Depew, NY - Wednesday, May 3 marked a day of celebration and recognition for all of D'Youville's student-athletes at the yearly Athletics Awards Banquet at Salvatore's Italian Garden.
Head coach Bill Maloney and assistant coach Maria Fusco presented the awards to their D'Youville men's cross country team.
The team's most consistent runner, junior Brian Buttaggi (Penfield, NY/Webster Schroder), came away from the evening with the honor Most Valuable Player for leading the Spartans. Buttaggi placed first for D'Youville in every race he ran this past season besides one. His best race came at the Meghan Memorial where he took first overall and recorded his best time of the season of 18:35. That first place overall finish also allowed the team to take first place. In each race of the season besides the final one, Brian improved from the previous race. His times and level of competition continued to climb as his times got lower.
A newcomer to the team took home the team's Most Improved Player, with freshman Patrick Leslie (Horseheads, NY/Horseheads) earning the honor. Leslie improved every race he ran this season. His hard work paid off as he was the top runner for the Spartans at the AMCC Championship. In every race that he ran, Patrick finished as one of the top two runners for D'Youville. His best race of the season also came at the Meghan Memorial when he crossed the finish line third overall and a season low time of 18:49.
Lone senior Christopher Rumpl (Kenmore, NY/Kenmore West) took home the team's Spartan Award in his final season. In every race besides the last, Rumpl continued to improve his time and become one of the team's most consistent runners. His best race of the season came at the Meghan Memorial with a time of 20:07 and a top-10 finish overall.
The Spartan Award represents a player who exemplifies teamwork, passion and a dedication to their team.
(Pictured left to right: Coach Maloney, Buttaggi, Rumpl, Leslie, Coach Fusco)