BMCC Star Athletes Honored at CUNYAC Scholar-Athlete Dinner

May 19, 2006

Two BMCC students, Nizar Chahbani and Annelie Gregor, were honored by The City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) as 2005-2006 Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Two other students honored were Katherine Maher (Baruch) and Omri Holzman (Hunter). The four outstanding student-athletes along with 33 honorable mentions were honored at the CUNYAC Scholar-Athlete Dinner on May 17th at Baruch College. In addition, the conference saluted a host of All-Americans from the past season.

Midfielder Nizar Chahbani has helped put the Men’s Soccer program on the map. The Business Administration major, who carries a 3.64 grade point average, was named a National Junior College Association All-American and All Region First Team player in 2005. As evidenced by his 12 goals and 14 assists this past season, Chahbani effectively wiggles his way past defenders nearly the same way he negotiates through New York City traffic in his job as a taxi driver. His athletic ability was a major reason why the Panthers reached the NJCAA Final Four this past season and finished third in the nation. A Dean’s list student and member of the Accounting Club, the Tunisian-born product and now Brooklyn resident burst upon the scene in 2004, netting six goals and setting up 11 others en route to receiving NJCAA All Region Second Team accolades.

Future student-athletes will look upon Annelie Gregor as a pioneer in the sport of swimming at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. In just the second year of the programs existence, the Stockholm, Sweden native led the Panthers to an eighth place showing at the National Junior College Association Swimming & Diving Championships, held this past March in San Antonio, Texas. In the classroom, the now Brooklyn, New York resident boasts a sparkling 3.85 grade point average in International Business with a minor in Political Science. Gregor became an NJCAA All-American in 2005 in the 200 Individual Medley and the 200 Breaststroke. This past season, she won the bronze medal in the 400 Individual Medley at Nationals with a personal-best time of 5.08.13. She also placed 7th in the 100 Breaststroke and was ninth in the 200 Individual Medley. In addition, she was a member of the Panthers’ 200 Individual Medley Relay team that earned All-American status. She also proved that she can compete conference-wide, winning the 100 Breaststroke at the CUNYAC Championships this past season. Gregor has volunteered some of her time as a mentor for Sweedish teenagers at the Scandinavian House.

Baruch’s Katherine Maher is described by her coaching staff as a “warrior”, a student-athlete who is as highly driven by her studies as she is on the diamond. And ironically, numbers are a big part of her life, both on the baseball field and off. An accounting major with a spectacular 3.87 grade point average, Maher has been one of the top pitchers in the CUNY Athletic Conference over the past four seasons, earning All-Star accolades in her first three campaigns. In the classroom, she has earned Dean’s List honors in six different semesters and has earned the CUNY Honors College Scholarship, Peter Vallone Scholarship, and the Presidential Academic Scholarship in each of her four years. After entering the scene in 2003 as Baruch’s Rookie of the Year, the Brooklyn native followed that up by going 7-3 with a terrific 2.07 ERA in 2004, and was named the Bearcats Most Valuable Player. Despite the daily rigors of combining academics and athletics, Maher has managed to find the time to serve in the Baruch Scholars Big Sister Program and has volunteered as a pitching instructor at her former high school, James Madison, as well as the Joe Torre East Highway Little League. Her internship last summer at Ernst & Young LLP has already led to a position at the company in the Assurance & Advisory Business Services Practice upon graduation.

Omri Holzman will be remembered as perhaps the top long distance runner in the history of the CUNY Athletic Conference. “Beyond what Omri’s athletic accomplishments signify, there are other yardsticks which push his superiority to the forefront,” said Ed Zarowin, Holzman’s head coach at Hunter. Certainly, his 3.73 grade point average in computer science is one of those measures. Another is the fact that he has held down a full-time day job at the United Nations while attending classes in the evening throughout his entire career. The native of Tel-Aviv, Israel, who ran in the Israeli Army as part of soldier training exercise, will also attain a minor in economics from the Thomas Hunter Honors College. His “free time” is spent competing and training for an athletic career that his simply been amazing. Holzman, who has won 17 conference championship medals, has been the CUNYAC Cross Country champion (conference record-holder) all four years and has gone undefeated in league competition in his specialty events, the 5,000 meters, five mile, and the 10,000 meters. Even more amazing is the fact that he had never competed in track competitively prior to his arrival at Hunter. It’s no surprise that the Hawks have been extremely successful over Holzman’s tenure. Hunter has captured the cross country championship in all four of his years and have added two indoor and two outdoor banners to their collection.

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