Senior field hockey player Caitlin Baker, junior swimmer Alex Anderson, and senior basketball player Bradley Riester have been named as the 2013-14 Athletes of the Year at the University of Mary Washington, as announced Thursday night.
Female Athlete of the Year
Baker led the field hockey team to one of its most successful seasons in school history with 15 wins and a top-10 national ranking. Individually, she repeated as an All-American, gaining first team honors. In addition, she was named first team all-region and first team all-conference for the second straight year, and was also named first team All-State.
The senior scored 12 goals and led the team with 11 assists this season, upping her career total to 138 points, second most in school history. She finished with 48 goals and 42 assists, which shatters the career assist record at the school.
In the words of her coach, "Caitlin has been an instrumental part to the success of our team the last three seasons. She has worked hard and is truly deserving of being recognized as the Female Athlete of the Year. Baker's determination and desire to win will be missed next year."
Male Athlete of the Year
Anderson continued to dominate as the best male swimmer in all of NCAA Division III. Already a national champion and NCAA record holder, he excelled to even greater heights this season. He repeated as national champion in the 400 yard individual medley, breaking his own national record time, and also claimed the national championship in the 200 yard butterfly. With a second place finish in the 200 IM, he alone was responsible for 57 points at the NCAA Championships, and placed 17th in the team competition as a team of one. For his efforts, he deservedly was awarded the Swimmer of the Meet at the NCAA Championships.
Alex was a CAC champion in three individual events and four relays, with three of those times breaking conference records. All three of his times at the NCAA Championships broke conference and school records.
In the words of his coach, “Alex represents UMW at the highest level of Division III athletics in the best manner possible. Not only is he a very talented athlete, but he is a solid student and a great teammate. On deck at the NCAAs, coaches were continuously commenting on what a humble individual he is – His love for the sport and for competition are apparent, and while he is certainly proud of his accomplishments, his first thought is always with the team.”
This year, we were blessed to have not one but two history-making males lead their teams and the department to never-before-seen heights. While Alex was breaking records and gaining status as the greatest swimmer in school history, our second Male Athlete of the Year, Bradley Riester, was making history of his own, leading the men’s basketball team to its greatest season ever. A first team All-CAC and first team all-state selection, he ended his outstanding career as the fifth leading scorer in school history, and ranked second in the nation in three point baskets, becoming the first Mary Washington player to ever lead the Capital Athletic Conference in scoring. As a senior captain, he helped the team to the CAC Championship, and the first three wins in school history in the NCAA Tournament, as the team hosted the sweet 16 and elite eight before a never-before-seen atmosphere at the Anderson center.
In the words of his coach, Rod Wood, “Bradley was one of the best shooters in the nation this year, with maybe the quickest release of any player in Division III. His best efforts came in the big games, as the team defeated two top-10 ranked teams led by his efforts, marking the first and second time in program history that the team beat a top-10 team. His three pointer against #9 St. Mary’s in the final seconds gave the team a 66-64 win. Bradley personifies the team’s hard work and dedication, and is perhaps the greatest shooter ever at UMW. Unlike many scorers, Bradley takes great pride in his defense, and his effort on both ends of the floor were an example to the entire team.”