Naval Academy Athletic Association announces major award winners
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland—The Naval Academy Athletic Association announced its top sports award winners this afternoon with JC Hermus of the intercollegiate sailing team winning the NAAA Sword for Men, Katie Halbert of the track and field team winning the Vice Admiral Lawrence Women’s Sword and Diego Faggot of the football team that won the Thompson Trophy Cup. Jacob Allen of the wrestling team and Megan La Mendola of the football team won the Coaches’ Calvert Awards.
The NAAA Men’s Epee is presented to this graduating man who is considered by the Association’s Athletic Council to have personally excelled in men’s athletics during his years of college competition.
Hermus is the first intercollegiate sailor to win the sword in the award’s 130-year history.
Hermus is a four-time ICSA Skipper All-American (2019-22), making him the fifth athlete in program history to be named a four-time career All-American skipper.
He won the 2021 Everett B. Morris Award as College Sailor of the Year, one of only four athletes in Navy history to earn this honor (for a total of five times), while he helped the Navy stay undefeated and win the 2021 ICSA Team National Racing Championship and National Fleet Racing Championship.
Hermus was an All-MAISA First Team Skipper in 2019 and ’22 (no MAISA awards were given in 2020 and ’21), MAISA Open Skipper of the Year 2022 and won a gold medal at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships during Plebe Summer.
Navy has won six MAISA Championships in his four-year career (Fleet Race Championship three times, Team Race Championship twice, and Match Race Championship once).
Vice Admiral Lawrence Sword for Women is introduced to this female grad who is considered by the Association’s Athletic Council to have personally excelled in women’s athletics during her college competitive years.
Halbert is the 11e track and field athlete to win the award in the 43 years it has been awarded and the first since Jess Palacio in 2012.
Halbert finished her career as an All-Patriot League performer eight times, including a five-time first-team winner, helping the Navy women’s track team win all six Patriot League championships that have taken place over its four years (Indoor – 2019, ’20, ’22; Outdoor – 2019, ’21, ’22).
As captain of the senior team, she was named the Female Field Athlete of the 2022 Patriot League Outdoor Championship competition, while earning the most points of any competitor in the outdoor competition. .
Additionally, Halbert was a two-time performer for the ECAC All-East, helping lead the contenders to an overall tag team title at the 2021 ECAC Outdoor Championship – the first Division I title in program history for women and the Navy’s second CEAC title of all time.
In class, she was named the 2021 USTFCCCA Scholarly Athlete, while earning three-time All-Patriot Academic League recognition (indoor – 2022; outdoor – 2021, ’22).
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.
Grandpa it’s 85e football player to win the award in the 130 years it has been awarded and the first since Malcolm Perry in 2020.
Fagot was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter for the Mids at linebacker and finished his career with 282 tackles, 35.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, two interceptions, two digs. fumbles, five forced fumbles and a glorious fake punt that helped win this year’s Army-Navy game.
Fagot is only the third player in school history to lead his team in tackles for three consecutive years and the 35.5 tackles for a loss is the sixth in school history.
Fagot was a three-time All-American Athletic Conference selection (first team in 2019 and 21 and second team in 2020), a fourth team All-American under Phil Steele (2021), All-East (2021), Liberty Bowl Player Defensive Most Valuable Player (2019) and East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player (2021). He is the only Navy player to be named an All-AAC multiple times.
He led the Navy to the 2019 Commander-in-Chief Trophy, the 2019 Liberty Bowl Championship and a share of the 2021 Commander-in-Chief Trophy.
Fagot, who was one of four Navy team captains this year, ended his career on a high note in the Navy’s 17-13 victory over the Army. He led the team with nine tackles, including teaming with a second defensive end Jacob Busic on the final stoppage of the game, and made a four-yard run on a surprise fake punt that landed a critical first down and set up the final three points of the competition for Navy. Fagot was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens.
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.
Allen is the eighth wrestler to win the Men’s Calvert Award in its 49-year history and the first since Michael Woulfe in 2016.
Allen was a three-year starter for the wrestling team, including the 2020-21 campaign which saw him earn an NCAA Championship berth after an EIWA Championship runner-up performance. The four-year-old letter winner and captain of the 2021-22 team has led the contenders to victory in each of the last two All-Star games against Army. He finished his career with a 51-42 record, including a 15-15 record in dual competition.
Allen also stood out in the classroom where he earned a 4.00 GPA in Operations Research and was recently named CoSIDA Academic All-District Selection for General Sports. A three-time EIWA Scholar Award recipient (2019, ’21, ’22) and two-time NWCA Scholar All-American (2021, ’22), he appeared on the Superintendent’s and Commandant’s lists for all eight semesters. Allen was ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2022 (1,114) in the Academic Order of Merit, No. 2 in the Military Order of Merit, and No. 7 in the General Order of Merit.
LaMendola is the fifth soccer player to win the Calvert Women’s Award in the 43 years the award has been given and the first since Elizabeth Hoerner in 2014.
LaMendola earned two varsity letters as a backup goaltender for teams that combined to go 42-19-12 in her four years, including a 22-6-4 mark in the Patriot game League, three wins over Army and two Patriot League championships.
LaMendola came to the Navy as a goaltender and in her four years climbed the depth chart from the fourth string to a valuable backup who played important minutes for the Mids in 2021 and helped the team to achieve a record of 11-6-3.
LaMendola did everything to the maximum of his ability. In four years, she not only rose through the ranks to become a key contributor in the field, she improved her Order of Military Merit by more than 600 positions to a top 20 and her Order of General Merit by more than 400 positions to finish with a 3.62 cumulative grade point average as an oceanography major.