April 17, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics held its annual Senior Awards Banquet on Monday night at the Petersen Events Center, and the Pitt swimming and diving team was heavily represented among the award winners.
Adam Maczewski headlined the award winners as he was one of three senior athletes honored with the Blue-Gold Award. The Blue-Gold Award is presented to the graduating male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated the best combination of academic scholarship, athletic achievement, leadership qualities, activities and citizenship throughout their four years.
Maczewski won the Big East Championship in the 100 yard backstroke and remained undefeated in this event over his entire career. He also earned his first individual ECAC crown with a first-place finish in the 100 back as a junior and was the recipient of the American Eagle Outfitters Male Institutional Scholar Athlete Award. Maczewski is an information science major and is originally from Warsaw, Poland.
Maczewski will have his name added to the Varsity Walk on Pitt’s campus between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel. There, embedded in the stones, Maczewski will join the names of former Pitt student-athletes who have promoted the university through athletic and/or academic achievements.
In the beginning of the evening, Pitt’s Seniors of Distinction were recognized. Nine senior student-athletes received this honor for having made outstanding contributions in the athletic arena. Among those nine recipients were Joanna Budzis, Kelsey Herbst and Hussein Medhat-Mohamed.
“Although she was a quiet leader, Joanna helped motivate others with one-on-one talks and seeked out those who she thought needed to be motivated on the team,” head coach Chuck Knoles said. “She loves to compete and race, and she has shown that over her years at Pitt. Joanna was always the go-to swimmer regardless of the event that needed to be won. That’s how broad her versatility was. Joanna has blossomed into an outstanding athlete and Pitt woman.
“Kelsey is a fire cracker full of energy,” Knoles continued. “She came to Pitt as a “wet-behind-the-ears” water polo player and a part time swimmer in high school. In her first year, she went from being a newcomer to the sport in the 1,650 freestyle to being a finalist in that event at the Big East Championships. She is a gifted student and leader. She has the gift to see the fun in life but has the ability to marshal her teammates to move them in the right direction. Word has it that her “talks with the team” in the locker room when more of a fight was needed, has become somewhat legendary in her tenure here at Pitt.
“Despite having undergone two separate shoulder surgeries, Hussein never slowed down. After his first surgery, he came back to the pool and set a school record in the 200 freestyle during the leadoff leg of the 800 yard freestyle relay. After both surgeries, Hussein was still named to the All-Big East team roster. Perhaps one of the most incredible background stories to his success, was his ability to stay focused on his tasks here at Pitt while his home country of Egypt and his family was embroiled in one of the most incredible revolutions we have seen in our lifetime. Hussein’s ability to achieve at the highest levels of academics and athletes is admirable. But knowing the obstacles through which he has had to fight to gain that success, makes his accomplishments all the more incredible.
“All of our graduating seniors will be sorely missed. They have been amazing student-athletes throughout their four years and have represented the Pitt swimming and diving program with the upmost dignity and integrity. They will always be a part of the Pitt family and we wish them nothing but good fortunes moving forward.”