By: Nick Romei
HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth College Department of Athletics and Recreation hosted its annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence on Tuesday evening, honoring the achievements of teams and individuals throughout the 2022-23 academic year.
The ceremony was held in Thompson Arena for the first time, and another first occurred this year with three student-athletes sharing the Kenneth Archibald Prize, the department’s highest honor.
KENNETH ARCHIBALD PRIZE
Dartmouth’s highest honor is presented annually to “the member of the graduating class who has been four years in attendance, who has been the best all-around athlete, regard also being had to moral worth and high standing in scholarship.” The winner traditionally exemplifies all that we hope and expect of the men and women who put on the Dartmouth uniform and take to the field of play. This student-athlete is to be of exemplary athletic skill, of great academic prowess and of high moral character.
Winners: Sophie Ragg (Women’s Rugby), Ariana Ramsey (Women’s Rugby), Allie Winstanley (Women’s Soccer)
Named to the All-NIRA First Fifteen as an outside center for the first time in her career after the 2022 season, Sophie Ragg was a catalyst for a Big Green team that went 9-0 on its way to a second consecutive national championship and outscored opponents by an average of more than 39 points per match. She scored four tries as a fifth-year senior, including two in the home opener against Quinnipiac, and later scored another against the Bobcats in Dartmouth’s NIRA semifinal victory. She was a dominant defensive player in the semifinal as well, to the tune of 13 tackles. Ragg was a member of three different NIRA championship squads in four seasons of action at Dartmouth.
Ramsey collected a long list of accolades in her illustrious Dartmouth career. She is a two-time All-NIRA honoree as a wing, three-time NIRA champion, and was named the MVP of the 2022 NIRA Division I final after leading the Big Green to a win over Harvard to cap off their second straight undefeated season. A nominee for the 2023 MA Sorensen Award, which honors the top women’s collegiate rugby player, Ramsey tallied a team-high 11 tries in just five matches, including a pair of scores against Harvard in the 2022 NIRA final that was hosted by Dartmouth. In addition, the Philadelphia native became the program’s first-ever Olympian when she donned the red, white and blue at the 2020 Tokyo games, and she is set to suit up for the US Olympic Team once again in 2024.
One of the most dominant goal scorers in the Ivy League this past fall and throughout her career, Winstanley played a key role for the Big Green as a three-time All-Ivy and All-New England honoree. The Ivy League leader in goals, game-winning goals, and points this past fall, Allie etched her name into the program’s history books. She concluded her career fourth on the Dartmouth career charts with 28 goals and third with 70 points, even with missing a year due to COVID. In her first collegiate campaign, Winstanley finished with 10 goals, the most goals by a freshman in Dartmouth women’s soccer program history. She has been just as successful in the classroom, having been named CSC Academic All-District each of the past two years.
THE ALFRED E. WATSON TROPHY
Presented annually to Dartmouth’s top male student-athlete of the year.
Winner: Dame Adelekun (Men’s Basketball)
Adelekun took his game to an elite level as a senior, averaging 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, but was an even better scorer in league play at 16.8 points per game. He was one of just two Ivy League players to finish in the top five in both scoring and rebounding and top 10 in assists in conference games. Adelekun was also a dominant shot blocker, leading the league with 53 overall and 28 in the Ancient Eight. He was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team as well as the All-District Second Team, the first Big Green player to earn the latter honor in six years. Among his highlight games was a historic 41-point, 10-rebound effort vs. Columbia to earn Ivy League Player of the Week, tying the Leede Arena scoring record. He also became the first player nationally to record a 40-plus point double-double in a regulation game during the season. To top off his achievements, Adelekun twice made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.
THE CLASS OF 1976 AWARD
Presented annually to the most outstanding female student-athlete of the year.
Winner: Kristin Bitter (Women’s Rugby)
Recently named as one of five finalists for the 2023 MA Sorensen Award for the top women’s collegiate rugby player in the nation, Kristin Bitter was a multi-faceted star for the unbeaten Big Green. She received All-NIRA honors as a flyhalf for the first time after recording a team-high 96 points with six tries and 33 conversions as a senior, leading the Big Green to their second straight NIRA championship. Bitter connected on the game-winning conversion to complete Dartmouth’s comeback win on the road against Harvard in an epic mid-season thriller that proved to be a preview of the NIRA final. In the championship match, she scored five points to help lead the hometown heroes to a 15-10 victory. Bitter was one of two Dartmouth players to be named to the USA National Team for the 2023 Pacific Four Series prior to the Big Green’s 7s season and she was previously selected for the USA Rugby Winter Camp in 2019.
THE CLASS OF 1948 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS
Given “to one male and one female athlete of the junior class, who have combined outstanding performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics.”
Winners: Alex Gu (Men’s Golf) and Kelly Beaupre (Softball)
Gu showed tremendous growth on the course throughout the 2022-23 season for the men’s golf team. The junior featured in Dartmouth’s lineup at 10 tournaments this season, securing four top-25 finishes. Gu earned second-team All-Ivy honors following a stellar performance at the Ivy League Championship, which saw him take ninth in a field of the best competitors in the Ancient Eight. An economics major with a 3.61 GPA, Gu has been noted as a hard worker both on the course and in the classroom. He has served the Dartmouth community as a Sexual Assault Peer Advisor and as a Strength and Conditioning Assistant. He has also worked with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
Beaupre was a force for Dartmouth softball throughout the 2023 season, as her performance at the plate was crucial for the Big Green. In 32 games, she led Dartmouth with a batting average of .321 with 23 RBIs. A feared hitter in the Ivy League, Beaupre smashed seven home runs and 21 RBIs in conference contests alone. She also ranked second in the Ancient Eight in slugging percentage and walks in Ivy League games. An economics and film & media studies double major with a 3.57 GPA, she is an active member of the community, serving as community outreach chair with the Dartmouth Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and working with the FORT non-profit mental health initiative.
CLASS OF 1950 AWARD
Presented to “the varsity student-athlete who has demonstrated the most extraordinary commitment to community service.”
Winner: Josh Greene (Football)
The Big Green long snapper for the past two seasons, Greene stuffs his schedule with numerous charity endeavors outside of his time spent on the field and in the classroom. As the philanthropy chair for Gamma Delta Chi, he helps create and facilitate philanthropic events, most notably small fundraisers to assist his late teammate, Josh Balara, who valiantly fought cancer. In 2012, Greene founded the Off the Bench Foundation, which has collected new and used sports equipment to donate to a number of organizations in Florida for over a decade. He also is a mentor for DREAM, which aids underserved Upper Valley youths, and has helped organize several Be The Match Drives that matches up bone marrow and stem cell donors with those in need.
AGNES B. KURTZ AWARD
Presented to “the woman who best combines proficiency in athletics with dedication to the furthering of women’s sports” as nominated and voted on by the captains of the women’s teams.
Winner: Ariana Ramsey (Women’s Rugby)
Ariana Ramsey embodies the spirit of this award through her perseverance and determination, both on and off the field. She recently worked through a major injury to make an incredible return to the pitch, eventually leading the Big Green to a second consecutive NIRA championship. Ramsey currently runs her own personal brand via social media, inspiring others to approach adversity with the same resilience she has displayed over her decorated Dartmouth career. Her coach, Katie Dowty, had this to say about her: “Ariana is truly an inspiration and a wonderful person. As an athlete, she excels as a USA Rugby 7s Olympian who has led Dartmouth’s team to several championships. After suffering many injuries, Ariana continues to pursue excellence on the field.”
THE TIMOTHY WRIGHT ELLIS 1955 MEMORIAL AWARD
Given to a man showing extracurricular and scholastic drive, spirit, loyalty and amiability and is nominated and voted on by the captains of the men’s teams.
Winner: Karl-Oskar Pajus (Men’s Track and Field)
Even though he is only a sophomore, Pajus has already made and will continue to make an impact with the Dartmouth track and field program. A first-team All-Ivy athlete last spring after winning the decathlon at the Ivy League outdoor championships, Pajus was sidelined this spring due to injury. But that led to a new role with this team, helping out on the coaching side, assisting his fellow teammates to improve throughout the season. His coach, Porscha Harnden, said of him, “Karl has been the leading force of the track & field program, and his constant energy and passion have inspired the rest of the team. He’s a hardworking student in the classroom and a joy for everyone to be around.”