2022-23 student CATS Award winners, from left: Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, Isaac Cory, Lexi Troup, Jordan Specht, Makenzie Weaver and Gavin Barrett.

Wildcat Athletics

Published 02.16.2024

Spring 2024, Volume 33, Number 1
Wildcat Athletics

Conference academic accolades

Penn College student-athletes continued to excel in the classroom during the 2022-23 academic year. Wildcat Athletics matched its record for United East Conference scholar-athlete selections and topped the conference with eight team academic honors.

Penn College had 23 student-athletes with perfect 4.0 grade point averages, and a school-record 100 student-athletes were selected as 2022-23 United East Scholar-Athletes, matching the Wildcats’ previous high mark of 100 selections in 2021-22.

Penn College finished third among the conference's full-time members. Lancaster Bible (115) and Penn State Harrisburg (102) finished in first and second.

In order to be selected, a student-athlete must achieve a combined GPA of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and be in good standing on his or her team.

A conference-best eight Penn College teams attained the inaugural United East Team Academic Award, which was presented to United East-sponsored programs that achieved a team cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher during the 2022-23 academic year.

Men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, softball, women’s volleyball, men’s cross-country, women’s cross-country and women’s tennis earned the honor for the Wildcats.

Annual awards

Penn College honored six student-athletes for the 2022-23 year at the sixth annual CATS (Celebrating Athletic Triumphs and Successes) Awards celebration.

Isaac Cory ’26 (wrestling) and Lexi Troup ’26 (women’s basketball) earned Newcomer of the Year honors in a field of nominees that included Mitchell Campbell ’26 (cross-country), Alec Cooper ’26 (men’s basketball), Camden Elmo ’26 (lacrosse), Lexi Snyder ’26 (softball), and Brooke Klinger ’26 (soccer).

Cory became the first wrestler in program history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament after taking silver at the NCAA Mideast Regional. He was the only freshman in the 184-pound bracket at nationals and was named to the national d3wrestling.com all-freshman team. Cory was regionally ranked for most of the season and won the prestigious Ned McGinley Invitational.

Troup led the women’s basketball team in points with 249, averaging 9.6 per game. She started in 22 games and played in all 26, averaging 28.9 minutes a game. Her game highs included 25 points, nine rebounds, four assists and six blocks. She scored double digits in 14 games.

Mackenzie Weaver ’25 (softball) and Gavin Barrett ’25 (men’s basketball) took home Athlete of the Year awards. Other nominees included Sam Hills ’25 (lacrosse), Peyton Mussina ’25 (golf), Brian Robison ’23 (baseball), Kaelynn Sheetz ’24 (women’s soccer) and Rachel Teats ’25 (women's basketball).

Weaver finished the season with 16 wins, including a perfect game and a no-hitter. Her efforts led her to a United East First Team selection and a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region Third Team nod.

Barrett became the first player in program history to earn first team all-conference honors. He recorded a pair of triple-doubles last season and led the United East in both points and assists.

Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni ’24 (wrestling) and Jordan Specht ’23 (softball) were awarded Scholar-Athlete of the Year in a field that also featured nominees Isaac Hernandez ’23 (lacrosse), Will Sulesky ’23 (men’s basketball) and Rosey Thomas ’23 (cross-country).

Kennedy-Citeroni has a 4.0 overall GPA as a civil engineering technology student and is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma national honor society for collegiate athletes. He won 17 matches last season and is a cadet in the Army ROTC Bald Eagle Battalion.

Specht boasted a 4.0 overall GPA in nursing and served with classmates on a medical mission in Guatemala. She is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma and is a two-time all-region selection in softball.

Also earning awards were Devon Sanders, Assistant Coach of the Year; Matt Blymier and Britni Mohney, Staff Members of the Year; and men’s lacrosse, Community Service Award.

Fall Sports Roundup



Penn College captured its first United East Conference title in men’s cross-country. All five Wildcats runners earned All-Conference accolades. Mitchell Campbell ‘26 led the team with a third-place finish, Matthew Woolcock ’26 finished sixth, and Alec Rees ’25 finished seventh, all earning first-team honors. Rees was named the Elite 20 award winner. The award is given to the runner with the highest GPA among the top two teams at the conference championship. Holden Furey ’27 and Jackob Parker ’27 finished 17th and 20th, respectively, to earn second-team honors. On the women’s side, Elaina Brady ’27 placed 14th and Skyelar Splain ’24 was 19th to earn second-team and third-team honors, respectively. Leading the program in just his second year, head coach Tom Leeser was named United East Coach of the Year.

Women’s soccer

Women’s soccer

The women’s soccer team posted an 11-2-7 overall record en route to the third seed in the United East playoffs and a trip to the Volt Division Semifinals. Five Wildcats were rewarded for their efforts with All-Conference recognition. Kaelynn Sheetz ’24 and Sara Darlington ’25 earned repeat first-team selections. Sheetz broke the program record for career goals and points and finished second in the league with 24 goals and 54 points in 2023. Three Wildcats were named to the second team-all conference: BillieGean Hennessy ’25 earned a repeat nod. Nicole Lichtinger ’25 was named second-team goalkeeper after recording six of the team’s nine shutouts and 72 saves, while Makayla Bucks ’27 earned her first career all-conference selection in her rookie season.

Men’s soccer

Men’s soccer

Men’s soccer made it to the conference playoffs for the first time since 2018 as the Wildcats earned a No. 5 seed in the United East Volt Division bracket. Tommy DeGeyter ’25 was a big part of the Wildcats’ success this season and was awarded his second career United East All-Conference Second Team honor. DeGeyter and Cooper Smith ‘26 led the Wildcats with five goals apiece in 2023.

Hall of Fame

Former Penn College women’s soccer standouts Robyn Beddow ’15 and Hailee Hartman ’17 were inducted into the 2023 Penn College Athletics Hall of Fame during Wildcat Weekend.

Beddow, of Lancaster, had a breakout sophomore season in 2013 when she scored 14 goals, had four assists and was named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association second team. The Wildcats reached the USCAA Small College National Championships.

As a junior in 2014, Beddow was awarded North Eastern Athletic Conference and USCAA All-Academic honors, and she capped her career with nine goals and five assists as a senior when she was named to the NEAC second team and received a USCAA honorable mention along with NEAC and USCAA All-Academic honors.

Starting in 67 matches during the four seasons she played, Beddow scored 31 career goals and had 11 assists and 73 points.

During her four-year career, Hartman, of Lampeter, played in 78 of the Wildcats’ 81 matches, starting 77, and finished her career with 35 goals, 22 assists and 92 points, with all three totals breaking NCAA-era program records.

As a junior in 2016, Hartman led the team with 15 goals – connecting on 78.4% of her shots on goal – seven assists, and a record-breaking 37 points, while earning NEAC second-team honors.

She was awarded NEAC third-team accolades during her sophomore and senior seasons and was an NEAC All-Academic honoree in 2015.

In her senior year, Penn College finished second in the NEAC Championships after reaching the semifinals in 2016 and quarterfinals in 2015.

Hall of Fame inductees Robyn Beddow ’15 (second from left) and Hailee Hartman ’17 (third), both standouts on the women’s soccer team, are joined by Penn College President Michael J. Reed (left) and Athletics Director Scott E. Kennell.