For the second time this year, a Clark University student-athlete will be featured in the world’s most prominent sports magazine.
First-year, two-sport star Mel Melkonian (Worcester, Mass./Saint Peter Marian) will appear in the May 31 edition of Sports Illustrated’s famed “Faces In The Crowd” section, the magazine announced on Wednesday.
The issue, which hit newsstands on May 27 and has Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo on the cover, details Melkonian’s exploits in both field hockey and softball.
Melkonian became just the second student-athlete in the history of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) to earn Rookie Of The Year in two sports in the same season. Wellesley College’s Jacy Edelman was named NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse in 1995-96.
In field hockey, Melkonian finished third in the conference in scoring with 45 points (19 goals, seven assists) - just one point shy of the school’s single season record. She had three hat tricks, including a career-high four goals in a win over Smith on October 12 and had both the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 4-3 win over Wheaton on October 17.
She was named First-Team All-New England by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and second-team All-NEWMAC by the conference’s head coaches. In just one season, she already ranks in the school’s top 20 in points scored.
On the diamond, she had 11 multi-hit games en route to her 41 hits for the season and led the Cougars in runs scored (39) and stolen bases (7) and was second in doubles (9). She started all 36 games at third base, and finished third on the team with a .345 average and fourth with 21 RBI.
Melkonian joins sophomore diver Eileen Garcia (New York, N.Y.) as the other Clark student-athlete to earn the Sports Illustrated honor this season.
Overall, she is the sixth Clark student-athlete to be featured in the magazine following Marge O’Brien - Women’s Basketball (June 6, 1983), Lori Lengieza - Field Hockey (November 27, 1989), Jenifer West - Field Hockey (November 15, 1993) and Jesse Egan - Field Hockey (April 7, 2003) and Garcia - Women’s Diving (February 22, 2010).
Sports Illustrated, the leading sports magazine in the world, has more than three million subscribers and 23 million readers every week.