The Daily Free Press - Sports
Issue: 4/27/04

Dieckfoss BU's best
By Mike Lipka

After being the top cross-country runner in the America East for four years, senior Jochen Dieckfoss was finally named the best male athlete at Boston University Monday night at the Athletic Department banquet in the Back Court of the George Sherman Union.

Dieckfoss' four individual conference titles earned him four straight bids to the NCAA Championships, and he finished a career-best 44th in the nation his junior year. The Tubingen, Germany native also has excelled in both indoor and outdoor track, as he finished 11th at the NCAA Championships last spring in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:40.94).

Senior Katie Terhune repeated last year's feat on the women's side, as she keyed the women's basketball team to a second-straight appearance in the America East title game, setting a new program record for career points in the process.

Terhune has helped turn around coach Margaret McKeon's program from a five-win season her freshman year to the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance last March. She finished with 1,971 career points, and McKeon took the blame for her not reaching 2,000.

The department also handed out awards for the top male and female student-athletes and the John B. Simpson awards for leadership. Men's basketball coach Dennis Wolff had only the highest praise for his senior captain and point guard Kevin Fitzgerald, who won the award on the men's side. The lone senior on the softball team, outfielder Abbey Pauley, was named the best women's leader and followed with an emotional recounting of last year's hard-fought America East Championship win.

Senior swimmer Brent Bernkrant was the best male student-athlete, while New Zealand native and senior middle distance runner Julia Nazzer won the women's award.

Individual team Most Valuable Players, team captains and team achievements were also recognized at the annual event. Retiring Athletic Director Gary Strickler also drew much praise from coaches and presenters, as it was his last such event as head of the department.