LOS ANGELES — Six senior student-athletes took home special awards for their athletic and academic performance throughout their Occidental College careers at the 2012 Roy Dennis Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Saturday.
Eric Kleinsasser (Glendale), who became the first SCIAC male athlete to earn athlete of the year honors in each of his four seasons as a cross country runner, and Tessa Bailey-Findley (Anaheim Hills), a four-time Academic All-American and two-time All-American with the women’s water polo team, were honored with the Roy Dennis Senior Scholar-Athlete award for achieving the “most in academics in athletics” during their time at Oxy.
Occidental President Dr. Jonathan Veitch, athletic director Jaime Hoffman, economics professor Woody Studenmund and Oxy baseball player Joshua Throckmorton spoke to an audience of more than 250 people during the presentation that included a photo slide show recapping the athletic season.
The Tiger Club has sponsored the annual event since 1987 as a way of recognizing athletic and academic achievements of graduating Occidental student-athletes.
Roy Dennis Scholar-Athlete Award
ABOUT THE AWARD: From 1934 to 1970, Roy Dennis was a major factor in the growth and development of Occidental Athletics. Before being named Director of Athletics in 1945, Coach Dennis led the football, basketball, and baseball programs. As football coach, he established the Occidental record for most victories with a record of 53-40-4, a mark that stood until 1989. Dennis’ legacy lives on in our trophy room and senior scholar banquet both of which are named after the legendary coach and director of athletics.
Eric Kleinsasser, men’s cross country
Kleinsasser became the first male athlete in the history of the SCIAC to be named the athlete of the year is his sport all four years earlier this fall. He is a four-time All-SCIAC, four-time Academic All-American and four-time All-Region performer in cross country and he’s been the captain of the team for the last three seasons. He’s interested in Geochemistry and will start a five-year PhD program at USC this fall.
Tessa Bailey-Findley, women’s water polo
In 126 consecutive games played during her career, Bailey-Findley was a four-year starter, a four-time Academic All-American and a three-time member of the All-SCIAC team. In 2011, she received an All-American honorable mention and in 2012 she was recognized as a Second Team All-American. Her 202 goals scored are fifth on Oxy’s all-time list and her 306 career goals rank first. In 2009, she set the single season Oxy record for steals with 112.
Grant Dunlap Award
ABOUT THE AWARD: Grant Dunlap, a 1946 Oxy grad, left his mark as an athlete, coach, administrator and faculty member during his 40-year career at Occidental. As an athlete, Grand Dunlap was named first team all conference in 1944, and later played professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. In 1955, Dunlap returned to Oxy to lead the baseball team to nine championships and the basketball team to five conference titles. Before retiring in 1984, he was awarded faculty emeritus status by his peers for his commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom.
Daniel Kelley, baseball
Dan had a career batting average of .309 as a four-year starter at second base. He has been the captain of the team since 2010, he was named Second Team All-SCIAC in 2009 and he’s won three Athletic/Academic Achievement awards. What he did in the classroom as a kinesiology major was even more impressive. Kelley is a 2012 Phi Beta Kappa inductee, he graduated Cum Laude and he scored in the 92nd – 95th percentile range on the MCAT in 2011.
Maddy Rasch, women’s soccer
Rasch majored in cognitive science and was an Art History minor. She is a member of the national honor society for Psychology. On the field, she was a three-year captain, a three-time All-SCIAC award winner, and three years in a row she was voted by her teammates as the Most Competitive player. She plans to spend time traveling before enrolling in a PhD program for Neuropsychology.
Pat Yeomans Award
ABOUT THE AWARD: Pat Yeomans graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1938, majoring in history and government while finding time to minor in art and play a little tennis. Yeomans was the first female athlete to be awarded an Occidental letter. She won 12 national championships and reached finals of countless USTA National and junior tournaments. But perhaps her greatest achievement was helping to bring back tennis as an Olympic sport, a 12-year campaign that culminated in the return of tennis at the 1988 Olympics.
Andrew Larkin, men’s golf
Larkin received the award for his success in golf, but he is really a two-sport standout. As the men’s soccer team’s goalie, Larking started 30 career games and posted seven shut outs. As a golfer he was a four-time All SCIAC selection, two-time Academic All-American and he has two career tournament wins including the 2010 SCIAC No. 2. Away from the golf course and soccer field, Larkin was the president of future business leaders of America group, the treasure for the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Society and the vice president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
Meghan Fruth, women’s track and field
Fruth ran through torn knee ligaments in her sophomore year and lingering ailments only allowed her three workouts per week in her junior and senior seasons. But she still managed to three All-SCIAC awards in the 400 meters, the 4x4 relay and the 4x1 relay. She ranks seventh on Oxy’s all-time list for the 800, and 8th for the 4x400 and 4x100. She majored in Sociology with a minor in psychology.