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Date: May 27, 2003
Contact: Brian Laubscher (540) 458-8676
Release: Upon Receipt

Duo Named Washington and Lee Senior Athletes Of The Year

Front Row: Jeremy Franklin, Erika Proko, Chris Sullivan.
Back Row: John Melillo, Katharine Lester, Kelli Austin

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Seniors Erika Proko (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) and Chris Sullivan (San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights) headed the list of honorees at the annual Washington and Lee University Athletic Awards Ceremony on May 27 at W&L's Lee Chapel. Proko was named the Pres Brown Outstanding Senior Female Athlete, while Sullivan was the male recipient of the award.

Proko was a four-year letterwinner and a team captain as a senior for the women's tennis team. A four-time First Team All-ODAC selection and the 2003 ODAC Player of the Year, Proko finished her career earning All-America accolades six times, the most-ever by a W&L women's tennis player. She posted a school-record 104 career doubles wins and ranks third in W&L history with 92 singles victories. This season, Proko helped the Generals to a second-place finish in the Division III National Championships and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.

Sullivan was a four-year letterwinner for both the football and track teams, serving as team captain for the track team his final two seasons and captaining the football team as a senior. As a running back in football, Sullivan set numerous school records, including career rushing (3,140) and career all-purpose yards (5,931). A finalist for the 2002 Gagliardi Award given to the Division III Player of the Year, Sullivan was a three-time All-ODAC selection. In addition, he was named the 2002 Virginia College Division Player of the Year and garnered Third Team AP Little All-America honors in 2001 after leading Division III in all-purpose yards (2,024). In track, Sullivan twice won the ODAC long jump title, while also setting the school indoor long jump record.

In other major awards handed out at the ceremony, senior football player John Melillo (Forney, Texas/Belle Plaine) received the William McHenry Scholar-Athlete Award after carrying a 4.055 grade-point average while majoring in English. A three-year starter on the offensive line, Melillo received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was named a First Team Verizon Academic All-American this past season.

Senior swimmer Kelli Austin (Niles, Mich./Niles) was named the recipient of the Wink Glasgow Spirit & Sportsmanship Award. Austin earned First Team All-ODAC honors each of her four years and was a member of two school-record holding relay teams.

Football player and track athlete Joe Greenhill (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) was named the Outstanding Freshman Male Athlete of the Year, while field hockey and lacrosse player Katharine Lester (Wilmington, Del./Friends) was named the Outstanding Freshman Female Athlete of the Year. Greenhill started all 10 games at defensive back for the football team, recording 38 tackles and a team-high eight pass breakups. In track, he competed in the sprint events, producing two of W&L's top times in the 60- and 200-meter dashes. As a defender in field hockey, Lester tallied one assist and helped the Generals defense allow an average of just 1.72 goals per game en route to garnering Honorable Mention All-ODAC honors. In lacrosse, she helped lead the Generals to a school-record 15 wins and an ODAC Championship by totaling 28 goals and one assist.

Larry Boetsch, University Provost, was honored with the R.E. "Chub" Yeakel Memorial Service Award for his support of Washington and Lee athletics over the years. Junior Jeremy Franklin received the Lefty Newell Memorial Award for his contributions to the W&L athletics program via WLUR's sports broadcasts, while junior Mandi Kimble (Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day School) received the Richard Miller Physical Education Scholarship.


Contact: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director
PO Drawer 928
Lexington, VA 24450
Phone: 540-458-8676