RICHMOND, Va. – For the second year in a row, Elon University led the league with six student-athletes selected as recipients of the Colonial Athletic Association’s second-annual Leadership and Sport Excellence Awards, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, June 25.
The award mirrors the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award, which is presented in men’s and women’s basketball, and the Chuck Boone Leadership Award, which is presented in football. One student-athlete was chosen from each of the 19 other sports sponsored by the CAA for embodying the highest standards of leadership, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship in his or her academic and athletic achievements. The winners are chosen by the CAA Faculty Athletics Representatives.
Representing Elon as winners are Abby Barker (softball), Nick Ciolkowski (men’s cross country), Cam Devanney (baseball), Aurelia Hamm (women’s golf), William Harwood (men’s golf), and Suzanne Zenoni (women’s tennis). Elon was one of four CAA schools to have multiple honorees, as James Madison followed with four, Towson received three and UNCW had two.
A First Team All-CAA selection, Barker ranked among the league’s leaders in ERA (2.92), innings (158.0) and wins (19). She also threw four one-hit games and set a program Division I single-season school-record for victories with her 19 wins, which tied for second most all-time in school history. She was also twice named the CAA Pitcher of the Week during the season and earned CAA All-Tournament team honors after helping the Phoenix reach the league’s title game for the first time. A public health major with a biology minor, she shadowed multiple athletic trainers and was a member of the Kappa Omicron Nu, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. Barker also volunteered with Miracle League, blood drives, Burlington Parks and Recreation, and Burlington Animal Services and the Hikes with Hounds program. She is attending a Physician Assistant Master’s program at Ohio Dominican University.
Ciolkowski, a senior from Fairport, N.Y., turned in a school-record time of 24:11.0 to place fourth at the CAA Championships and earn All-CAA accolades for the fourth-straight season. At the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 10, he clocked a 31:15.5 in the 10K to come in 49th overall. A team captain in 2018, Ciolkowski served as the Vice President of the SAAC and won Elon’s Basnight Award for the top male athlete as a freshman in 2015. A biochemistry major with a 3.71 GPA, he was a lead teaching assistant for organic chemistry, a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Lambda Upsilon honor societies, and was a six-time CAA Commissioner’s Award honoree. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Lumen Prize, an Elon research scholarship award to an upperclassmen as they further their work alongside faculty mentors.
A native of Amherst, N.H., Devanney led the Phoenix and ranked third in the CAA with a .335 batting average. He also finished 2019 with a team-high 48 runs scored to go along with 22 multi-hit outings, a 20-game hit streak and a 30-game reached base streak. Named the league’s Co-Player of the Week on April 22, the redshirt junior added Second Team All-CAA, All-Tournament Team, and NCCSIA All-State Second Team honors. A team captain, he was named to the CAA Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times and earned the Earl Danieley Memorial Sportsmanship Award in 2019. Off the field, he read to local elementary school children and volunteered at such events as Trunk or Treat Night, Miracle League, Danbury Westerners Baseball clinics and the Dominican Republic Global Experience.
A senior from Cannes, France, Hamm finished tied for sixth at the 2019 CAA Women’s Golf Championship. She was the top finisher for the maroon and gold at the Low Country Intercollegiate on March 16-17, placing seventh with a five-over 149. She also carded an eight-over par 152 to place fourth overall and help the Phoenix capture the team title at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate on April 8 to conclude the regular season. A team captain, Hamm was named the team MVP, was the Treasurer of the Elon International Society and served as her team’s SAAC representative. A management major, she volunteered with the Burlington Downtown Corporation’s Project: R.E.A.C.H., the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and the Sapura Dream Foundation.
The 2019 CAA Men’s Golfer of the Year, Harwood tied for second at the conference championship and added All-Tournament Team honors. Through 29 rounds played this season, the junior out of Columbia, S.C., was one of three CAA golfers to post an average score under 72 and was named the league’s Golfer of the Week on Oct. 17 after capturing the individual title at the Fourth Annual Phoenix Invitational on Oct. 15-16. A sport management major, Harwood is a member of Elon’s President Student Leadership Advisory Council (PSLAC), was men’s golf’s SAAC representative, serving on the social media committee, and led a mission trip to Nicaragua in January of 2015 and 2016.
Zenoni, a senior hailing from Marietta, Ga., finished her career at Elon with 50 dual match singles wins and 44 dual-match doubles wins, both ranking eighth in program history. A member of Omicron Delta Kappa, she was also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and the Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. Additionally, Zenoni was on the PSLAC and was a SAAC representative. A team captain, she volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club and Operation Christmas Child and worked with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. An accounting major with a 3.95 GPA, she was a four-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and CAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll member, was named the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award winner for the Carolina region and earned the CAA Institutional Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.