The start of a new school year is upon us and reflecting on the previous year is something we proudly do here in DAPER. The 2016-17 school year was another amazing one for DAPER, filled with incredible accomplishments that made it extra special in so many ways.
The men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming, and women’s indoor track and field teams all placed in the top 10 at the NCAA Championship. The men’s tennis team also advanced to the NCAA regional final after claiming the program’s 19th straight NEWMAC title. MIT baseball's Austin Filiere `17 and David Hesslink `17 were drafted by Major League Baseball teams, and former women’s basketball and volleyball student-athlete, Jasmin Moghbeli `05, was selected as an astronaut in training by NASA. These accomplishments, along with many others, show us why this was truly a remarkable year for DAPER.
To highlight the immense success in varsity athletics, perhaps the best way to look at it is “by the numbers.”
· 10 Conference Championships
· 14 MIT teams represented in NCAA postseason competition
· 21 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
· 206 All-Conference honorees
· 88 All-Americans
Overall, MIT finished 11th nationally, first among NEWMAC schools, in the Division III Learfield Directors Cup, which ranks the top overall athletic programs in the country. In addition, for a second straight year MIT was awarded both the men’s and women’s NEWMAC Presidents Cups, recognizing the top men’s and women’s athletic programs in the conference.
Our other components of DAPER continue to grow and thrive as well. We continue to develop and implement programming for MIT students, providing learning and personal growth opportunities outside their normal classrooms. Physical Education delivers its programming to over 3,500 students per year; intramurals and club sports are thriving, offering over 50 sports; and our recreation program continues to grow, with a current membership of over 14,000.
In addition to the outstanding athletic success, MIT also had its first NCAA Woman of the Year recipient, All-American swimmer Margaret Guo `16. This award is the highest honor given annually to a female student-athlete by the NCAA. In addition, our academic achievements broke records this year, with 21 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, which is the single-season national record at all divisions.
Arinze Okeke and Maryann Gong were the men’s and women’s track and field Academic All-Americans of the Year, and Maryann repeated as the Division III National Academic All-American of the Year. MIT had three Elite 90 winners with Helen Sakharova (fencing), Aidan Gilson (men’s outdoor track and field) and Maryann Gong (women’s outdoor track and field) each earning the award. The award is given to the athlete who has the highest cumulative GPA participating in their national championship. It is truly incredible and a point of pride, to see what these student-athletes accomplish on a daily basis.
Finally, we wanted to thank each of you who have supported DAPER in our endeavors this past year. Last year, we were able to accomplish a number of important renovation projects such as the Sherie and Don (1961) Morrison Track, the renovation to the softball field and Fran O’Brien Field (baseball), and the full renovation of the Steinbrenner Stadium grandstands. These large projects and all of our other improvements are only made possible because of your tremendous support.
Our Leadership Circle donors are extremely important to us and as those numbers continue to rise to record levels, your impact is felt more than ever. If you have not had the opportunity to make a donation, please consider making a gift to DAPER by clicking here. Our success and programs would not be possible without your generous support.
A list of our proud supporters who have donated $100 or more during 2016-17 can be found here.
Best wishes for a wonderful fall and a terrific 2017-2018 season!
Director of Athletics/DAPER Department Head