorial Award, which is given to athletes that exemplify commitment to strength and conditioning, was presented to Chris Setian (East Longmeadow, Mass.) of the football team and Hogan of the women’s basketball team. The Tina True Memorial Award is named in memory of the co-captain and coxswain of the UNH women’s rowing team from 2000-02 whose life was tragically cut short in an automobile accident.

Setian, who will graduate with a degree in kinesiology: physical education pedagogy, played in 51 games during his career with the Wildcats. Setian joined the team in 2009 as a walk-on and through dedication and hard work, became a starter and eventually captained the team in his senior year. He scored 18 total touchdowns, including eight scores during his senior campaign. Setian earned the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award three times during his career and was named the Bill Bowes Coaches Award recipient during in 2014.

Hogan, who will graduate with a degree in psychology with a minor in education, served as a three-year co-captain for the women’s basketball team. The Nashua, N.H. native earned America East All-Conference First Team honors and finished her career as the program’s all-time free throw percentage leader (.807). Furthermore, Hogan also ranks third in UNH women’s basketball history in assists (375), fourth in 3-pointers made (162) and 10th in points scored (1,181). The two-time America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient guided the Wildcats to back-to-back conference tournament semifinal appearances (2012-13, 2013-14) and the most wins (19) in a single season since the 1998-99 season during the 2013-14 campaign.

The Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Excellence, presented annually since 2010 to the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point averages, went to a pair of alpine skiers: Kris Hopkins (North Andover, Mass.) and Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario).

Hopkins, who will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, has maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.90 over his four years at UNH. Hopkins qualified for NCAAs for the second year in a row, though it was his first opportunity to compete. The senior, who missed out on the 2013 championships due to the three-skier-per-school limit, placed 26th overall this year at the national meet. Hopkins also performed well at the EISA Championships, earning a sixth-place finish in the giant slalom. His top slalom race of the season occurred at the UNH Carnival (Jan. 25), where he zoomed to sixth place at Cannon Mountain. For his efforts in the classroom, Hopkins was named to the National Ski Coaches All-Academic Team twice during his tenure at UNH.

A business administration major with a focus in accounting, Rozinowicz will graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.94. After missing all of last season due to injury, the alpine co-captain registered the East's No. 17 ranking in 2014 to qualify for the NCAA Championships. She was No. 11 in the giant slalom, with season highlights including seventh place at UVM and sixth at Colby in the first two races of the season. Her best slalom result was 11th at Colby. Rozinowicz posted UNH's top giant slalom results at the 2011 NCAAs at Vermont and the 2012 NCAAs at Montana State. The senior co-captain was named to the National Ski Coaches All-Academic Team in 2014, taking home the honor for the third time in her career.

The Community Involvement Award, which debuted in 2011, was awarded to Turner of the men’s soccer team. The senior had a deep presence both on the field and in the community during his four-year career. He has been involved in community services since 2011 when he participated in the Highway Cleanup in Dover, N.H. During the summer of 2012, Turner spent two weeks in Nicaragua working to improve multiple aspects of life in the country. He taught English lessons and helped with the Woman in Action program, helped build a water irrigation system for a family in La Paz, and taught jewelry making and helped build craft projects for the Deaf Blind Project. Presently, Turner is a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast as he is a big to a nine-year-old boy. “Bigs” form mentoring relationships to help every child dream bigger, relate better and feel more confident. Turner has also participated in multiple camps put on by the men’s soccer program, helping teach children the fundamentals of soccer.

Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year
1999- Jerry Azumah (football), Jason Krog (men's ice hockey), Melanie Morin (women's cross country, track)
2000- Orsi Farkas (women's basketball), Kyle Schneck (men's cross country, track), Mike Souza (men's hockey)
2001- Colleen Christopher (women's lacrosse), Ty Conklin (men's hockey), Ryan DiNunzio (men's soccer), Andrea Encarnacao (women's soccer)
2002- Amy DeCamp (women's cross country, track), Darren Haydar (men's hockey)
2003- Greg Blaisdell (men's skiing), Marcie Boyer (field hockey)
2004- Lesley Read (women's track/cross country), Steve Saviano (men's hockey)
2005- Chiara Best (women's soccer), Ben Sturgill (men's basketball)
2006- Amanda Hall (gymnastics), Derek Stank (football)
2007- David Ball (football), Danielle Clark (women’s basketball)
2008- Cathy Parker (women’s cross country/track), Kevin Regan (men’s ice hockey), Ricky Santos (football)
2009- Kacey Bellamy (women’s ice hockey), Sean McNamara (men’s skiing)
2010- Veronique Archambault-Leger (women's skiing), Bobby Butler (men's ice hockey)
2011- Rita Ciambra (women’s track & field), Colin O’Donnell (men’s soccer)
2012 – Denise Beliveau (women’s basketball), Brian McNally (football)
2013 – Matt Evans (football), Keely Maguire (women’s track & field, cross country)
2014 – Seamus O’Neill (football), Lauren McCandless (women’s swimming and diving)

Tina True Memorial Award
2007- Aaron Brown (football), Erin Moore (women’s track & field)
2008- Emmy Blouin (volleyball), Jeff Pammer (football)
2009- Kacey Bellamy (women’s ice hockey), Tom Bishop (football)
2010- Willie Ford (men's skiing), Ashlee Lathrop (women's track & field)
2011- Paul DeTurk (men’s track & field), Sara Heldman (volleyball)
2012 - Kate Early (women’s track & field, basketball), Brice Paey (men’s track & field)
2013 – Katie Brock (women’s ice hockey), Chris Zarkoskie (football)
2014 – Chris Setian (football), Kelsey Hogan (women’s basketball)

Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence
2010- Ben Jenkins (men's cross country, track), Ally Yost (women's soccer), Jenny Luoma (women's skiing)
2011- Joe Corsello (men’s soccer), Kaitlyn Dugan (women’s track & field)
2012 – Paul Atkinson (men’s skiing), Jacky Mendes (women’s track & field)
2013 – Liz Guiney (women’s skiing), Erik Lindgren (men’s skiing)
2014 – Kris Hopkins (men’s skiing), Laura Rozinowicz (women’s skiing

Community Involvement Award
2011 – Joe Corsello (men’s soccer), Kaitlyn Dugan (women’s track & field)
2012 – Paul Atkinson (men’s skiing), Jessy Dick (volleyball)
2013 – Chris Zarkoskie (football)
2014 – Jeffrey Turner (men’s soccer)
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