Nelson, Gwyther honored

Zach Smart

Putting an exclamation point on the stellar seasons they’ve had in their respective sports, junior Katie Gwyther of the women’s track team and freshman Ben Nelson of the men’s ice hockey team have been named QU athletes of the month for February 2k5.

Gwyther recently placed second overall in the mile during the second day of New England Championships in Boston, Mass., bringing home a new school record. She clocked a time of 4:50, shattering her previous, school record-breaking time by nearly seven seconds. This time qualified her for the ECACs, which took place this past weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

At the New England Championships, Gwyther also anchored the 4×800 relay team which finished 13th overall with a school record-shattering time of nine minutes, 17 seconds.

Gwyther, along with junior standout Joanna Perez (who now holds the school record in the 1,000 meter race) has helped put the Bobcats on the map this season. The Madison, N.H., native has been chipping seconds off her mile time since the kickoff meet, and had already scorched the Northeastern Conference record with a time of 4:57.77 during the NEC championships in mid-February. Her new personal record, a 26-second improvement from the time she won the NEC qualifier heat with, places her among the nation’s elite milers.

Nelson, who’s turned many heads his rookie season, accepts his first athlete of the month award after a month in which he established himself as one of the top division I scorers in the nation.

The 5’9,” 195-pound forward was sidelined the first eleven games of the season after suffering a nagging injury while weight training. However, he was able to bounce back and contribute right away, making a name for himself as one of the country’s top rookies.

Nelson, of Spokane, Wash., is currently averaging 1.30 points and 0.80 goals a game for the Atlantic Hockey regular season champs. In 21 games played, Nelson has scored 26 points, notching 16 goals while registering 10 assists. Had Nelson been healthy for three-fourths of the Bobcats’ games (which is an NCAA requirement in order for a player to qualify on the division I national level), these numbers would place him at first in the nation in points per game and third in the nation in goals.

Nelson clearly came into his own during the month of February. He scored 10 goals during one six-game stretch, picking up a hat trick in the Bobcats’ 7-2 victory over Mercyhurst at the beginning of the month.