May 9, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The University of Notre Dame Athletic Department honored more than 700 student-athletes from its 26 varsity sports at the sixth annual All-Sports Banquet held Wednesday night at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
The three major athletic awards were presented: The Francis Patrick O'Connor Award, The Chris Zorich Service Award and the Byron V. Kanaley Awards. In addition, a member of each team was selected for the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award and the Notre Dame National Monogram Club MVP.
Women's tennis captain Kelly Zalinksi (Greer, S.C.) and baseball captain Matt Nussbaum (South Bend, Ind.) are this year's recipients of the Francis Patrick O'Connor Award. Since 1993, the University has presented this award named for a student-athlete who died in 1973 following his freshman year at Notre Dame. Pat O'Connor was the son of William "Bucky" O'Connor who played guard in football for Notre Dame in the 1940's. The award honors one female and one male student-athlete who best display the total embodiment of the true spirit of Notre Dame as exemplified by their contributions and inspirations to their respective teams.
To be considered, student athletes must possess those qualities attibuted to Pat O'Connor himself - caring, courage, confidence, encouragement, humility, honesty, humor, kindness and patience.
Zalinski holds the Notre Dame school record for career singles wins with 120 and has won at least 18 dual singles matches all four years at Notre Dame. Zalinski has tied the school record for combined singles and doubles wins, matching the 209 wins by former Irish All-American Jennifer Hall (1995-99). She has an 18-8 record at No. 3 singles and a 16-5 mark in doubles dual matches with sophomore Lindsey Green. The pair went 5-3 at No. 3 doubles to start 2000, including a win against North Carolina to clinch the 5-4 victory. After a win at No. 3 doubles against Wake Forest, the duo moved up to No. 2 doubles and have an 11-2 record at that spot. Green and Zalinski first paired together midway through the 1999 season and went 13-4 at No. 3 doubles. She is the third women's tennis player to win the award and first since Holyn Lord in 1996.
Nussbaum first joined the baseball program as walk-on freshman in 1997 and played sparingly during his first two seasons before bursting onto the scene as a two-year starter and as one of the team's top situational hitters. A tri-captain this season, he has played in 46 games while helping the Irish post a 36-12 record and earn a national top-25 ranking. He has started at left field, in addition to making 29 starts this season at catcher, despite just picking up that position in the summer of '99 and ranks fourth on the 2000 team with 30 runs batted in.
Jarious Jackson (Tupelo, Miss.) is the winner of The Christopher Zorich Award which was first presented in 1998. It was created to recognize the contributions of Notre Dame student-athletes to the University and the community at-large. The award holds the name of Christopher Zorich, a two-time football All-American and 1991 graduate.
Jackson, the Notre Dame starting quarterback in both '98 and '99, served as the lone Irish captain this past season and the first solo captain since 1991. An honorable mention All-America pick by Football News, he set the single-season Notre Dame record for passing yards in a season with 2,753 and also established the record for total offense in a season (3,217). He also finished with the second-best career pass efficiency rating in Notre Dame history.
Jackson actively participated in numerous service projects and activities and was instrumental in getting other members from the Irish football team involved community activities as well. He frequently counseled youngsters at the local juvenile correctional center, made numerous speaking appearances at grade school assemblies and volunteered his time at the South Bend Memorial Pediatric Unit. In addition, he helped organize the Memorial Charity Basketball Game in Bremen (Ind.) which benefitted cancer victims in that town..
The Byron V. Kanaley Awards, the most prestigious honors presented to monogram athletes who have been exemplary as both students and athletes, first were announced Tuesday. The 2000 recipients are swimming standouts Elizbeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.) and Ray Fitzpatrick (Doylestown, Pa.), baseball star Jeff Perconte (Arlington Heights, Ill.), women's soccer All-American Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) and rowing headliner Katrina Ten Eyck (Keystone, S.D.).
2000 Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley
2000 Notre Dame National Monogram Club MVP Award Winners: