Williams and Smither Named Alumni Association Athletes of the Year

April 28, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 28, 2009

NORFOLK, VA-- Wrestling All-American Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, PA.) and two-time All- CAA field hockey player Katelyn Smither (Suffolk, VA.) were named Athletes of the Year by the Old Dominion University Alumni Association, while senior Brittany Washko (Dunkirk, MD.) of women's lacrosse, and senior Aleksandr Seleznev (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) of men's tennis were named the 2009 recipients of the Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athletes of the year at the annual Old Dominion University Athletic honors banquet at the Ted Constant Convocation Center Tuesday night.

Ryan Williams became just the second ODU NCAA Division I wrestling finalist as well as the all-time leader in wins. The 141-pounder led the Monarchs to its highest team national ranking in school history, at 16th, as well as the highest individual ranking for a wrestler under head coach Steve Martin, at third in the nation. Williams finished the season with a 39-4 overall record, including a 22-1 performance in duals and a perfect 5-0 CAA mark. He is also a two-time first team national wrestling All-Academic selection. Williams, who won 137 career matches was honored by the Norfolk Sports Club back on April 20th with the Tom Scott Award as the most outstanding senior athlete for 2008-09.

Katelyn Smither is a two-time First Team All-CAA and All-State field hockey performer. She led ODU during the 2008 season with 11 goals, tying her for eighth in the CAA in goals per game. A pre-season CAA Player of the Year selection, Smither also added in three assists for 25 total points this season. She tied for third in the CAA in game-winning goals with three, and also tied for first in the CAA with five defensive saves. Smither is a three-time National Field Hockey All-Academic selection.

The Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athletes of the Year are presented to the male and female Senior athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. Both Howard and Wilkins were instrumental in the formation of the ODU Intercollegiate Foundation.

The male recipient is men's tennis standout Aleksandr Seleznev, the 2009 CAA Player of the Year. Seleznev compiled an impressive 29-9 record at No. 1 singles this season, including a 22-5 mark in dual match competition. The senior, who is ranked in the nations' top 70, has won 15 of his last 17 matches, including a victory over #12 Sanam Singh of Virginia. Seleznev also has a 21-6 mark in doubles with his partner Tobias Fanselow, earning both first team honors in the CAA. Seleznev will graduate with a double degree in Decision Science and Finance with a 3.81 grade point average.

The female recipient is Brittany Washko of the women's lacrosse team. Washko's stellar defense has helped the Lady Monarchs to a national ranking of 17th this season and a third seed in this week's upcoming CAA Championships. Washko has started all 15 matches for the Lady Monarchs and has 24 ground balls, along with 12 caused turnovers and 12 draw controls. The Lady Monarchs have beaten four nationally ranked teams, including its first ever win over ninth ranked Virginia. Washko will graduate with a 3.96 grade point average in dental hygiene.


Baseball: TBA (after completion of season) Men's Basketball: Gerald Lee (Uusikaupunki, Finland) Women's Basketball: Tiffany Green (Chesapeake, VA.) Field Hockey: Katelyn Smither (Suffolk, VA.) Men's Golf: Eric Onesi (Bear, DE.) Women's Golf: Alexis Garduno (Sacramento, CA.) Women's Lacrosse: Kelly Kimener (Oakton, VA.) Women's Rowing: Liz Hess (Ontario, Canada) Women's Sailing: Stephanie Roble (Troy, WI.) Coed Sailing: Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, PA.) Men's Soccer: Trevor Banks (Madison, WI.) Women's Soccer: Katie Watson (Woodbridge, VA.) Men's Swimming: Arni Arnason (Mosfellsbaer, Iceland) Women's Swimming: Erla dogg Haraldsdottir (Njardvik, Iceland) Men's Tennis: Aleksandr Seleznev (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) Women's Tennis: Nadine Fahoum (Haifa, Israel) Wrestling: Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, PA.)