LARCHMONT, NY - Men's cross country / track standout Chartt Miller and softball star Kristen Turner headlined the 2017 Senior Awards Banquet as the school's Joseph E. O'Connell Award Winners. The Gael pair was named Iona's most outstanding senior student-athletes as 62 seniors were honored Thursday night at the Larchmont Shore Club.
The Joseph E. O'Connell Award is named for Iona's first outstanding athlete. The son of immigrants, Joe O'Connell grew up in Corpus Christi Parish, Morningside Heights, and played basketball for the Brothers at All Hallows High School. Arriving at Iona in 1941, Joe joined the squad coached by Br. Arthur A. Loftus, CFC, and became the Gaels' leading scorer his freshman season with 242 points. After Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II, Joe, together with most of his classmates, enlisted in the military. On September 5, 1943, Cpl. Joseph E. O'Connell, U.S. Army Air Corps, was killed in the South Pacific. He was the first Iona student to give his life in the service of his country. In 1946, Br. Loftus established this award in the memory of his player, and on December 7, 1948—the seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor—Br. Loftus dedicated the new Iona field-house as the Joseph E. O'Connell Memorial Gymnasium. Although the gymnasium no longer stands, the talent, grace, and courage of Joe O'Connell continues to be memorialized through the lives of all the Iona Gaels who have earned the Joseph E. O'Connell Award.
Chartt Miller, Men's Cross Country / Track
Part of two second place and two third place finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Regional meet.
Helped the cross country program to four MAAC Championships including its 26th straight title in 2016.
Individually, finished seventh, third and fifth in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 MAAC Cross Country Championships.
Two-time All-NCAA Northeast Region honoree in cross country with a top finish of fourth place in 2016
Has won four MAAC Track & Field Championship titles (DMR – 2014 Indoor, 2017 Indoor/1500m – 2014 outdoor, 2016 outdoor)
MAAC All-Academic Team and Academic Honor Roll selection in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track
Kristen Turner, Softball
Three-time All-MAAC First Team selection and 2014 MAAC Rookie of the Year honoree.
Two-time All-MAAC Academic Team selection.
Holds the program record in doubles, home runs, runs batted in and slugging percentage.
Ranks top three in hits, batting average, and runs scored.
Set single-season record for runs batted in (52) in 2014 and hit a 12 home runs in 2015, the second most ever in a single season. Has also twice recorded the fourth-most home runs in a single season (11).
Tied or set single-game records in a career-game against Saint Peter's in 2015; she hit three home runs, scoring three runs, and touched 14 total bases.
Finished her career in the Top 25 among active NCAA D1 student-athletes in home runs.
One members of Iona's staff, administration and faculty was honored with the Br. John G. Driscoll Appreciation Award for their contributions to the athletic department. Laurie Wenchell serves as Assistant Dean for Student Academic Services in Iona's School of Arts & Science and was honored for her support of Iona's student-athletes
The 16 seniors earned the Merit Award for maintaining a 3.5 or above cumulative grade point average were: