ARTICLE OF THE DAY
 
ECU’s Top Five
Male and Female Athletes of the Year

by Eric Gilmore
6/9/06

Aundrae Allison  -  Football

Allison somersaulted into the end zone when scoring his first touchdown during 2005’s spring practice. Back then, fans didn’t know what to expect from the Georgia Military transfer. Allison was a highly touted recruit when he originally signed with UNC, but few anticipated the type of breakout season that included an assault on the prestigious ECU record book. Instead of flaming out, Allison arrived on the scene to deliver one of the most magical individual football seasons ever.

The junior receiver tallied an ECU single-season record in receiving yards with 1,024. He was the first Pirate receiver to break the century mark in a single-season while shattering the previous record by 127 yards. His 93.1 receiving yards-per-game ranked 19th nationally while his catches-per-game (7.55) led Conference USA and were fourth nationally.

Had Allison not suffered a knee injury in the season finale, he may have broke Terrance Copper’s single-season reception mark, which he narrowly missed by four receptions. The junior also tallied five games with receiving yards in excess of 100 yards, the most ever for an ECU receiver.

Allison was named to the All-C-USA team and started all 11 contests while scoring seven touchdowns despite facing multiple double teams.


Jake Smith  - Baseball


Smith was bothered by a hamstring injury throughout Billy Godwin’s inaugural season, but still managed to be named second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball. The hard hitting catcher became the first Pirate since 2004 to earn All-America accolades.

Smith finished his collegiate career with 29 home runs and 135 RBIs, which ranks in the top 12 on ECU's all-time charts. During 2006, he topped all Pirate hitters in seven categories including average, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage, while ranking second in home runs with 13.

The Greensboro, N.C. native was selected to the first-team All C-USA squad. He also was named C-USA Hitter-of-the-Week honors on Feb. 27.


Hector Cotto  - Track & Field

Cotto will compete in the NCAA national championship outdoor track meet on June 7-10. The 110 meter hurdler recently finished third at the East Regional in Greensboro to qualify for the national meet. It was Cotto’s second consecutive trip to the regional meet.

The senior hurdler broke his own personal best and set an ECU record time of 13.66 during the East Regional, breaking his previous mark of 13.78, which he set as a junior. The Cary, N.C. native finished second in the C-USA Championships after posting a 14.00 mark. Cotto turned in a strong outing at the Penn Relays, when he finished eighth (14.08) in the college division and ninth in the championship heat (14.55).


Bryan Yasinsac  - Swimming & Diving

Yasinsac made an immediate impact on Rick Kobe’s swimming squad, which finished second in C-USA, after transferring from the University of Florida. Yasinsac earned all-conference honors in four relay events and set an ECU record in the 50-free (20.61).

The 6-foot-five-inch swimmer anchored the 200-medley relay (1:30.73), 400-medley relay (3:22.48), 200-freestyle relay (1:22.49) and the 400-freestyle relay (3:02.10), all of which topped C-USA. The 200-medley relay also established an ECU record time. In addition to the 50-free, the Taylorsville, N.C. native led the team with top times in the 100-free (45.61) and 200-free (1:41.65).


Chris Moore  - Football

Despite getting released from the New Orleans Saints, Moore had a memorable college campaign. The hard nosed and undersized middle linebacker etched his mark on the ECU record book while also serving as the senior emotional leader for the Pirates’ 5-6 resurgence.

Moore tallied 415 career tackles, which stands fourth all-time behind former ECU greats Harold Randolph, Robert Jones and Pernell Griffin. The 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker led the conference in tackles in 2004 ( ) and finished third in 2005 ( ). The first-team C-USA selection led C-USA in tackles for a loss. He started all 11 games in 2005 and gritted out 38 games total for his career.


Top Five Female Athletes of the Year

Meghan McCallion  - Soccer

Despite soccer receiving little fan interest, McCallion made a large dent in the ECU record books. McCallion, who is tied for the most games played (80) with fellow senior Melissa Penney, also holds school records in points per game (1.20), goals per game (0.49), shots attempted (276), shots per game (3.45), while ranking second in assists (18) and fourth in assists per game (0.22).

The four-year starter finished her collegiate career by becoming ECU's all-time leading scorer (96), goal scorer (39) as well as the all-time leader in games started (78) on her way to second-team All-Conference USA accolades.

The Long Island, N.Y. native led the team with nine goals, six assists and 24 points en route to an 8-12-1 record. She was named to the 2005 All-Southeast second-team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and 2005 Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region Third-Team.


Keli Harrell  - Softball

Harrell meant more to her team than any other female athlete, helping the softball team to a 40-24 overall record while posting a fifth place finish in C-USA. Consider that the first team all-conference junior pitcher threw 255 2/3 innings while the next Pirate tossed just 78.1. The J.H. Rose product’s gaudy numbers include tossing 27 complete games, leading the league in strike outs (255) compared to 65 walks while posting an impressive 1.75 ERA.

Harrell (26-15) earned five C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors. The Preseason Pitcher of the Year recorded 11 of the Pirates’ 13 league wins and will likely shatter the conference career strikeouts list, which she is currently second. The junior hurler struck out 10 or more batters eight times and tossed her second career no-hitter on March 26.


Jasmine Young  - Basketball

Young, a freshman point guard, led the team in assists (153), 3-point field goals (50) and minutes played (1097) which was a single-season school record. Young, who ranked 28th in the nation in assists per game (5.3), averaged a team second-best 13.0 ppg and was the only Lady Pirate to start all 29 games.

In only one season, the Richmond, Va. native into the school's single-season top-10 in three categories. She ranked fourth in 3-point field goals made (50), tied for fourth in steals (78) and tied for eighth in assists (153). She racked up on post-season honors in C-USA as she was named to the second-team, All-Freshman Team and became the first Lady Pirate to earn Freshman-of-the-Year honors with her Co-Freshman-of-the-Year selection.

In C-USA, she ranked second in steals (2.69 spg), fourth in assists (5.28) and ninth in assist to turnover ratio (1.34). She was also named MVP during a postseason banquet.
 

Rebecca Perry - Swimming & Diving

Perry helped to set six new swimming marks, including three new individual varsity records. Perry qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 50-free with a varsity record time of 22.88. She also established varsity records in the 100 (50.83) and 200-free (1:49.10).

As the first leg, the N.C. State transfer and Greenville native contributed to set varsity records in the 400-medley (3:48.07), 400-free (3:25.42) and 800-free (7:24.98) relays to earn all-conference honors in each relay event. She also posted the third-best time in the 100-backstroke (57.38).


Lene Krog  - Golf

Only a freshman, Krog helped lead ECU to its first ever C-USA Women’s Golf Championship during Kim Lewellen’s first season as head coach at the Ironwood Golf Course. Krog became the Pirates’ first individual C-USA champion when she tallied a 54-hole score of 216 (74-72-70) to win by a single stroke. Krog birdie five holes during the final round and recorded the second-most birdies in the field with 11.

The Leir, Norway native notched four top-5 finishes in seven tournaments during the regular season. Her fourth place finish in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic earned Krog a second C-USA Golfer of the Week honor. Throughout the season, she was ranked nationally by both the Golfweek and Golfstat publications.

Eric Gilmore
eric@pirateradio1250.com