May 18, 2012

MIT Places Five on Capital One Academic All-District At-Large Team

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seniors Columbus Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Anastasia Vishnevetsky (Orange, Conn.) along with juniors Matt Hohenberger (St. Louis, Mo.), Wyatt Ubellacker (Georgetown, Ky.), and Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) were selected to the Capital One Academic All-District at-large team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday. The five student-athletes will represent MIT on the national ballot and will vie for Academic All-America honors to be voted on later this month.

Sports eligible for the at-large program are: women's bowling, women's crew, men's and women's fencing, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and wrestling.

A four-year starter on the water polo team, Leonard posted 203 saves, 14 steals, and six assists this past season en route to his third consecutive CWPA all-conference award. He registered at least 200 saves in three seasons, helping him graduate as MIT's all-time leader in career saves with 805. An environmental engineering major, Leonard lived in Nicaragua last spring where he developed a plastic bag sealer to preserve orange juice in an air-tight bag to increase profits for local orange growers.

An outside hitter on the Engineers' volleyball team, Hohenberger received AVCA first-team All-America accolades after leading the team in kills (365), kills per set (3.26), and hitting percentage (.323), while ranking second in aces (46) and aces per set (0.41). This past season, he broke the Institute record for career aces as his total of 185 surpassed the previous mark of 160. In addition, Hohenberger became the fifth player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 kill mark. Majoring in mechanical engineering, he spent six weeks in Tanzania last summer improving a wheelchair's design to encourage increased mobility within the area. While abroad, Hohenberger also enhanced the design he created at MIT and built a second prototype.

Ubellacker racked up seven All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship, replicating his award total from the 2011 national meet. He qualified for the upcoming US Olympic Trials in the 50 freestyle and has set Institute records in the 50 free, and 50 and 100 butterfly. Majoring in mechanical engineering, Ubellacker is a two-time NEWMAC academic all-conference selection and was named CSCAA Scholar All-America.

McShane is the only player in history of the field hockey team to receive All-America honors three years in a row. A three-time NEWMAC first team all-conference selection, she scored the tying goal in this year's NEWMAC Championship with 81 seconds left that forced overtime and led to the Engineers' second title in three years. A mechanical engineering major, McShane is a residential tutor for the Women's Technology Program, was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and created prototypes for outdoor activity toys which received the highest rating for toy concept.

Vishnevetsky compiled a 12-5 singles record, including a 6-1 mark at the No. 3 position, to go along with a 12-7 total in doubles competition for the women's tennis team. She had an unblemished ledger in NEWMAC play and closed her career with six all-conference plaudits. Majoring in brain and cognitive sciences, Vishnevetsky has conducted research in localizing language regions in the brain, the effect of multiple sclerosis on vision and the molecular basis of Parkinson's disease. In addition, she received the Hans-Lukas Teuber Award for Excellence in Academics in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.