PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph's seniors Anna Willocks (field hockey) and Rory Houston (men's track and field) have been selected as the recipients of the Saint Joseph's Class of 1950 Award as the school's top graduating student-athletes. The awards were announced at the second annual "Hawkies" awards breakfast on Thursday morning.
Willocks graduates as the field hockey program's all-time leader in goals, assists, and points after helping lead the Hawks to three consecutive Atlantic 10 regular season championships, two consecutive A-10 tournament titles, the first two NCAA Tournament berths in program history, and the program's first-ever top-10 national ranking.
One of the most decorated student-athletes in Saint Joseph's history, Willocks is the first three-time NFHCA All-America honoree in program history. After a pair of Second Team selections in 2016 and 2017, she became the first Hawk to garner First Team laurels in 32 years in 2018. Willocks is the only three-time Offensive Player of the Year in Atlantic 10 history, winning the honor from 2015, 2016, and 2017, and was the league's 2015 Rookie of the Year and a four-time First Team All-Conference selection. She was also tabbed for the All-Region First Team three times and pulled in three All-ECAC honors as well.
Hailing from Palmerston North, New Zealand, Willocks is a three-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area honoree and was twice named the Academic All-Area Performer of the Year. One of four finalists for the prestigious Honda Sport Award as a senior, Willocks will receive her degree in psychology and plans to attend graduate school in her native New Zealand.
A former walk-on turned team captain, Houston is a three-time Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America medalist in the 4x800m relay and a four-time Atlantic 10 Conference silver medalist between the 4x800m relay and 800m.
Always a consistent, dependable leg on SJU's top relays, Houston ran on the first-place Distance Medley Relay at the Penn State National Invitational this winter and on the first-place Distance Medley Relay at the Colonial Relays this spring.
A native of Clifton, New Jersey, Houston was involved with Radio 1851, Saint Joseph's student radio station, and is receiving a dual-degree in both sports marketing and business intelligence and analytics. He has interned with Samford University's Center for Sports Analytics and CBS Corporation in Procurement Analytics and Operations and intends to begin a career in sales following graduation.
The pair will be among the honorees at the University's Commencement exercises on May 18.
Among the awards voted upon by the Student Athlete Advisory Council and handed out on Thursday:
- Team of the Year: Field Hockey
- Rookies of the Year: Tonya Botherway (field hockey), Zach Cole (men's lacrosse)
- Coach of the Year: Ahmad Salamah (strength and conditioning)
- Play of the Year: Joely Helder's Atlantic 10 Championship-winning goal (field hockey)
- Inspirational Award: Lindsey Oremus (women's cross country and track)
Support Staff Area Awards, selected by members of the respective support staffs:
- Athletic Communications: Lindsey Oremus (women's cross country and track)
- Educational Support Services: Alvin Dahn (men's soccer)
- Strength and Conditioning: Nathaniela Bourdeau (women's track) and Tim Johnson (baseball)
- Sports Medicine: Pierfrancesco Oliva (men's basketball)
The winners of each team's Vasquez and Leahy Awards were announced as well; the list can be viewed here.