Nov. 19, 2013
Cross country's Nick Grudev and field hockey's Beth Meyers are the October recipients of the Leo Dufort Siena College Student Athlete of the Month Award. Both student athletes played key parts on improving programs, while excelling in the classroom.
Grudev, a junior from New Milford, Conn., serves as president of Siena's Student Athlete Advisory Committee in addition to being one of the team's top runners and carrying a 3.35 GPA in the College's rigorous biology department. Grudev began the fall be helping the Saints to a team championships with a fifth place finish in the Trinity College Bantam Invitational at Wickham Park. Grudev finished 15th overall as Siena took third place in the Albany Invitational, and he was Siena's third finisher in the MAAC Championships. Off the course, Grudev spent his 2013 Spring break on the MAAC SAAC retreat, helping with the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort.
"Nick is an extremely dedicated and passionate athlete, and he's been a great leader on this team all year," cross country coach John Kenworthy said. "He sets a great example every day in practice and has been a huge contributor for us each weekend this fall."
Meyers has ranked among the nation's leaders in saves throughout her career while carrying a 2.97 GPA in political science. As a sophomore, she led the country with 12.8 saves per games and last year she ranked third in that category. Meyers was again stout in the pipes as a senior, finishing 21st nationally with 6.3 saves per game. She was right in the middle of the biggest highlight for the program in the past three years, posting a shutout in Siena's 2-0 win over Sacred Heart - a victory that snapped a 54-game losing streak.
"Beth is a very hard worker both in the classroom and on the field," field hockey coach Kara Zappone said. "She takes her academics and her future very seriously. She has worked very hard in the classroom to be able to graduate a semester early. This is a huge accomplishment with the time commitment it takes to be a Division I student athlete. We are extremely proud that Beth has been selected as the Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month while competing and working toward her degree."
The Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.