– Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun,
Quebec) of the women's ski team and Bobby Butler
(Marlboro, Mass.) of the men's hockey team were named the 2010
recipients of the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year by the
University of New Hampshire athletic department at Tuesday
night’s annual Senior Banquet.
The award is named in memory of longtime UNH coach Jim Urquhart, who coached the New Hampshire men's lacrosse team for 17 years and the wrestling team for 11 seasons before taking the position of Associate Athletic Director of Event Management in 1997. He passed away after suffering a heart attack on Jan. 14, 1998.
The Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year Award began in 1999 and is bestowed annually upon UNH senior student-athletes who excel both in athletic competition and the classroom, as well as possessing great character, sportsmanship and a passion for sports.
The Tina True Memorial Award, given annually since 2007 to two Wildcat athletes for their commitment to strength and conditioning, was presented to Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) of the men's ski team and Ashlee Lathrop (Sherburne, N.Y.) of the women's track & field team.
The Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence, given for the first time in department history, is awarded to a male and female senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point-average. On the men's side Ben Jenkins (Francestown, N.H. - mechanical engineering) from the men's cross country and track programs was the honoree, while Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa. - mechanical engineering) from women's soccer and Jenny Luoma from the women's ski team (Maple Grove, Minn.- mechanical engineering) were were the female honorees.
True was a co-captain and coxswain of the women’s crew team from 2000 to 2002. Her commitment to training and her passion for her sport greatly contributed to the success of the team. In January of her junior year, Tina’s life was tragically cut short in a car accident.
Archambault-Leger truly epitomized the word student-athlete by excelling both in the classroom and on the ski slopes all four years as a UNH Wildcat. In her career, Archambault-Leger was a five-time All-American, four-time NCAA All-Academic Ski Team honoree and four time All-East selection who recorded 31 top-five finishes, including nine victories, in the Eastern carnival circuit. She served as captain in both her junior and senior seasons. Archambault-Leger's other career accolades included 2007 EISA Rookie of the Year, EISA slalom points champion in both '07 and '08 as well as giant slalom points champion in '07.
She finished with seven top-10 finishes during the 2010 EISA season, including first place in the slalom and third place in the giant slalom at the Eastern championships, and was UNH's top skier in five races. Archambault-Leger was particularly strong in the slalom, in which she raced to third place at both the Dartmouth and Vermont carnivals and did not finish lower than seventh at any carnival. She then raced to eighth place in the slalom at the NCAA championships to garner All-America accolades in her final race as a collegian. And she accomplished all that despite incurring three injuries during the year – a sprained thumb in the pre-season, a dislocated shoulder in the second week of the carnival season – she competed the following week and raced to third place in the slalom and ninth in the giant slalom – and a broken hand one week prior to the Eastern Championships.
Archambault-Leger will be graduating this month with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has a 3.92 cumulative grade-point-average, which is the highest in her class within her major, and that includes three semesters with a perfect 4.0 and no semester lower than a 3.81. Archambault-Leger was the recipient of four academic excellence awards in chemical engineering and also received a UNH Presidential Scholarship.
"Veronique is a truly amazing individual," UNH alpine head coach Brian Blank said. "Since her freshman year, she has been the top female skier for UNH, both athletically and academically. Her teammates look up to her and I have always valued her opinion when it comes to making tough decisions within the team.
"It is hard for me to express with words how highly I regard Veronique," Blank added. "I am proud to have been her coach. I look forward to watching her career beyond UNH."
Butler, UNH's first Hobey Baker "Hat Trick" finalist since Darren Haydar in 2001, collected his fair share of hardware as he was the 2010 Hockey East Player of the Year, 2010 Walter Brown Award winner, All-America First Team selection, Hockey East All-Star First Team, Hockey East Scoring Champion and Hockey East Three Stars Award winner. Butler enjoyed not only his best season as a Wildcat, but also arguably the greatest season by any Wildcat forward in recent history. Butler ranked first in the nation in goals with 29 and tied for second in points with 53. He also finished second in goals per game (0.74), fifth in points per game (1.36 ppg), 10th in short-handed goals (2) and 19th in game winners (4).
The co-captain, as voted by his teammates, was even better among Hockey East’s elite, where he rank first overall in goals, third in points, seventh in power-play goals, second in shorthanded goals and third in game-winning tallies. In conference play, Butler finished first in points (41) and goals (21), and sixth in assists (20). He became the first player in Hockey East to register 20 goals and 20 assists in league play since Krog.
Butler was one of just six male position players selected to represent the East Squad at the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge. Perhaps Butler’s most prized accolade is being named a Hockey Humanitarian Nominee. Butler was among a group of 18 players in all of college hockey in the running for the award that honors college hockey’s finest citizen, someone who gives back to his or her community. Butler was nominated for his work with a local middle school as well as several other meaningful projects in and around the Durham community. Butler also did not just skate by in the classroom. He will graduate later this month with a degree in Health Management and Policy with a 3.12 grade point average. He is a two-time Hockey East All-Academic Team member.
Butler’s stellar season is a fitting cap to his sparkling career. Butler became just the 67th player in program history to register 100 career points, doing so in extremely balanced fashion with 61 goals and 60 assists for 121 points. Butler’s 121 points is tied with Chris Winnes for 49th on the all-time scoring list at New Hampshire. Butler recently inked a two-year free-agent contract with the Ottawa Senators.
"Bobby is an exceptional young man who quietly led by example in the locker room, on the ice and, most importantly, in the community," UNH men's hockey head coach Dick Umile stated. "I believe Bobby's impact on our program, our campus and our community is certainly worthy of the Jim Urquhart Award."
Ford, who was named to the EISA All-Academic Intercollegiate Ski Team for the third consecutive year in 2010, recorded nine top-20 efforts, including five top-10 finishes, on the Eastern carnival circuit. His season highlights included fourth place in the slalom at the UVM carnival, fifth place in the giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival and three sixth-place finishes, including in the slalom at the EISA Championships. The senior alpine skier, who garnered All-America status in both the slalom and giant slalom as a junior, completed his Wildcat career by competing at the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive year.
Lathrop, a senior who competes in the throws events for both the indoor and outdoor track & field teams, won her second consecutive America East outdoor title in the hammer throw earlier this month. That was one of five first-place finishes on the season for Lathrop, who also took second place at the Penn Relays and third place at the New England Championships. She was honored as the America East Field Performer of the Week three consecutive weeks spanning April 6-20. During that time, Lathrop won her third consecutive title at the Larry Ellis Invitational (April 17) in which she recorded a school record throw of 55.51 meters.
In the 2009-10 indoor season, Lathrop broke a school record and garnered All-ECAC honors with a fifth-place finish in the weight throw at the ECAC Championships (March 6-7) with a mark of 17.54m. She had previously broke the school record during a third-place effort at the New England Championships. Lathrop was named to the America East All-Conference Team after winning a second consecutive title in the weight throw in which she established a school benchmark that she would surpass at the New England and ECAC championships.
In addition to Archambault-Leger, the women nominees for the Urquhart Award were Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta; volleyball), Helena Diodati (Scarborough, Maine; gymnastics), Lathrop (track & field), Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario; ice hockey), Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.; field hockey) and Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.; soccer).
In addition to Butler, the men candidates for the Urquhart Award were Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.; skiing), Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon; basketball) and Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.; football).
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)
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)
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)