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Rutgers announces 2019-20 award winners across several sport areas

Senior Taj Burgess earned the Werblin Award, along with 10 other Scarlet Knights. – Photo by Instagram

Rutgers Athletics announced on Wednesday that 13 student-athletes had received postseason awards for the 2019-20 academic year. The honors include the Werblin, Coursen, Headley-Singer and Athletic Director’s Excellence awards. A description of the awards can be found at the Rutgers Athletics website.

The Werblin Award was given to 11 student-athletes across eight sports. The recipients who performed in the fall season include alumna Austyn Cuneo and senior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz of the field hockey team, senior Christopher Gotterup of the men’s golf team (who also played in the Spring 2020 season) and senior forward Amirah Ali of the women’s soccer team.

Recipients who performed in the winter season include fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes of the women’s basketball team, junior Terka Grusova of the swimming team, senior Taj Burgess and graduate student Perry Christie of the men’s track and field team, senior Courteney Campbell of the women’s track and field team and sophomores 125-pounder Nicolas Aguilar and 133-pounder Sammy Alvarez of the wrestling team.

The Coursen Award was given to alumnus Jordan Pagano of the wrestling team, the Headley-Singer Award was given to alumna Amanda Visco of the women’s soccer team and the Athletic Director’s Excellence Award was given to Glatz.

Cuneo earned 2019 Second Team All-American, First Team All-Region and Second Team All-Big Ten honors after an 8-goal, eight-assist season. It was the highest scoring season of her collegiate career. 

Her former teammate, Glatz, earned 2019 Third Team All-American, First Team All-Region and First Team All-Big Ten accolades after posting 1.49 goals against average. The mark was fifth best in the Big Ten.

Gotterup, one of the top active Rutgers athletics figures as identified by The Daily Targum, was named a 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup finalist and the 2019-20 Big Ten Player of the Year. He is ranked No. 13 in Division I with a 69.89 average score, according to Golfstat.

Guirantes was the top scorer in the Big Ten last season with 20.6 points per game. She also averaged 3.1 assists, six rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. She is the only player to reach those averages for points, rebounds and assists in one season in the program’s history.

Last season, Grusova qualified for her second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She is also a College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America All-American.

Christie earned a bronze medal in the Big Ten Championships high jump last season. He was just the second male athlete in program history to qualify for the event. 

Campbell became the first female athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships high jump. She also finished sixth in the event at the Big Ten Championships last season.

Burgess placed fourth in the Big Ten Championships 400-meter event and also qualified for the NCAA Championships 400 meter last season. He was the third Scarlet Knight in history to qualify for the men’s team.

Alvarez compiled a number of accolades in his first collegiate season. He won an individual title at the 2020 Southern Scuffle and qualified for the NCAA Championships. He was also named a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-American.

Ali recorded 9 goals and four assists last season and was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. She also garnered First Team All-America honors.

Aguilar went 4-2 at the Big Ten Championships with three consecutive wins last season. He finished with a 24-11 record and also attained NWCA All-American status.

Visco was named team captain and anchored a Rutgers defense that allowed 0.58 goals per game last season. She also received a Big Ten Medal of Honor award, which is given to one graduating male and female athlete of each school.

Pagano finished his last season in the Scarlet Knights singlet with a 22-9 record on the mat. He earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Championships and also received the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

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