Lombardi and Quaglia take top honors at CDSWOY gala – The Daily Gazette
SCHENECTADY — Michelina Lombardi said she was thrilled to be among 10 recently graduated Section II high school student-athletes honored Monday night at the Capital District Women’s Sportswoman of the Year Awards Gala at Proctor’s GE Theater.
The 17-year-old Le Moyne College entrant never expected her name to be called a second time late in the event, believing one of the other multi-stars would get that accolade.
“I was shocked,” Lombardi said afterwards. “There are so many other great students. Great athletes.
Among them are the modest Lombardi. On Monday, she became the second Averill Park student-athlete to receive the CDSWOY organization’s Great Scholastic of the Year award in the three years of the gala.
Lydia Ware was the 2020 Averill Park School Division’s first overall winner. Clare Howard of Taconic Hills was the 2021 School Division’s overall winner, with the award based on community service as well as academic prowess and sports.
“Looking back, going into high school, my number one goal was to excel as a person, a student, and an athlete,” Lombardi said. “I knew that if I worked hard and put one foot in front of the other, I would succeed.”
Lombardi has been repeatedly honored for her athletic achievements in three sports. With her dogged defense and timely points, she helped Averill Park win three Division II Class A basketball titles, and last season was a key figure in the Warriors’ run to the championship. State. She showed star form as a goalie for the school soccer team and excelled on the track and in the field while showing great versatility. She ranks in the top 10 all-time in the AP in the shot put, 400m, 800m and high jump.
“Michelina has been an integral part of our basketball team for four years,” Averill Park athletic director Mark Bubniak said last November when Lombardi signed his commitment papers to attend Le Moyne, where the guard will continue his basketball career, majoring in biology and minoring. in Spanish. “She is a multi-sport athlete who is also the chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council. In my eight years here at Averill Park, we’ve never had someone who more than Michelina Lombardi embodies everything we want in a student-athlete.
Lombardi earned a 4.0 GPA and in each of her four years at Averill Park, she ranked eighth out of 225 students. Class president for all four years and a member of the National Honor Society, Lombardi has received numerous academic achievement awards in various fields during her illustrious career.
Outside of school, she coaches youth sports and is active with the elderly and in her church.
“My time management skills are key,” Lombardi said. “If you divide your time, you can conquer all the things you want.”
CDSWOY School Division Awards were also presented to Brigid Duffy of Queensbury, Rebecca Hall of Maple Hill, Kelsey Meca of Mayfield, Zionna Perez-Tucker of Mohonasen, Carlie Rzeszotarski of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Heather Schmidt of Niskayuna, Cameryn Shultes from Middleburgh, Ayaka Suesada from Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School and Sadie Tavares from Schuylerville.
“Without the implications of Title IX 50 years ago, none of us would be here,” Tavares noted.
The school cast included a national rowing champion in Schmidt, a state volleyball champion in Rzeszotarski, and a state running champion in Perez-Tucker.
“Everyone worked hard to get here today,” said Schmidt, en route to Stanford, who also played basketball at Niskayuna.
“It’s not easy being a top student-athlete,” said Suesada, a Syracuse University enlistment whose athletic career at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School included a stint last season with the his boys’ basketball team. “We should be proud of ourselves.”
Swimming star Colleen Quaglia has been honored with the CDSWOY organization’s Big Collegiate Woman of the Year award, becoming the second star from the College of Saint Rose to do so.
“For the majority of people, it’s the support system that’s so important,” Quaglia said of the 13 honorees Monday night, including three in the college division. “If you’re a competitive person, that helps. You don’t want to lose.
Quaglia was a three-time All-American swimmer at Saint Rose who recorded a 4.0 GPA as both an undergraduate and graduate in accounting and received the Women’s Athlete Award from the of the 2022 Northeast 10 conference. Among her many accolades, the Albany Academy graduate and East Greenbush native was also selected as the Saint Rose Athletic Department’s 2022 Female Athlete of the Year.
“I was extremely happy,” Quaglia said after receiving the Collegiate Woman of the Year award. “Swimming is not always announced at these events.”
Quaglia won the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly at the 2022 NE10 Championships while meeting NCAA interim qualifying standards in each event. She holds eight individual Saint Rose School records and is part of three record-holding relay teams.
“I’m the youngest of three daughters,” said Quaglia, who has earned three Academic All-American honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America and two from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. “I always had to show myself. I’m an incredibly goal-oriented person, and setting goals sets me up for success.
Additional CDSWOY Collegiate Division Awards were presented to Katie Falotico of the University at Albany and Grace Heiting of Union College.
“It’s the creme de la creme de la creme,” CDSWOY President and Founder Eric McDowell said of Monday’s award winners.
In 2021 Hallie Klosterman of Russell Sage College won the Great Collegiate Woman of the Year award, and in 2020 Morgan Burchhardt of College of Saint Rose was the first recipient.
“It’s really great what this event captivates,” Burchhardt said. “These young women are rock stars.”
Lindsey Jacobellis, two-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time snowboarding world champion, was the virtual guest speaker on Monday evening. The CDSWOY Awards Gala was hosted by members of the renowned Empire State Youth Orchestra.
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