CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After leading the women's sailing team to an eighth place finish at the 2016 ICSA/Sperry National Championship in San Diego, California a few weeks ago, senior Robyn Lesh (Everson, Wash.) was named a finalist for the Robert H. Hobbs National Sportsman of the Year Award.
Named in conjunction with the College Sailor of the Year Award following the national championship, the Robert H. Hobbs Award is a prestigious achievement that honors Robert Hobbs (MIT '64), past Executive Vice President of ICSA, past President of US SAILING (1992-1994), and former chair of the US SAILING Olympic Committee. In the 28 year history of the award, MIT sailing has been honored twice as Alan Sun earned the Hobbs Award in 2000 and JM Modisette did the same in 2005. Additionally, Jack Field was a finalist in 2008 and Andrew Sumner was a finalist in 2013.
After coming back from a concussion that kept her out of racing through the fall season, Lesh capped an incredible senior year with strong performances at the New England Championship, the National Semifinals and the National Championship.
Head coach Mike Kalin said, "Robyn competes with the very best in the nation, and holds herself to the highest standard of sportsmanship and Corinthian spirit when doing so. Robyn is proud to represent MIT at this level and upholds the values and high standards that it means to be a student-athlete at MIT.
At the NEISA Women's Championship, Lesh helped the A division vessel to seventh place as she aided in two rotation wins and ten top-10 finishes in the 16 race regatta. When Lesh and the women's sailing team got to California for the National Semifinals with the best teams in the country, the senior teamed up with classmate Lisa Sukharev-Chuyan (Temple, N.H.) for sixth place in the A Division, cracking the top-10 on seven occasions in the Semifinal events.
Lesh and Sukharev-Chuyan then aided MIT to eighth place in the National Championship regatta as the duo cracked the top-10 on five occasions to rank 10th after the first day of competition and followed it up by winning their third round A Division race to help the Engineers to a great finish among 13 Division I programs in California.
The Hobbs Trophy shall be awarded each year to the sailor that best exemplifies the Corinthian ideals of sailing. This sailor has made contributions to college sailing through his/her efforts, by competing, promotion of the sport, fostering sportsmanship among teams, maintaining quality of competition, and contributing to the overall performance of College Sailing.