TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology athletic department presented Ruel Fox Burns Blankets to seniors Ellie Hong and Austin Swenson to highlight the 2017 Athletic Honors and Awards Banquet on Tuesday night.
The Ruel Fox Burns Blanket, presented to the department's top senior male and female athletes as voted by the coaching staff, has been presented to outstanding Engineer student-athletes since 1968.
Hong was a six-time All-American in swimming throughout a historic four-year career. She recorded NCAA finishes of 4th, 7th, 8th and 8th in the 200 backstroke, and also placed 6th and 7th in the 100 backstroke. Hong earned three CCIW individual championships and 10 all-league honors. She was also named 2016 CCIW Swimmer of the Year. Hong completes her career with five individual and five relay school records.
Swenson established 23 football school records and holds nearly every passing mark in the Fightin' Engineer football record book. His career totals include 756-1185 passing for 8,293 yards and 81 touchdowns. He also set single-game school records with 603 passing yards and seven touchdowns, while recording a school record 11 career 300-yard passing performances. The two-time second-team all-HCAC honoree was the starting quarterback for the first NCAA Division III playoff team in school history in 2016 and was a member of two league championship teams.
The athletic department also awarded the Rose-Hulman Varsity R Club Outstanding Senior of the Year Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by one male and one female student-athlete during their senior playing seasons.
Men's soccer player Dieter Schultz set a Rose-Hulman school record and led the HCAC with 13 assists. He also helped the team finish a perfect 9-0 on the field and win another HCAC regular season championship. His leadership and all-around play also helped Rose-Hulman outscore the opposition 39-12 this year. Over the last three years, he played on teams with a combined regular season record of 23-1-3.
Women's soccer player Miranda Chastain earned second-team all-conference this year and helped her team qualify for three conference tournaments in her playing career. She started 18 games at defender and had one assist this season. Her efforts helped Rose-Hulman achieve a winning season and allow just 25 goals on the campaign.
The John Logan Award is presented to the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average and competed in the same sport for four years.
Senior track and field pole vaulter Josh Blome earned the men's award after compiling a 3.93 grade point average during his academic career. The software engineering major earned the 2016 HCAC indoor pole vault conference championship and compiled seven career top-five finishes in conference pole vault events.
Women's volleyball player Melinda Buckrop earned the women's award with a cumulative grade point average of 3.91. The four-year varsity volleyball player recorded 68 kills and 34 digs in 53matches and 91 sets as a Fightin' Engineer. She also has three academic minors – with concentrations in environmental engineering, environmental chemistry and math.
The Samuel Hulbert Award, named for the President at Rose-Hulman who retired after 28 years of service in 2004 and passed away in 2016, is presented to the male and female senior athletes who contribute the most in terms of team spirit, sportsmanship and a determination to succeed. This year, two men's honorees shared the award in a vote among coaching staff members.
Winners included women's basketball player Abbie Marshall, men's tennis player Brandon Benedict and men's basketball player Wade Stallings. Marshall was a second-team all-HCAC selection in 2017 and finished her career ranked No. 1 in school history in games played, No. 5 in steals, No. 6 in assists and No. 10 in rebounds for the basketball team. Benedict is a four-time, first-team all-conference selection with more than 140 total tennis matches while helping lead the team to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Stallings scored 399 points with 210 assists, 129 rebounds and 73 steals as a four-year basketball letter winner, despite battling players significantly taller than himself on nearly every occasion.
Dedric Day received the John Mutchner Award, presented to the gentleman who has unselfishly given time and support to the athletic department. Day was honored for his efforts in serving as the first chair of the Rose-Hulman Varsity R Club Advisory Board, helping the alumni organization in its mission of reconnecting former players with the athletic department. Currently, Day serves as manager of IDM Injection Molding for Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis.
Jayme Brace received the Rosie Award, presented to the woman who has unselfishly given time and support to the athletic department. Brace was honored for her efforts as public address announcer for baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball home games in her four years, while providing support to the athletic department through her campus role as class President.
Benjamin Kulbago received the Jess Lucas Spirit Award, presented annually to an individual or group whose support of the athletic department moves above and beyond the norm. Kulbago spent the past four years a baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball or volleyball video broadcaster for the Fightin' Engineers, helping bring families and friends closer to Rose-Hulman sports action over the past four years.