Six student-athletes earn weekly accolades

The Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (UCAA) had announced its weekly award winners and six Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athletes have been recognized. Among those honored were Derek McGough, who earned the Male Field Athlete of the Week Award after breaking a record that was originally set in 1914 and Brian Brzek, who threw a no hitter to earn the Baseball Pitcher of the Week Award.

A sophomore from Guilderland, NY, McGough won the long jump at the RPI Invitational with a school record distance of 7.24 meters, eclipsing a mark of 7.06m originally set in 1914 by William Trow and equaled in 1978 by Dave Alexander. McGough’s jump also provisionally qualified him for the NCAA Meet. In addition to his record-setting performance, the Guilderland High School graduate finished fourth in the triple jump (13.00m) and second in the 100-meter dash (11.54) in the competition, which featured RPI, Union, Vassar, RIT & Southern Vermont.

McGough was one of three from RPI’s track & field teams to earn weekly honors. Sophomore Dwaine Alleyne (Upper Marlboro, MD) garnered the Male Track Athlete of the Week Award after winning the 110-meter hurdles (15.59), placing fifth in the 100-meter dash (11.84) and winning the triple jump with an NCAA Meet provisional qualifying distance of 14.55 meters. Junior Jo Alexander (Waterford, CT) won both the discus (33.65m) and the shot put (11.67m) to earn the Female Athlete of the Week Award.

Brzek was selected as the top pitcher after throwing a no hitter in a 7-0 victory over league-foe St. Lawrence last Saturday afternoon. The sophomore from Harvard, MA, struck out 13 batters and walked only one in 7.0 innings. Brzek, a right-hander from Pomfret High School, allowed only three base runners the entire game.

Also on the diamond, freshman centerfielder Liz Vitaliano collected six hits in 12 at bats for a team-best .500 batting average in four games to earn the Softball Rookie of the Week Award. In addition, she scored a team-high four runs with two RBI and two walks. A native of Shirley, NY, Vitaliano also stole one base and was perfect in all three fielding chances.

Another freshman Meghan Gaul, was also recognized, earning the Goaltender of the Week in women’s lacrosse. A native of Upper St. Clair, PA, she made 43 saves on 66 shots with four ground balls and an interception in two games. Gaul had 22 saves against national power William Smith and 21 the next day against Hamilton.