Lehigh has produced another group of outstanding senior athletes this year across all sports. Here’s a look into some of the top performers of this graduating class.
Nick Shafnisky, football — Shafnisky finished his career at Lehigh with 1,612 rushing yards, 7,467 passing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns and 54 passing touchdowns. He garnered Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors in addition to ECAC Offensive Player of the Year. He led Lehigh to its first Patriot League title since 2012 as the Mountain Hawks finished ranked in the top 25 in all of the major FCS polls.
Lucas Warning, men’s track and field — A three-time Patriot League shot put champion, record-holder for numerous Lehigh shot put records and 42nd ranked shot put thrower in the Division I track and field, Warning has dominated the competition. It’s gotten to a point where Warning finds himself breaking his own record constantly. On Saturday, Warning secured his second outdoor Patriot League title, breaking a school record that he set two weeks earlier and a Patriot League record with a 18.98-meter throw.
Tim Kempton, men’s basketball — Kempton has asserted himself as the most accomplished big man ever to wear a Lehigh uniform. He’s a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, two-time All-American honorable mention, a final five finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, and is the all-time leader in career rebounds for a Patriot League player. Kempton helped Lehigh increase its win total every year since his freshman year and he also led the Mountain Hawks to back-to-back Patriot League Championship appearances.
Allison LaBeau, women’s lacrosse — LaBeau has quietly been one of the most productive and consistent athletes during her tenure at Lehigh. As a four-time All-Patriot League honoree and the 2016 Patriot League Attacker of the Year, LaBeau was a major part of the nucleus that helped the women’s lacrosse program evolve into a back-to-back Patriot League Tournament semifinalist.
Christine Campbell, softball — Campbell has been one of the anchoring pieces to Lehigh’s winningest program in the past four years. In the Mountain Hawks’ 2015 run to the NCAA Tournament, Campbell garnered first team All-Patriot League honors as she went 7-0 in conference play with a 1.51 ERA. This season, she’s 18-5 with a 2.24 ERA and helped Lehigh clinch its sixth straight Patriot League regular season title on Saturday.
Courtney Avery, women’s track and field — All-American Avery. Whenever you garner national recognition from a small school like Lehigh, you’ve entered the conversation as one of the best athletes ever to play your sport as Mountain Hawk. In fact, Avery was the first All-American in program history as she was named to the second team after tying for 11th place in the NCAA National Championships last fall. Avery won her seventh overall Patriot League title and third straight outdoor title this weekend in the high jump. Avery is arguably the most dominant athlete in the class of 2017.
Jamie Campisi, women’s tennis — As a two-time Academic All-Patriot League honoree, captain and No. 1 doubles player, Campisi exemplified what it meant to be a student athlete at Lehigh. This season, Campisi owns a 12-6 overall record and 5-1 in conference play this season as a singles player. Not to mention, Campisi was dealing with a torn ligament and broken sesamoid bone in the her right foot the whole year that forced her to wear a walking boot when she wasn’t on the tennis court. She refused to sit out and battled through pain, showing great character and toughness.
Laike Gardner, wrestling — Gardner put together a solid senior campaign as he was just one win shy of garnering All-American laurels. It was the first time he reached the round of 12 in his career. Gardner was a team captain for the 11th ranked team in the country. He’s qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times in his career and ranked in the top 15 nationally for the 149-weight class at the end of this season.
Jacen Nalesnik, baseball — Nalesnik will go down with the all-time greats to play Lehigh baseball. His second All-Patriot League selection is imminent after a historic individual season. Nalesnik tied the single season record for most home runs in a season with 13 and finished his career ranked tied for second in all-time home runs. He ranks in the top five all-time in runs scored and RBIs as well.