PHILADELPHIA – Temple University honored its best in athletics, both on and off the field, at its ninth annual Breakfast of Champions Wednesday morning. In all, over 350 Temple student-athletes were recognized for academic and athletic accomplishments with senior Patrick McLaughlin of the men's gymnastics team being named the top male Student-Athlete of the Year and junior Kamali Thompson of the fencing team earning the top female Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
"The Breakfast of Champions is a celebration of what is special about Temple University athletics," said Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw, who instituted the event in 2003, his first full year at the school. "We annually recognize the `best of the best' for athletic performance, academic achievement and service to the community and Patrick and Kamali epitomize what is good about intercollegiate athletics."
McLaughlin, a native of Shrewsbury, Pa (Susquehannock HS), is a two-year team captain who overcame a career-threatening dislocated ankle as a junior to earn All-America honors on the parallel bars at the 2011 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships two weeks ago. Selected to compete in three events at the NCAA Qualifiers, he moved on to Championships in the parallel bars where he became the first men's gymnast to earn All-America accolades since 2005 with a seventh-place finish. Also a standout in the classroom, the kinesiology major was named to the Director's Honor Roll and also earned 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year honors.
Thompson, a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier, compiled an impressive 55-7 dual meet record in sabre competition this season. A master of her weapon, she won the individual sabre title at the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association Championships, helping lead the Owls to the overall team title. In addition to her outstanding Temple career, she is also an alternate on the US National Team that will compete at the 2011 Junior World Championships. Like her male counterpart, this biology major also excels in the classroom and is a member of the Director's Honor Roll at Temple.