On Thursday October 11th
at the annual CAANJ (Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey) Awards Luncheon the GCC Athletic Program received several honors. These awards honor the best in the state of New Jersey at the NCAA Division I/II, NCAA Division III and Junior College levels. Attending the luncheon on behalf of GCC were President Fred Keating, Vice President of Operations Nick Burzichelli, Director of Athletics Ron Case, Assistant Director of Athletics Brian Rowan, Athletics Coordinator Leanne Schoening and former Roadrunners student-athletes Vladislav Koldomasov and Kristina Morgan.
The first awards of the luncheon were given to the CAANJ Student-Athlete of the Year Award winners for 2011-12. For the first time in the awards history Roadrunners would be the recipients of both the male and female awards in the Junior College category. Koldomasov and Morgan both graciously received their awards and made speeches. Unbeknownst to each, they both included a quote at the end of their speeches that summed up their comments. There are full bios on both Koldomasov and Morgan at the bottom of this article with their selected quotes. Winners at the other levels of the awards were Alex Hill (Montclair St. Softball) and TJ Denehy (Kean Football) at the NCAA Division III level and Abi Cottam (Rider Soccer) and Manny Sardinha (Princeton Soccer) at the NCAA Division I/II level.
Additionally at the luncheon the CAANJ Cups are awarded to the best overall athletic programs in the state. For the seventh year in a row the Roadrunners took home the title for the best Junior College program. Stevens Institute of Technology was the winner at the NCAA Division III level and Princeton University was the winner at the NCAA Division I/II level. Athletic Director Ron Case accepted the award on behalf of the program. The Roadrunners had a great 2011-12 academic year that included two NJCAA Division III National Championship teams (Men's Tennis and Softball) as well as top five national finishes for Men's and Women's Track and Field, Baseball, Wrestling, and Men's Cross Country.
Vladislav Koldomasov - CAANJ Male Student-Athlete of the Year
Vlad Koldomasov had an outstanding two-year career for Gloucester County College. He represents the spirit of this award very well. Vlad was a member of the President's List for Academic Achievement all four semesters at Gloucester County College while also a member of the Men's Tennis Team. Koldomasov majored in Engineering Science and graduated from Gloucester County College last May as the top student in that degree program with a 3.84 GPA. His success on the court was no less impressive. During his freshman season he earned a spot on the team as a doubles player. While the team went on to win the NJCAA National Championship, Koldomasov and his partner struggled and did not perform as well as he would have liked. Entering his sophomore season he had put in the needed work and was the team's most improved player. His leadership in the Fall led him to be named Team Captain in the Spring. Koldomasov earned a spot in both the singles and doubles lineup and went on to great success. He was 17-1 against Junior College competition at #4 singles and went on to win the Regional and Individual National Championship at that position. In doubles he was 15-5 against Junior College competition at #2 doubles and went on the win the Regional Championship and reach the National Championship Match at the NJCAA Nationals in Plano, TX. Koldomasov was named 1st Team All-Region 19 and an NJCAA All-American in both singles and doubles. His success helped propel the team to their third consecutive NJCAA Division III National Championship.
"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear you speak."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Kristina Morgan - CAANJ Female Student-Athlete of the Year
Kristina Morgan is a two-time member of the GCC National Championship Softball Team. She also was a President's List student at Gloucester County College in each of her four semesters. Her accomplishments at Gloucester County College are worthy of recognition and she has received it in terms of NJCAA All-American status and also as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. During her freshman season Kristina helped the team to its first NJCAA National Championship in program history. She pitched and was a main cog in the batting order thoughout the season on a team that overpowered most of the competition. In her sophomore campaign, she led the team on the mound and was the MVP of the Region 19 Tournament as well as MVP of the National Championship Tournament. As she was doing this she also had her best semester in the classroom earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average. To be noted, Kristina also overcame what could have been a devastating injury just prior to the start of her sophomore season. She played her sophomore season without sight in her right eye due to an injury sustained while working. She is one of the Roadrunners most remarkable student-athletes in the programs history.
"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world in on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!"
- Christian D. Larson