Fleur de Lis: (left to right) Kaitlyn Alvarez '17, Liz Axberg '21, Shannon Hickey '18 and Kristen Pechacek '18. Photo courtesy of St. Kate's Athletics.
Last month, St. Kate's Athletics launched the new bi-weekly Fleur-de-lis award — and honored four student as its first recipients. This week, another four Wildcats were recognized for their achievements (weeks of September 19 to October 3):
Kaitlyn Alvarez '18, Golf
Liz Axberg '21, Cross Country
Shannon Hickey '18, Soccer
Kristen Pechacek '18, Hockey
Alvarez earned the award for her extraordinary athletic achievements on the golf course. She won the College City Challenge as an individual for the second straight year, setting multiple school and course records in the process. Alvarez shot a season low score of +4, the second-lowest two day score in program history and the lowest score in tournament history, to finish in a tie for first place as an individual. Thanks to her win, Alvarez was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Athlete-of-the-Week on September 25th and enters the conference championship this weekend as one of the top golfers in the MIAC.
Axberg was honored for outstanding demonstration of dedication and inspirational leadership at the Roy Griak Invite on September 23. She was St. Kate’s leading runner for the majority of the race, despite the heat and humidity, and looked to be the team’s top finisher with less than 500 meters to go. Unfortunately, Axberg’s body gave out on her down the final stretch, but the first year persistently tried to get up and finish the race. Even after the medical staff removed her from the course, Axberg continuously asked to return to the course and cross the finish line, which inspired her teammates, coaches and spectators.
Hickey received Fleur-de-lis honors after a spectacular opening to the 2017 season. Prior to Monday evening’s game against Waldorf University, Hickey lead the Wildcat soccer team in goals (3) and points (6) as a center back, a rarity in the sport of soccer, and has converted 75% of her shots this season. Hickey also guided St. Kate’s to two big wins over MIAC opponents with goals against both Bethel and Saint Mary’s. This season, the senior captain is second on the team in both goals (3) and points (6). Additionally, Hickey is tied for sixth in the conference in points against MIAC opponents.
Pechacek is the first hockey student-athlete to earn the Fleur-de-lis award for her accomplishments in academics and scholarship. This summer, she was a part of the prestigious Summer Undergraduate Research Internship program at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University. Pechacek studied the correlation between traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and depression behaviors, as recent studies have shown increasing vulnerability for psychiatric diseases in patients with TBI. The study's findings will hopefully further develop an understanding of TBI and psychiatric diseases, including depression, impulse control and addiction.
This award replaces St. Kate's Wildcat Athlete of the Week honors; learn more: "Athletics Launches Fleur-De-Lis Award."