Five Yale Students Win Sportsmanship Awards

Five Yale seniors who represent “the highest ideals of American sportsmanship” were presented athletic awards by Thomas A. Beckett, director of athletics, at the Yale College Senior Class Day exercises on Sunday, May 21.

Michelle Quibell (squash) and Joslyn Woodard (track) shared the 2006 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, presented annually to a female member of the senior class “whose excellence in the field of athletics and in her life at Yale best represents the ideals of sportsmanship and Yale tradition.” The Elliot Award is the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. This is only the second time in Yale history that there have been two winners: Twin sisters Kate and Laura O’Neill shared the honor in 2003.

The Elliot Award is awarded in memory of Nellie Pratt Elliot, who was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale for 46 years.

Quibell was a two-time national champion in women’s squash, a four-time Collegiate Squash Association All-American and the winner of the CSA national championship in both her sophomore and junior seasons. She reached the semifinals as a freshman and was injured her senior year but still advanced to the quarterfinals. Her overall record in dual matches was an impressive 35-8. She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2003 and was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in both 2004 and 2005.

Her impact on the team was immense. Yale won two Ivy League titles and three national championships during her career.

Quibell, an environmental studies major, also has excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-Ivy honors as a senior.

In addition to her success nationally and at Yale, Quibell has competed in squash tournaments all over the world. She was the first American to win the British Open under-17, considered to be the biggest junior tournament in the world.

A native of Roswell, Georgia, Quibell is is the daughter of Edward and Lana Quibell. She is a member of Trumbull College at Yale.

Woodard won 20 Heptagonal track and field championships, more than any woman in the history of the Ivy League. She holds the Yale indoor record in the 55, 60 and 200-meter dashes and the long jump and is the outdoor record holder in the 100- and 200-dashes and the long jump. She won 10 indoor Heptagonal titles and 10 outdoor titles. She was named the Outstanding Performer at the Indoor Heps her freshman and junior years and shared the honor as a senior. She was named the Outstanding Performer at the Outdoor Heps as both a junior and senior.

Two weeks ago at the outdoor Heps, Woodard broke the all-time Ivy record in the long jump (20’9”) and posted the second-best mark in the history of the 200-meter dash (23.73). Her victory in the long jump was her fourth straight, joining Army’s Diana Wills as the only four-time winner in outdoor Heps history. She won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in three of her four years.

At indoor Heps, Woodard is the only athlete in meet history to win four long jump titles. In addition, she captured three 60- and 200-meter dash crowns.

Woodard also excelled as a student. She was named Academic All-Ivy in outdoor track in 2004 and was named by “ESPN: The Magazine” to its Academic All-District I Track & Field team in 2005.

Woodard, a native of Irvine, Calif., is a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major and a resident of Trumbull College. She is the daughter of Christopher and Christann Woodard.

Julian Illingworth (squash) won the 2006 William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale. It is awarded “to the senior man who on the field of play and in life at Yale best represents the highest ideals of American sportsmanship and Yale tradition.” Illingworth’s inspirational acts on the court made him the perfect choice for the award named after the Yale Class of 1924 athlete.

Illingworth, who fashioned a 33-6 dual match record while earning first-team All-Ivy and All-America honors all four years, was ranked among the top three collegians for the last three winters. He is considered to be the best Yale squash player of all times.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Illingworth became the first Bulldog to win the U.S. National Championship when he won the 2005 S.L. Green Division at the U.S. Open at Boston, a few weeks after finishing his junior season ranked second among collegiate players. He repeated as 2006 U.S. champion last March, but this time as a professional who could take the winner’s prize.

Illingworth, a Berkeley College resident and political science major, began his Yale career by taking both the U.S. Junior Open and the Price-Bullington Invitational for amateurs. In addition, the Bulldog star teamed with Trevor Rees ’06 to take the trophy at the 2005 Intercollegiate Doubles Championships.

Illingworth’s impact on the Yale squad was immense. He helped the Elis finish among the top five in the collegiate rankings all four winters. Many students and area squash fans regularly packed the main court at the Brady Squash Center to watch his racquet wizardry and marathon stamina on the way to frustrating another top opponent.

Seniors Matthew Boshart, from Cary, North Carolina, and Zac Bradley, from Alexander, Arkansas, received the Yale Athletics Department’s Amanda D. Walton Award.

The award is presented to an outstanding athlete who has excelled on the field of play and who has shown spirit and courage in transcending unforeseen challenges.

Boshart, a member of the cross country and track and field teams, overcame a serious illness to become an Ivy League Champion as a member of Yale’s distance medley relay team this past season.

Boshart arrived at Yale as one of the most sought-after middle distance runners in the East, and delivered on that promise by earning All-East honors as a member of the IC4A champion distance medley relay team as a freshman. Diagnosed with bone cancer in his knee after struggling through his sophomore season, he vowed to return to competition for Yale as a junior. He did so, earning a standing ovation from his teammates when he stepped on to the track to compete in February 2005 — just three months after the conclusion of his chemotherapy treatment.

Bradley, a member of the baseball team, was a passenger in a traffic accident in January 2003 that claimed the lives of four fellow Yale students, including two of his teammates.

After being sidelined for the entire 2003 season with injuries that could have ended his career, Bradley returned to the field in 2004. He was responsible for one of the most dramatic victories in Yale baseball history that April, scoring the game-winning run in a 2-1 victory over Princeton by stealing home in the game’s final inning.

While injuries plagued him throughout his career, Bradley remained an inspirational leader for the Bulldogs. This past season, he helped Yale to 26 wins, tied for the second-most in school history.

The Walton Award is named after Amanda Walton ’02. Walton, a field hockey and lacrosse player at Yale, was involved in an automobile accident after her sophomore year. She overcame a coma and numerous injuries through hard work and determination, eventually returning to the Yale sideline as an assistant coach. In 2003 she received the NCAA Inspiration Award.

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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345