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Seven Athletes Honored for Excellence

River Hawks Recognized for Achievements in Classroom, Community

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By Pete Souris

Seven UMass Lowell athletes were honored for excellence on the playing field, in the locker room, the classroom and in the community at the Athletic Department’s Annual Senior Salute dinner at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center.

The goaltender for the Hockey East Tournament Champion River Hawks and two sprinters from the Women’s Track and Field Team earned the Lester H. Cushing Award as the University’s top athletes. Sophomore Connor Hellebuyck of Commerce, Mich., was honored as the outstanding male athlete.  Senior Elisabeth Monty of Charlton and junior Taelour Murphy of Salisbury shared the women’s award.

For Hellebuyck, it has been a post season of honors. He earned the Hockey East Tournament Most Valuable Player Award, for the second straight season, after turning in back-to-back shutouts in the semifinal and championships games. He was also honored as an All-American, the conference’s First Team All Star goalie and was the recipient of the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s netminder.  Hellebuyck led the country with a 1.79 Goal Against Average and a .941 Save Percentage.

Monty and Murphy launched a relentless assault on the UMass Lowell Track and Field record book. Monty’s name appears next to five individual track records, two of which were set during the most recent indoor season. Murphy’s moniker is attached to four individual records, all set this year.  Both are part of two relay team records.

Track athletes were also honored with the David Boutin and Laurie Mann awards.  The award is presented to the top male and female stu- dent-athletes based on athletic and academic excellence as well as service to the University and/or surrounding community.

Senior Keith Lewis of Nashua, N.H., earned the Boutin Award and senior Candace Greene of Annapolis, Md., was honored with the Mann Award. Lewis, a multi-event competitor, scored points in four different events at the America East Outdoor Championships, was active in student government and in a variety of fundraising projects.

Greene, a throws specialist, won the America East shot put championship in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.  She was active in student government and in various charitable events on and off  campus.

The University also spotlighted the contributions and achievements both on and off  ice by hockey captain senior Josh Holmstrom  of  Colorado Springs, Colo. Holmstrom was named the recipient of the Jon Hellstedt Spirit of Service Award given to the student-athlete who effectively uses sport to strengthen communities and improve lives. The award is not given annually, but rather on those occasions when it has been earned.

During his four years in River Hawk colors, Holmstrom took part in various community reading programs and charity drives, but may have made his greatest contributions working with Team Impact and the Byrne Family children as they dealt with the effects of a life-threatening illness.  Holmstrom was a frequent visitor to the family home and gave freely of his time to be with Dan, Andrew and Carolyn Byrne and make them feel part of the university’s hockey program.

Senior goaltender Doug Carr of Hanover was also recognized for his leadership contributions to the hockey program.  Carr was named the winner of the River Hawk Award.

The Men’s Golf and Women’s Soccer teams were honored for their work in the classroom.  Each earned the Bob Griffin Academic Award. Golf carried an overall grade point average of 3.26. Women’s Soccer had the highest score recording a 3.28 GPA.