Chen '24 and Szapary '24
Photos: LEM Photography; Princeton Athletic Communications

Kaitlyn Chen ’24, a star on three straight Ivy League title teams in women’s basketball, and Tristan Szapary ’24, the 2024 NCAA men’s epee fencing champion, were honored as the University’s top senior athletes at the Gary Walters ’67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet on May 23. 

Chen, the Von Kienbusch Award winner, finished her Princeton career with 1,276 points in three seasons, won Ivy Player of the Year in 2023, and was the Ivy Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player three times. She also helped the Tigers win NCAA Tournament games in 2022 and 2023.

Szapary, the Roper Trophy winner, was Princeton’s first men’s epee national champ in more than a decade. He led men’s fencing to a share of the Ivy team title in 2024 and helped the Tigers place second at the NCAA Championships in 2023 (the tournament uses combined scoring for men’s and women’s teams).

Jalen Travis ’24, an offensive lineman on the football team, received the Art Lane ’34 Award for selfless contribution to sport and society, and Sam Davidson ’24, a field hockey defender and sociology major, won the Class of 1916 Cup, awarded to the senior letter-winner with the highest academic standing. The women’s track and field team and men’s and women’s rowing programs received the Ford Tiger Game Changers Award for their volunteer work in the local community. 

The Chris Sailer Leadership Award, for athletes who demonstrate exceptional leadership and a commitment to serving others, was presented to Matt Allocco ’24, who captained men’s basketball in an Ivy title season, and Leilani Bender ’24, a two-year captain who helped women’s rugby transition to varsity status. 

United States Golf Association president and men’s golf alumnus J. Stuart Francis ’74 received the Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award, and Dr. Mike Gross, who leads Princeton’s sports psychology services, was honored with the Marvin Bressler Award.

Despite missing a season of competition in 2020-21, when the Ivy League suspended play because of the pandemic, Princeton’s graduating athletes won a combined 47 conference titles in their time on campus. “The Class of 2024 has managed to do more in three competitive years than most classes do in four,” athletics director John Mack ’00 said on Class Day.