JC Hermus and Katie Halbert Win Top Naval Academy Athletic Association Awards – Capital Gazette
The Naval Academy Athletic Association announced its top athletic honorees last week, with intercollegiate sailing skipper JC Hermus winning the men’s epee and track and field star Katie Halbert receiving the women’s epee from Vice Admiral Lawrence.
Football player Diego Fagot received the Thompson Trophy Cup, while wrestler Jacob Allen and football player Megan LaMendola received the Coaches Calvert Awards.
The men’s sword is presented to the graduating member who is deemed by the NAAA Athletic Council to have personally excelled in athletics during four years of college competition.
Hermus is the first intercollegiate sailor to win the sword in the award’s 130-year history. The Bellport, New York native is a four-time Intercollegiate Sailing Association American skipper, only the fifth person in the program’s history to accomplish the feat.
As a junior, Hermus was named the winner of the Everett B. Morris Award as College Sailor of the Year, one of four midshipmen so honored. He was recognized for helping the Navy stay undefeated and win the 2021 ICSA Team Race and Fleet Race National Championship.
Halbert is the 11th track and field athlete to win the Vice Admiral Lawrence Women’s Sword, which has now been awarded for 43 years to the female athlete the NAAA Athletic Council selects for career excellence.
Halbert finished her career as an All-Patriot League performer eight times and helped the women’s track and field team win six conference championships. She made the All-Patriot League first team five times and played a starring role in the Navy, beating arch-rivals Army 6-1.
As captain of the senior team, Halbert was named the competition’s field athlete after earning the most points of any competitor at the 2022 Patriot League Outdoor Championships. In the classroom, the resident of Keller, Texas has been recognized three times by the Academic All-Patriot League.
The Thompson Trophy Cup is awarded to the midshipman, male or female, who has done the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy. Fagot, a four-year-old man of letters, is the 85th football player to win the award in the 130 years it has been awarded.
Fagot was a three-year starting inside linebacker and finished his career with 282 tackles, 9½ sacks and five forced fumbles. He is only the third player in program history to lead the team in tackles for three straight seasons and his 35-and-a-half tackles for loss ranks sixth all-time in the Navy.
Fagot was a three-time All-American Athletic Conference draft pick (first team in 2019 and 2021, second team in 2020) and was named the 2019 Liberty Bowl Most Valuable Defensive Player and East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player. 2021.
Fagot was a hero in the 2021 Army-Navy game, landing a first down on a surprise fake punt, then teaming up with winger Jacob Busic to make a fourth save that sealed a 17-13 victory. The Fort Lauderdale resident, one of four team captains, led the contenders with nine tackles against the Black Knights.
Fagot recently signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent and was cleared to pursue professional football by the Department of Defense.
The Calvert Coaches Award recognizes a college letter recipient who has demonstrated leadership, tireless effort, loyalty and dedication to the sport and who has pushed his or her abilities beyond the expectations of the coach, their peers and themselves.
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Allen is the eighth wrestler to win the Men’s Calvert Award in its 49-year history.
Allen was a three-year-old starter and was crowned Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion as a junior, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The four-year-old letterman and captain of the 2021-22 team has led Navy to victory in each of the last two Star Matches against Army. The Poway, Calif., native finished his career with a 51-42 record.
Allen also stood out in the classroom, posting a perfect 4.0 GPA in Operations Research and being named a CoSIDA Academic All-District Selection for General Sports. He appeared on the Superintendent’s and Commandant’s Rolls in all eight semesters and was ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2022 in the Order of Academic Merit and No. 2 in the Order of Military Merit.
LaMendola is the fifth soccer player to receive the Calvert Women’s Award in the 43 years it has been awarded.
LaMendola earned two varsity letters as a backup goalie for teams that posted a combined 42-19-12 record, including a 22-6-4 mark in the Patriot League. The Navy beat the Army three times and won two Patriot League championships during his career.
LaMendola was an extra who steadily climbed the depth chart from fourth string to backup and played valuable minutes during the 2021 campaign in which Navy notched an 11-6-3 record.
LaMendola improved his Order of Military Merit by more than 600 positions inside the top 20 and his Order of General Merit by more than 400 positions after finishing with a 3.62 GPA as an oceanography major.