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05/20/2008
Hudson Valley Honors the Year's Top Student-Athletes
Troy's Justin Gallo Named Outstanding Male Athlete and Castleton's Brenna Mereness Named Top Female Athlete Photo Available

CONTACT: Athletic Department (518) 629-7328
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, May 20, 2008

Photo AvailablePhoto Gallery Available

TROY, NY - Sophomores' Justin Gallo (Troy, NY/Lansingburgh) and Brenna Mereness (Castleton, NY/Maple Hill) were named Hudson Valley Community College's most outstanding male and female athletes of the year at its annual athletic banquet that was held today in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center.

Gallo was presented with the Thomas Cahill Memorial Award, given each year to Hudson Valley's top male athlete.

The 2008 Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year, he led the Vikings to a school-record 30 wins this past season. A tri-captain, Gallo led the team in scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, earning First Team All-Region and All-New York State Junior College honors. In addition, he was a NJCAA All-America Third Team selection.

A Business Administration graduate, Gallo leaves Hudson Valley second on the school's all-time list in scoring with 1,148 points.

Mereness was presented with the Lester Higbee Memorial Award, given each year to Hudson Valley's top female athlete. A key performer for the Lady Vikings this season, She helped the team to an 11-6-1 record and a semifinal appearance in the NJCAA Region III Tournament. The 11 wins were the most for the team in 14 years.

An All-Conference and Second Team All-Region III selection, Mereness led the Lady Vikings in scoring with 22 goals and five assists in 2007. A two-year starter, she finished her career at Hudson Valley with 47 goals and 11 assists in 37 career games.

A Physical Education graduate, Mereness plans to attend Eastern Nazarene College in the fall.

Hudson Valley's men's lacrosse coach Roger Manion was presented with the Paul F. Bishop Coach of the Year Award, which is given to the coach who "exhibits the highest level of sportsmanship, leadership, professionalism and ethics, and who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to his/her sport, the athletic department and, most importantly, to the student-athletes."

Manion was named the 2008 NJCAA Region III Coach of the Year for the fourth time after leading the Vikings to one of the most successful seasons in school history. He guided the Vikings to a 14-5 record and berth in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region III Men's Lacrosse Tournament for the second straight year. Hudson Valley set a new single-season record for wins in a season and played a home playoff game for the first time in over 20 years.

Sophomore Derrick Onate (Rensselaer, NY/Coppell) of the lacrosse team and sophomore Laurel Good (Brainard, NY) of the soccer team were presented with the Otto Guenther Memorial Award, which is given to the individuals who "demonstrate the best combination of academic and athletic success."

Sophomore Amanda Zuspann (Guilderland, NY/Guilderland) of the volleyball team was awarded The President's Award, which is given to the student "whose hard work, determination, hustle and attitude have enabled them to make valuable contributions to their team, the athletic department and the college."

Kathy Quirk, associate dean for instructional support services and retention, was awarded the Willie A. Hammett Award for Excellence in Student Service, and Teresa Lewandusky was posthumously honored with the John L. Buono Award for Citizenship for her commitment to the college, its student-athletes and the athletic department for 33 years.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 64,000 alumni.