Graziani & Ribeiro Honored
Freshmen Yasmine Graziani (above-right) and Jessikha Ribeiro (above-left) of the AIC women’s track and field team earned postseason honors from the Northeast-10 Conference on March 28, 2018. Graziani was named the NE10 Track Rookie of the Year, while Ribeiro was selected as the NE10 Field Rookie of the Year.
Graziani earned All-East Region honors for the 800-meters with a season-best converted time of 2:12.63 in addition to an All-Region selection for the distance medley relay. She was also the NE10 champion in the event with a time of 2:14.16, and placed second with the distance medley relay and 4×800-meter relay teams.
Ribeiro was All-Region in five events—the 60-meter hurdles, the distance medley relay, the high jump, the pentathlon, and the long jump. She qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in the pentathlon and high jump, finishing with the seventh-best mark in the nation in the high jump (1.72 meters), and the third-best point total in the pentathlon (3,762).
AIC Hockey Makes History
While it ended in defeat in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Conference (AHC) tournament, the AIC ice hockey team’s 2017-18 season was one for the history books.
Led by second-year head coach Eric Lang ’98, MS ’08, the Yellow Jackets recorded their highest win total in the program’s Division I tenure with a 15-20-4 record. Their 11 wins in conference play were also the most since the 1998-99 campaign, the team’s first as a member of the AHC. Seeded eighth in the AHC tournament, the Yellow Jackets hosted a playoff series for the first time, and in completing a two-game sweep of No. 9 Niagara, won its first postseason series.
The program received its first-ever point in the USCHO Division I poll and was highlighted in a segment of ESPN’s College Hockey Nation.
Watts Honored as an All-American
AIC women’s basketball forward Dana Watts earned honorable mention status in this year’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American awards for the second consecutive season. With 552 points during the 2017-18 season, Watts, a psychology major, moved into third place on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time scoring list with 1,587 points. She has also accumulated the program’s fourth-highest rebound total of all time with a count of 844.
Kipkosgei Named Athlete of the Year
AIC track and field star Leakey Kipkosgei was named the Northeast-10 Conference Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year on March 28, 2018. At the conference championships, Kipkosgei captured four gold medals, winning the one mile (4:12.20) and 3,000-meters (8:34.40), in addition to being part of the first-place distance medley relays and 4×800-meter relays. The four first-place finishes are the most by any AIC athlete at a single championship meet in program history. He was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer. Kipkosgei also earned the conference’s Athlete or Relay of the Week honors four times this season.
Christian Goes Viral
AIC hockey forward Bryant Christian’s last game as a member of the Yellow Jackets hockey program was, indeed, a memorable one. After suffering an injury that was later discovered to be a fractured tibia in the first period of AIC’s 3-0 loss to Canisius in game three of the Yellow Jackets’ Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinal series, Christian skated one last shift on that broken leg, capturing the attention of the national media. With video of his final shift spreading rapidly over the Internet and social media, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski dubbed Christian “the best player in the world of the week,” and Christian, along with head coach Eric Lang, appeared on the NHL Network’s NHL Now program.
Christian proved he was a champion on and off the ice at the MassMutual Center, when he was named co-valedictorian at AIC’s 133rd Commencement on May 12, 2018. Christian had a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Bramble Earns All-American Status
Senior Dana Bramble put forth an All-American performance for the AIC women’s indoor track and field team at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10, 2018, becoming the fifth female Yellow Jackets track and field athlete ever to do so. She placed seventh in the triple jump with a leap of 12.34 meters, breaking her own school record for the third consecutive meet.
Kapcheck Named Rookie of the Year
Freshman Brennan Kapcheck was named the 2017-18 Atlantic Hockey Conference Rookie of the Year, becoming the first major award winner in AIC ice hockey’s Division I program history. Kapcheck, an international business major with a minor in marketing, led AIC in scoring with 22 points (six goals, 16 assists), appearing in all 34 conference contests. He ranked fifth in the conference in points by a defenseman, third in points among conference rookies, and first among rookies in assists.
Yellow Jackets Go Pro
AIC ice hockey’s senior forward Johno May signed a professional contract, inking a deal with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, an ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers, and made an immediate impact. In his first game, May scored his first professional goal and was the game’s second star.
Senior defenseman Andrew Debrincat also went pro and scored his first professional goal with the South Carolina Stingrays, the Washington Capitals’ ECHL affiliate.