Student-Athletes Win Awards

Posted: May 11, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Laura Kenney and Liz Paoli received the John H. Randolph Inspiration Award, and Jason Wight was honored as the Aimee Willard Commemorative Award winner, at the annual George Mason University student-athlete awards banquet on May 9. Head trainer Linda Pullen and student-athletes Keith Holden and Cara McFadden also were recognized.

Kenney, a 1999 graduate, and Paoli, a senior, both women’s lacrosse players, are George Mason’s first honorees of the Randolph Award. The Colonial Athletic Association established this award in memory of the College of William and Mary’s former athletic director, who died in 1995 after a courageous battle with cancer. The award recognizes those “who, through strength of character and human spirit, serve as an inspiration to all those around to maximize their potential and ability for success.”

On March 19, 1999, Kenney and Paoli were hit by a car while crossing a busy intersection during a road trip in Durham, N.C. Kenney remained in critical condition for weeks, while Paoli suffered a severely broken leg. Although Kenney was unable to resume her athletic career, she has made an incredible recovery from a life-threatening situation and continues to improve daily. Paoli returned to the team this season and ended her career as the school’s all-time goals leader (110) and second-leading scorer (127 points). Television features on Paoli and Kenney are tentatively scheduled to run today at 5:40 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. on WUSA-TV Channel 9.

Wight, a sophomore men’s volleyball player, won the Willard award, named after Aimee Willard, a star in soccer and lacrosse who was murdered in her hometown of Philadelphia in 1996. The award is presented to the George Mason student-athlete who best exemplifies the standards of quality set by Willard: intensity, consistency of purpose, achievement, and teamwork. Wight led the team with 335 kills and a 4.86 kills per game average, and was second in total aces (25) and aces per game (.36).

Pullen won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Appreciation Award, and senior basketball player Holden and senior lacrosse player McFadden won the ECAC Scholar-Athlete honors.

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