DURHAM, N.H. – Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) were named the 2009 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 as 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 Bellamy and Tom Bishop (Newfield, N.Y.), a senior punter/placekicker on the football 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.
Bellamy had a highly decorated career on UNH’s women’s ice hockey team that was capped off as an RBK All-America First Team selection this season. The senior captain ranked third in the nation in defensemen scoring with 28 points (6g, 22a) in 35 games. She recorded three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 21 Hockey East league games as well as 4-10-14 in 17 games against nationally-ranked teams. Bellamy ranked second on the team in plus/minus and third in assists. Her season highlights included a four-assist game against intrastate rival Dartmouth College that marked personal bests in both assists and points.
Bellamy’s other 2009 accolades included New England All-Star Team, Hockey East First Team All-Star and Hockey East Tournament MVP. She was the recipient of the Colleen Coyne Award (best defenseman) for the second consecutive year at the team banquet and also received the Karyn Bye Award (MVP) this year.
In 143 career games, Bellamy amassed 27 goals and 80 assists for 107 points. Among UNH defensemen, those numbers rank second in games played and third in both assist and points. In fact, she finished just one point shy of the benchmark of 108 career points. In Bellamy’s four years, the Wildcats swept the Hockey East regular season and tournament championships every year; the ’Cats also competed in the NCAA tournament all four years and advanced to the Frozen Four twice.
|JIM URQUHART AWARD|
|TINA TRUE AWARD|
Bellamy will graduate with a degree in women’s studies. She has been involved in numerous community service activities including the Big Sister program, various clean-up days, Read Across America and visits to patients at a local brain trauma center.
“Kacey is one of those rare athletes who possess a combination of elite athleticism coupled with unusual humility,” women’s ice hockey head coach Brian McCloskey said. “She has an incredible work ethic, a tenacious, competitive spirit and a sincere concern for the welfare of her teammates. She is easily the finest leader that I have ever worked with. Kacey is simply one of those special individuals that comes along once or twice in a long career – someone who quietly goes about their business of contributing, improving and helping make those around them better.”
McNamara was a four-year standout on the men’s alpine ski team as he competed at the NCAA Ski Championships all four years. He finished fifth in the slalom at the 2009 NCAAs to earn his fourth career All-America award. He also was an All-East First Team honoree this year and capped the Eastern carnivals by winning the giant slalom and placing second in the slalom at the EISA championships.
McNamara finished in the top 10 in all 12 carnival races this season with 10 top-5 finishes overall to help lead UNH to the highest men’s alpine team score in 11 of 12 events. He was the top ’Cat six times and that included both Middlebury Carnival events in which he was second overall in the slalom and third in the giant slalom. He also earned second place in the UVM slalom and UNH giant slalom.
McNamara garnered All-America status last year with a 10th-place finish in the giant slalom; he also took 13th in the slalom. In 2007, he placed 12th in the slalom. As a freshman, McNamara was a two-time All-America honoree for finishing fifth in both disciplines. His efforts led the ‘Cats to a pair of ninth-place finishes and two other 11th-place efforts at the NCAAs.
In addition to those athletic accomplishments, McNamara is a four-time selection to the NCAA All-Academic Ski Team, which requires a minimum grade point average of 3.50 and competition in a regional championship.
McNamara was a three-year member of SAAC and served as co-president this year. He has been involved in UNH committees, the Big Brother program and has both organized and participated in numerous charity projects and fundraisers. McNamara has earned High Honors every semester and will graduate with a degree in exercise science and aspirations of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
“Sean is one of the most talented athletes that I have worked with,” UNH alpine coach Brian Blank said. “He is a natural leader and has earned the respect and admiration of his teammates through his hard work and dedication. He strongly believes that being a student-athlete means it is his duty to balance his academic and athletic schedule. Sean’s commitment and success is contagious and it allowed our entire team to rise to his level. His presence as a skier will have an impact on our team for years to come.”
Bishop averaged a UNH-record 41.3 yards per punt this season and pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line on 20 of 42 punts; he also recorded eight punts of 50+ yards. Bishop was the team’s second-leading scorer with 70 points. He made 11 of 14 field goal attempts and was 37-for-38 on PATs. Bishop was named to both the CAA All-Conference Second Team and All-Academic Team in 2007 and 2008.
Bishop was key to the Wildcats finishing the 2008 season with a 10-3 overall record, winning the CAA North Division title, making their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA FCS Tournament and advancing to the FCS quarterfinals for the fourth time in the past five years.
In addition to Bellamy, the women nominees for the Urquhart Award were Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.; field hockey), Sarah Hall (Nottingham, N.H.; track & field), Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.; soccer), Justine Turner (Salem, N.H.; gymnastics), Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.; lacrosse) and Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.; skiing).
In addition to McNamara, the men candidates for the Urquhart Award were Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.; football), Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.; ice hockey) and Kyle Urso (Lombard, Ill; 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)
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)