Carleton College President Steve Poskanzer (far left) and Athletic Director Gerald Young (far right) pose with the 2013 PEAR Senior Award Winners (from L to R) Sophie Pilhofer, Jessa Youso, Sarah Nielsen, Erik Klontz, and Megan Morrison. C.J. Dale (not pictured) was competing at a track meet during the award presentation.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. — In conjunction with Carleton’s annual Honors Convocation, the Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation (P.E.A.R.) Department announced its annual senior awards. Sophie Pilhofer (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation) and Jessa Youso (Virginia, Minn./Virginia) received the Pat Lamb Award. Megan Morrison (Acton, Mass./Middlesex) and Sarah Nielsen (Altoona, Wis./Altoona) are the recipients of the Ele Hansen Award. CJ Dale (Fox Island, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) was honored with the Mel Taube Award, while Erik Klontz (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) was given the Warren L. Beson Memorial Award.
The Pat Lamb Award is given to outstanding senior female student-athletes who have achieved athletic excellence at the varsity level and a high level of academic achievement. One award is given for team sports, and the other for individual sports.
Pilhofer, a Political Science major, competed at the NCAA National Championships following her rookie season and again as a senior, earning All-America status in 2013 when she placed third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.28. This year, she also raced in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly at the national meet, recording a time of 51.74 in the former and a personal-best mark of 58.00 in the latter. Pilhofer turned 11 All-MIAC performances during her time with the Knights, including back-to-back 50 freestyle titles her junior and senior years. She also placed second at the MIAC Championships the past two seasons in both the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle. To go along with her amazing performances in the pool, Pilhofer has also been honored by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as a Scholar All-American.
Youso, a Psychology major, was a three-sport athlete during each of her four years at Carleton, participating in volleyball, basketball, and outdoor track and field. Her busy collegiate athletic career concluded last week at the MIAC Track and Field Championships as she qualified for the finals of the javelin. On the hardwood, she appeared in 91 games over her four seasons, making 27 starts and averaging 4.4 points per contest.
Youso, however, will be best remembered for her spectacular volleyball career. A two-time All-MIAC selection, she received All-Region Honorable Mention in 2012, the first Knight selected for all-region recognition by the AVCA in five years. This season, Youso ranked second in the conference as she posted the second-highest single-season attack percentage (.352) in Carleton history. She was one of only three MIAC players to rank in the top-10 for both kills and blocks during conference matches, ranking fourth in the MIAC with an average of 3.20 kills/set and fifth with 1.00 blocks/set. As a senior captain, she helped lead the Knights to the semifinals of the 2012 MIAC Playoffs where she collected 20 kills in a five-set marathon match versus eventual national champion University of St. Thomas. Youso’s name appears in the record book a number of times, in addition to her senior season attack percentage. She also ranks third in career attack percentage (.312) and block assists (246), eighth with 869 career kills, and 10th in single-season kills (323).
The Ele Hansen Award recognizes two senior female students who bring to their sport the joy of participation and who have positively influenced others through their example, service, and leadership in the athletic or recreation program.
Morrison, a Studio Art and Spanish double major, was a three-year starter for the women’s soccer team, helping the Knights claim MIAC regular-season titles in 2010 and 2011 as well as a return trip to the NCAA Championships. Her work along the backline helped the Knights yield only 14 goals during the 2012 season, fewest among all MIAC squads. Recipient of a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-All-Region award, she was selected by her coaches and teammates to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team. She combined her love of soccer and passion for helping others as a co-creator “Goals with Soul,” a 3-on-3 soccer tournament to benefit Soccer Without Borders and Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn (SOUL). She also volunteers with TOPSoccer project (The Outreach Program for Soccer), which is Northfield’s first community-based athletics program for youth with disabilities.
Nielsen, a Biology major, was an All-MIAC performer on the volleyball court and was second on the Knights in both kills (320) and hitting percentage (.294), while ranking third with 64 blocks. She received Carleton’s Larson International Fellowship Award, allowing her to create an off-campus study program in Norway, and was a four-year member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). She started only three matches as a rookie, but by steady improvement she turned herself into a key contributor on a playoff team. Her 23 kills against Linfield College in September 2013 were the most by a Knight in five campaigns. Her teammates recognized Nielsen for the determined and hard-working attitude that she demonstrated as well as the passion and love that she played with in practice and games.
The Mel Taube Award is given to students for exceptional loyalty, dedication, competitive spirit, and achievement in varsity athletics. The recipient must have participated in at least two sports with emphasis on at least one team sport.
Dale, a Biology major, was a four-year starting wide receiver on the Carleton football team. In 2012, he finished second on the squad with 33 receptions and tied for the team lead with four touchdowns. He missed a portion of his junior campaign due to injury, which kept him from breaking into Carleton’s all-time top-10 in career receptions and career touchdown catches. Appropriately as winner of this multi-sport award, Dale is also an accomplished all-around athlete in track and field. He broke the school record and earned all-conference honorable mention in the heptathlon at the 2013 MIAC Indoor Championships. Dale earned All-MIAC honorable mention in the long jump and decathlon at the conference outdoor meet as both a junior and senior. This spring, he added the triple jump to the list.
The Warren L. Beson Memorial is an award for athletic and academic excellence to a senior who has won one or more awards in any sport and has a high scholastic average.
Klontz, a Chemistry major, is a three-time All-American in the water as well as twice earning All-America Honorable Mention. After being the national runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle, he closed his career by finishing seventh in the 100-yard freestyle to garner All-America distinction once again. The 2013 MIAC Swimmer-of-the-Year, he broke the conference record in winning the 50 and 100 freestyle races as well as the 200 freestyle relay. En route to successfully defending his MIAC crown in the 50 free, he touched the wall at 19.66, which ranked as the third-fastest time in NCAA Division-III history. He won four total conference titles and received 14 All-MIAC citations. For his work in the classroom, Klontz was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large Team in 2012 and again in 2013. He was also tabbed as a CSCAA Scholar All-American.
The Pat Lamb Award publicly honors Pat Lamb, Carleton’s first director of women’s athletics (1970–1985). Professor Lamb was an influential leader in the early development of increased opportunities for women not only at Carleton, but also at state, regional, and national levels. This award is endowed by a fund created by friends, colleagues, and former students upon Lamb’s retirement in 1994.
The Ele Hansen Award publicly honors Professor Eleanor Hansen, chair of the women’s physical education department from 1952–86 as well as head softball and head cross country coach, in appreciation for the generosity, enthusiasm, and warmth she shared with generations of Carleton students. It is endowed by a fund created by her friends, colleagues, and former students at the time of her retirement in 1986.
The Mel Taube Award honors its namesake who served as athletic director from 1960–70, baseball coach from 1950–70, football coach from 1960–70, and head basketball coach from 1950-60.
The Warren L. Beson Memorial is named for former head football coach Warren Beson, who came to Carleton in 1956 after leading Edina High School to the mythical state championship. He quickly turned the fortunes of the program around in three-plus seasons before dying of a heart attack midway through the 1959 season. Despite his short tenure he left a lasting impression on colleagues and students. Beson, who reportedly had chances to coach larger and more successful programs, stayed at Carleton, amassing a 21-7-2 mark, including a 1956 Midwest Conference tri-championship.