Retriever Student-Athletes Honored at Varsity Awards Banquet


Mohamed Hussein and Mercedes Jackson

Michelle Kurowski, Andrew Bulls and Abbey McKenney

BALTIMORE- A pair of newcomers to the program, freshman Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) and junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) were named UMBC’s Most Outstanding Athletes for the 2011-12 academic year, it was announced at the annual Varsity Awards Banquet, held on May 7 at the RAC Arena.

Soccer standout Andrew Bulls (Milllersville, Md./McDonogh) was tabbed the department’s Outstanding Senior Male Athlete, while basketball’s Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) and swimming’sAbbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del/Brandywine) shared the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete award.

UMBC Athletics’ top academic award- The Matt Skalsky Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to a pair of seniors- volleyball’s Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) and tennis’ Joe Adewumi (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon).

Jackson broke a school record at her very first collegiate meet, the Bison Opener at Bucknell back in December. Since that time, she has accumulated three other school records, one indoor and two outdoor, while also helping the multiple relays set new school standards. At the 2012 America East Indoor Championships, the freshman sprinter broke her own record in the 60-meter dash to take gold and then also set a new school mark in the 100-meter dash while claiming silver.  For her efforts she was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Female Rookie.


Moving outside, Jackson wasted no time in continuing her success for UMBC.  In the Retrievers’ initial outdoor meet, the Weems Baskin Invitational at the University of South Carolina, she set two more school records, the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Last weekend at the conference championship meet, she won another gold medal and broke her own school record in the 200 meters while once again being honored at the Most Outstanding Rookie.


Hussein joined the Retrievers just before their annual holiday training trip in South Florida, as this mid-year transfer came to the states for the first time on Christmas Eve, 2011. Two months later, he was breaking conference, pool and school records at the 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championships on the way to being named the meet’s Most Outstanding Male Swimmer. The junior excelled at the America East Championships in Boston.  In his first conference meet, he won three individual golds and broke the conference and pool record in the 100-yard backstroke. Later he set a school record in the 200 back and finally set a new meet, pool and UMBC record in the 200 IM.


Since the championship meet, this swimmer has not taken any time off while qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London for his home country of Egypt.  In July, he will compete in the 100-meter freestyle and potentially more events as he will return to Egypt later this month to attempt to qualify for additional races.

Bulls is the first soccer player in school history to record 30 goals and 30 assists in a career. His 94 career points are fourth on the Retriever all-time list and he is UMBC’s all-time leader with 30 assists. The local product was a 2011 tri-captain and ended his career as a four-time America East First Team honoree. The sociology major was also named a College Soccer News All- American in 2009 when he finished second in the nation in scoring.

Kurowski’s name can be seen on the women’s basketball record book in just about every offensive category, including being the second-leading scorer in UMBC history.  She was named to the America East All-Rookie Team as a freshman, the All-Conference First Team while leading the Retrievers to their first ever regular season championship as a junior and the All-Conference Second Team and All-Tournament team as UMBC reached the conference final this season.


For her accomplishments on the court and in the classroom, she was twice named the America East Women’s Basketball Scholar Athlete.  In addition, she was selected as one of ten national finalists for the prestigious Lowes Senior CLASS award and then named to the award’s Second Team.


McKenney burst on to the scene as a sophomore earning CollegeSwimming dot com Mid-Major All-America status after winning the 100-yard freestyle at the America East Championships in an NCAA “B” cut and UMBC record time.  She also broke the school record in the 50 free that season. Last year as a junior, she was named the America East Most Outstanding Female Swimmer while leading the Retrievers to the conference title.  At the meet she claimed individual gold in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle events.

At this year’s meet, she was awarded the Female Coaches Coach’s Award for earning the most points of any senior in her four-year career with 215 points.  In Boston she won three more individual golds and shared three relay first-place finishes.

During her four years in Baltimore, Kennedy has maintained a 3.90 grade point average while working towards her goal of entrance into dental school at the University of North Carolina. She will earn a degree in psychology to go along with a minor in Modern Languages and Linguistics.  She has been named to the President’s list three times for earning a 4.0 GPA during a semester and to the Dean’s List in each semester at UMBC. 

On the court, the middle blocker led UMBC in blocks per set as a senior and was second on the team in hitting percentage and kills.  For her career, she places second in UMBC history with 276 block assists and fourth on the school list with 306 total blocks. Each of the past two years she has been named an Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sport Scholar and a member of the America East All-Academic Team.  After he senior season she was also named to the COBRA Magazine All-East Region Team.

Adewumi broke through the 100-win barrier in four year on the tennis courts at UMBC. In 2011, he earned his second consecutive America East All-Academic team honor and became UMBC’s first male repeat honoree in the sport since America East instituted All-Academic teams in 2005-06 The biochemistry and molecular biology major was named a 2011 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Bound for the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Adewumi just earned America East All-Conference recognition for singles and doubles competition in 2012, giving him four career All-Conference citations.


Juniors Jamie Fahey (Baldwin, Md./Loch Raven) of women’s lacrosse and Sean Kshimetski(Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake)i, a pole vaulter on the track & field squad, both earned the Retriever Club Scholarship Award, which will be used for their senior seasons of competition.   



Below is the list of UMBC’s most valuable athletes, most improved athletes and unsung heroes for each sport, chosen by that team’s coaches:


2011-12 UMBC Award Winners

Men’s Soccer

Most Valuable Athlete:             Dan Louisignau (Wilmington, Del./Concord) 
Unsung Hero:                            Andy Streilein (Rockville, Md./Wootton)

Women’s Soccer

Most Improved Athlete:            Morgan Taylor (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) 

Unsung Hero:                            Jessy Brown Plantation, Fla./American Heritage


Unsung Hero:                      Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison)                              

Unsung Hero:                      Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence)


Men’s Cross Country

Most Valuable Athlete:        Brandan McGee (Hiram,Ohio/Crestwood)   

Most Valuable Athlete:        TJ Cowing (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park)

Women’s Cross Country

Most Valuable Athlete:   Keri Wilson (Columbia, Md./Long Reach)                                            

Most Improved Athlete:   Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South Carroll)

Women’s Basketball

Most Valuable Athlete:   Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman)                            

Most Valuable Athlete:   Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville)

Men’s Basketball

Most Valuable Athlete:   Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick)                                     

Unsung Hero:                   Jake Wasco (Philadelphia, Pa./Franklin Learning Center)            

Women’s Indoor Track

Most Valuable Athlete:              Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen)

Most Valuable Athlete:               Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown)

Men’s Indoor Track

Most Valuable Athlete:              Trae Proctor ( Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone)

Most Valuable Athlete:               Aaron Brooks (Upper Marlboro, Md./Dematha)

Men’s Swimming & Diving

Most Valuable Athlete:  Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport)                            

Most Valuable Athlete:  Mohammed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College)

Women’s Swimming & Diving

Most Valuable Athlete:Abbey McKenney (Wimington, Del/Brandywine)                                    

Most Valuable Athlete:Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross)


Most Valuable Athlete  Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep)                                

Unsung Hero                 Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC)


Most Valuable Athlete   Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown)         

Most Valuable Athlete   Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby)

Men’s Lacrosse

Most Valuable Athlete   Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, B.C./Terry Fox)                                      

Most Improved Player:   Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha)

Women’s Lacrosse

Most Valuable Athete     Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron)               

Unsung Hero:                   Lauren Mundell (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park)  

Men’s Tennis

Most Valuable Athlete Joe Adewumi (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon)                                           

 Most Improved Athlete Eric Jarkowski (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytechnic Institute)

Women’s Tennis

Most Valuable Athlete    Shalini Sahoo (New Dehli, India/TCU)                   

Most Improved Athlete Josefin Stange-Jonsson (Vasteras, Sweden/ De La Gardiegymnasiet)

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field

Most Valuable Athlete:              Amanda Deller (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen)

Most Valuable Athlete:               Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown)

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field

Most Valuable Athlete:              Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood)                                          

Most Valuable Athlete:               Malte Bertram (Einbeck, Germany/Goethschule Gymnasium)