Rhode Island College held its annual winter sports banquet at the Quonset Point Officer’s Club on Monday evening where each team named their MVP for the 2018-19 season.
Junior forward Benjamin Vezele (Providence, RI) was named the Roland R. Blais Most Valuable Player. Vezele, a Second Team All-Little East selection, played in 25 games, starting all of them. He averaged 12.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 3.4 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Vezele scored a season-high 30 points vs. Western Connecticut on Feb. 13. He grabbed a season-best 20 rebounds vs. Plymouth State on Jan. 23. Vezele had eight blocks vs. Eastern Connecticut on Nov. 28. He registered eight double-doubles on the season. His 10.8 rebounds per game and 3.4 blocks per game averages were tops in the Little East.
Sophomore guard Brooke Young (West Warwick, RI) was named the women’s basketball team’s MVP. Young played in 27 games, starting 26 of them. She averaged 12.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.6 apg and 0.6 spg. She scored in double figures in 16 games, including a season-high 19 points in a 58-44, win at Elms on Nov. 14. She pulled down a season-best eight rebounds in the 63-48 win at Roger Williams on Nov. 25 and dished out a season-best six assists in a 68-59 win at Western Connecticut on Feb. 13.
Senior Allie DiBiase (North Kingstown, RI) was named the women’s gymnastics team’s MVP. DiBiase earned All-American honors with a sixth place finish (37.150) at the 2019 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championship on March 23. DiBiase averaged 36.170 in the all-around for the year, including a season-best 37.325 at the NCGA East Regional on March 10. She posted her season-best score on vault (9.600) at the NCGA National Championship. Her season-best score on bars (9.175) came at the Brown Tri-Match on Feb. 10. She also had a season-best score of 9.350 on beam at the NCGA East Regional on March 10 and posted a season-best score of 9.675 on floor at the West Chester Tri-Match on Feb. 15.
Senior Mike Gallagher (Saunderstown, RI) was named the wrestling team’s MVP. A National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American, he finished the 2018-19 season with a 21-9 record to go along with 21 takedowns, six pins, two technical falls and a pair of major decisions. He earned All-Region honors with a seventh place finish (184 lbs.) at the NCAA Div. III N.E. Regional Championship on Feb. 24. He also was named a New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Honorable Mention All-Star (184 lbs.) and to the league’s All-Academic Team.
MEN’S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
Senior Shamar Spruill (Providence, RI) was named the men’s indoor track & field team’s MVP. Spruill was an All-New England honoree in the weight throw with an eighth place finish (16.63m) at the N.E. Div. III Championship on February 23. He was also the N.E. Alliance and Little East Champion in the weight throw (17.43m) at the Alliance Championship on Feb. 16.
WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
Junior Emma Landroche (Warwick, RI) was named the women’s indoor track & field team’s MVP. Landroche competed for the Anchorwomen at the NCAA Div. III National Championship on March 8, notching a 10th place finish in the long jump (5.47m). She also earned All-Region honors in both the 200m and the long jump for the Anchorwomen and was named the Little East Field Athlete of the Year. She was an All-New England performer with a sixth place finish in the long jump (5.30m) and as part of the first place 4x200m relay squad (1:43.04) at the N.E. Championship on Feb. 23. She also had a 15th place finish in the 200m (26.75). Landroche captured the N.E. Alliance and Little Championship with a first place finish in the long jump (5.69m) at the Alliance Championship on Feb. 16. Landroche established a new meet and program record with her effort. She won the Alliance and Little East Championship in the 200m (26.23) and earned N.E. Alliance honors with a fifth place finish in the triple jump (10.48) and a sixth place finish in the 60m (8.16).
Freshman Athena Sampalis (West Greenwich, RI) was named the women’s swimming team’s MVP. Sampalis, a New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) All-Academic selection, made an immediate impact on the Anchorwomen during her rookie season. She was named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week twice during the season and had 10 first place finishes on the year. She finished 13th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:56.63) and was 18th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:15.51) at the Little East Championship on Feb. 9. Sampalis swam the third leg of the seventh place 200-yard medley relay (2:20.91) and had the lead leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished seventh (4:29.69).