Rita Ciambra, Colin O’Donnell Awarded Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year Award at Senior Banquet

Colin O'Donnell
Men's Soccer
Jim Urquhart Award
Rita Ciambra
Women's Track & Field
Jim Urquhart Award
Paul DeTurk
Men's Track & Field
Tina True Award

Sara Heldman
Tina True Award

Joe Corsello
Men's Soccer
Athletic Director's
Excellence Award

Kaitlyn Dugan
Women's Track & Field
Athletic Director's
Excellence Award

Community Involvement Award

DURHAM, N.H.Rita Ciambra (Hanover, N.H.) of the women's track & field team and Colin O’Donnell (Hampden, Mass.) of the men’s soccer team were named the 2011 recipients of the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award 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 Paul DeTurk (Durham, N.H.) of the men's track & field team and Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.) of the volleyball team.

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.

The Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence, given for just the second 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 Joe Corsello (York, Maine – Environmental Engineering: Municipal Process) from the men's soccer team was the honoree, while Kaitlyn Dugan (Hatfield, Pa. – Chemistry/Pre-Med) from the women's track & field team was the female recipient.

Dugan was also feted with the Community Involvement Award. The award, presented for the first time, recognized Dugan's commitment to serving the University, the athletic department and the larger community over the course of her time at UNH. She volunteered as a coordinator and traveled two years to New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity as part of the spring break relief program. Additionally, she has been a Big Sister in a nearby community for four years and, in her Philadelphia-area hometown, has volunteered with the Variety Club Camp, which serves kids with permanent or temporary disabilities. On campus, Dugan has been an Honors Program mentor for three years,  was the only Hamel Scholars Program representative of the junior class for her college division, volunteered for move-in opening day crew and is a four-year member of Athlete's Intervarsity, currently serving as a member of the leadership team.

Ciambra, a graduate student on the women’s track & field team, continued her dominance in the pole vault with her third outdoor title at last weekend’s America East Championships. She took first place in the event with a cleared height of 13-feet, 7.25 inches, breaking her own school and America East Championship record.  

Ciambra is also a three-time indoor conference champion in the pole vault and capped off her indoor career with a title this past season, qualifying for the ECAC Championship by clearing 12-feet, 3.50 inches. Earlier this winter, she captured the event at the Boston Indoor Games with a height of 12-feet, 11.75 inches.

She was just as impressive academically earning the America East Scholar-Athlete award this past winter as one of just six student-athletes recognized by the conference for their performances both in their respective sports as well as in the classroom. Ciambra, a two-time member of the America East All-Academic Team, is pursuing a master's degree this year in secondary education after graduating Summa Cum Laude from New Hampshire with an undergraduate degree in biology.

O’Donnell was a major key to UNH's success this season, becoming the first goalkeeper to record three shutouts in the America East Tournament, as he earned All-Tournament Team honors and concluded his collegiate career with a shutout streak of 309 minutes, eight seconds. With the streak he increased his single-season shutout total to 10, tying the UNH record, while lowering his goals-against-average to 0.43, which is also a program single-season record and ranked No. 2 in the nation. Additionally, O'Donnell finished the year ranking first in the country with a .902 save percentage, allowing more than one goal just once in 17 matches. He was especially stellar at home, posting a 5-0-2 record with a 0.26 GAA, .946 save percentage and five shutouts as he stopped 35 of 37 shots on goal. His accomplishments did not go without merit, earning the America East Goalkeeper of the Year award and All-Conference First Team honors for the second consecutive year. Aside from his impressive GAA and save percentage numbers, he topped the America East in shutouts (10) and saves (74), while ranking third in saves per game (4.35). O'Donnell is a two-time America East scholar-athlete award winner and an America East All-Academic selection each of the last two years. He also earned first-team Academic All-District recognition from CoSIDA and was selected as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Men's College Scholar All-American this year, becoming just the second Wildcat all-time to achieve Academic All-American status.

DeTurk, a graduate student now in his third year as a thrower on the men’s track & field team, placed second in the hammer throw at the 2011 America East Outdoor Championships and will look to add to his lofty resume at the New England and IC4A Championships in the coming weeks. DeTurk opened the outdoor season with four top-5 finishes in the event, including a pair of first-place showings at back-to-back home meets, and went on to place seventh in the Championship Division at the prestigious Penn Relays. In the indoor season, DeTurk was always a top contender in the weight throw and finished runner-up in the event at the conference championships.

In 2010 as a senior, DeTurk was the America East outdoor track & field individual champion in the hammer throw with a distance of 61.97m. He went on to compete at the NCAA East Regional Championship and placed 37th in the hammer throw. He also placed 12th in the hammer at the IC4A Championships as well as second in that event at the New England Championships.

Heldman became the first America East student-athlete to earn both Setter of the Year and Defensive Specialist of the Year. In 2010, Heldman recorded 9.11 assists per set in addition to 2.76 digs per set. The senior served up 16 aces and recorded 26 blocks on the year. Heldman finished her final year at New Hampshire with a team-leading 13 double-doubles, earning Setter of the Week three times. Heldman ended her tenure in Durham with 104 digs and finished with 287 digs. She became the first player in program history to win Setter of the Year and is a two-time All-America East honoree. Heldman is just the second player in UNH history to record 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists.

Dugan, a senior multi-event specialist for the women’s track & field team, finished third in the heptathlon at last weekend’s America East Outdoor Championships and second at the Holy Cross heptathlon earlier in the season. Dugan enjoyed an impressive indoor campaign, highlighted by an individual title in the pentathlon at the New England Championships, and went on to place 11th in the event at the ECAC Championships.

Dugan, a viable threat in several events throughout her track & field career, enjoyed a second-place finish in the high jump at the 2010 outdoor New England Championships and a runner-up performance in the heptathlon at last season’s outdoor conference championships. For her impressive academic efforts, Dugan was named to the 2009-10 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team as well as the America East Track & Field All-Academic Team. 


Corsello ends his career with seven points on three goals and one assist after playing in 58 games at back for the Wildcats. In addition to his offensive productivity, he also provided stellar defense in the backfield throughout his career, as New Hampshire proved to be one of the top defensive teams in the conference each of the last two years. The environmental engineering major capped off his senior campaign collecting CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America First-Team and America East All-Academic Team honors for the second straight season. Additionally, he collected National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) scholar honors after being tabbed a Second-Team All-East selection as a senior and earning honorable mention status the year prior. He was also selected to the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll in both 2008 and 2009, while also picking up conference honor roll status in 2007. He also earned the H. Richard Sandler Award for academic achievement at the 2008 team banquet.

In addition to Ciambra, the women nominees for the Urquhart Award were Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.; field hockey), Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn; lacrosse), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine; skiing and track & field), Heldman (volleyball), Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario; swimming & diving) and Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.; gymnastics).

In addition to O’Donnell, the men candidates for the Urquhart Award were DeTurk (track & field), Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.; ice hockey) and Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.; 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)
2011- Rita Ciambra (women’s track & field), Colin O’Donnell (men’s soccer)

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)

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)

Community Involvement Award
2011- Kaitlyn Dugan (women's track & field)

View: Mobile | Desktop