Onchi and Taylor Named Catawba's Top Senior Athletes


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba College has announced its 2018-19 athletic award winners for its student-athletes.  The awards were presented at the annual athletic award ceremony held at the Keppel Auditorium on Tuesday, April 30. Heading the list of award winners were Erisa Onchi and Jameel Taylor, who were awarded the Lomax and Kirkland Awards for the top male and female senior athletes, and Elizabeth Webb and Robert Morrison, who were given the Wurster Awards for team leadership.

Onchi, a tennis player from Tokyo, Japan, was named the Lomax Award winner. She was a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection in singles and was honorable mention in double in 2016. Onchi won 44 career singles matches and another 40 in doubles.

Taylor, of Anderson, S.C., who played basketball, earned the Kirkland Award. He was a three-time all-conference pick and the 2019 league Defensive Player of the Year. Taylor was an all-region performer as a senior and finished as the school’s #4 career scorer with 1,863 points.

The Wurster Awards were established to honor a male and a female that demonstrate strong character, able leadership and an outstanding team-before-self attitude. Webb, a basketball player from Statesville, N.C., and Morrison, a lacrosse player from Warrenton, Va., earned this year's awards.

New awards this year was given to the male and female newcomers of the year. Freshman swimmer Carolin Albers, of Darmstadt, Germany, was the female winner and junior basketball player Marcell Haskett, of Newport News, Va., was the male honoree. Albers set four individual records on the year and was all-conference in the 500 free. Haskett was a second team all-conference pick, averaging 14.5 points and setting a school record with 82 three-pointers 

Women’s cross country runner, Nikki Elminowski, of Monroe, N.C., was given the Darrus Morris Comeback Player of the Year award for returning to action following a hip injury in 2016. The surgery took her out of action for the spring track season, but was able to return to action in the fall of 217.

Luca Picci, of Harare, Zimbabwe, and Marcia-Mariel Erhart, of Rodgau, Germany, were the recipients of the SAAC Award for the highest cumulative GPA’s for seniors. Picci, an economics and finance major that plays tennis, posted a 3.985 grade point average.  Erhart, a swimmer, had a 3.971 GPA while majoring in mathematics and psychology.     

The awards for team MVPs went to: Jeremy Simpson and Hunter Shepherd (Baseball), Jameel Taylor (Men's Basketball), Elizabeth Webb (Women's Basketball), Patience Hunt (Women's Cross Country), Kyle Rhodes (Men's Cross Country), Kenyatta Greene (Football), Tanner Bibey (Men’s Golf), Kaley Barts (Women’s Golf), Kevin Geiger (Men’s Lacrosse), Aryn Dorr (Women’s Lacrosse),  Hunter Faust (Men's Soccer), Jovana Sanchez (Women's Soccer), Jordan Dean (Softball), Carolin Albers (Women’s Swimming), Joao Miranda (Men’s Swimming), Ryen Reid (Men's Tennis), Sophie Hirsch (Women's Tennis), Darius Turner (Men's Track & Field), MeKayla White (Women's Track & Field), Allison Benton (Volleyball), Abby Chopelas (Cheerleading), MaKenna Pate (Dance), Burke Fulcher (Athletic Training) and Hayley Morgan (Sports Information).

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