Odie Delaney, Vanessa Aponte Named The Citadel's Athletes of the Year
The Citadel held its first-ever Athletics Awards Banquet at the Holliday Alumni Center on Monday with wrestler Odie Delaney and soccer player Vanessa Aponte taking top honors as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
An MVP and Academic award was also presented to athletes on each of The Citadel's 14 varsity teams.
Delaney capped off a 2011-12 season with his third trip to the NCAA Wrestling Championships and came within one match of earning All-America honors.
Delaney was the top seed in the heavyweight division at the 2012 Southern Conference Championships and was rarely challenged in his two matches, pinning Joe Nolan of Campbell in 44 seconds in the semifinals and posting a 9-0 major decision over No. 2 Kevin Malone of Chattanooga in the finals to win his third conference title in as many opportunities.
The Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., native carried over that momentum to gain a pair of victories on day one of the NCAA Championships, defeating opponents from Maryland and Michigan State. The following day, Delaney lost to a pair of seeded opponents, including the nation's No. 1 seed from American University.
Delaney finished the season with a remarkable 29-4 record, including 14 wins by fall, and was a perfect 15-0 in dual meets. In addition to his successes at the SoCon and NCAA Championships, he captured crowns at the All-Academy Championships and the Davidson Open.
In only two seasons at The Citadel, Aponte has made her mark on the school's record book, currently ranking sixth all-time with 13 goals and third with eight assists. Last season she set school records with 83 shots and 43 shots on goal and led the Bulldogs with eight goals and 19 points.
Aponte led the Southern Conference in shots while also ranking fourth in goals and fifth in points.
The Orlando, Fla., native had two contests where she posted two goals, including the season finale against crosstown rival College of Charleston to lead The Citadel to a 3-2 victory, the program's first-ever victory over the Cougars.
Twice during the 2011 season Aponte was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week and was also selected the ninth-best player in the conference according to topdrawersoccer.com's watch list.
MVPs and Academic Award Winners by Sport
Baseball: No MVP awarded (season still in progress); Academic - Nick Orvin
Basketball: MVP and Academic - Mike Groselle
Men's Cross Country: MVP - Kyle Keene; Academic - PJ Wasilchak
Women's Cross Country: MVP - Danielle McKee; Academic - Erinn Carter
Football: MVP - Derek Douglas; Academic - Preston Bailey
Golf: MVP - Erica Pelligrini; Academic - Alanna-Jean Keith
Men's Rifle: MVP - Robert Jackson; Academic - Matthew Bernard
Women's Rifle: MVP - Julia McCullohs; Academic - Julie O'Meara
Soccer: MVP - Mariana Garcia; Academic - Shanna Couch
Tennis: MVP - David Orces; Academic - Josh Cook
Men's Track and Field: MVP - Quintin Turner; Academic - Clay Allen
Women's Track and Field: MVP - Nicole Levermann; Academic - Micah Wessinger
Volleyball: MVP - Rachael Farrell; Academic - Cassie Uribe