The 29th annual Richie Moran Award, one of the most prestigious senior awards at Cornell, was given to Ilya Evdokimov, of men’s swimming & diving at the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame dinner on Nov. 11.
“It was pretty surprising, but it sure is amazing for me to be recognized for something like that,”
Evdokimov, a recipient of three individual All-American accolades, told The Sun of winning the award.
“Although there have been a lot of separate achievements and awards, [this award] encompasses everything together,” he added. “It’s not very typical to be honored across … different sports; that’s what’s very unique about it.”
But when considering his history, Evdokimov certainly fits the bill for the high honor.
Before he was halfway done with his collegiate swimming career, Evdokimov had already entrenched himself in Cornell Athletics history. At the 2016 Ivy League Championship, the then-sophomore set Cornell and Ivy League records in the 100 and 200 yard Breastroke with times of 52.13 and 1:53.56, respectively.
On the national scene, the Florida-native placed 13th and 14th in the nation in the 200 and 100 breastroke, respectively, at the 2017 NCAA Championships. And in 2016, he placed 15th in the 200. These performances earned Evdokimov honorable mention All-American honors in the 200 breastroke his junior and sophomore years and in the 100 his junior year as well.
Outside the pool, Evdokimov is currently studying neurobiology and behavior in the school of Arts and Sciences and plans on applying to medical school this summer. He is also involved with Beneath the Surface, a campaign that aims to “destigmatize, for people and especially athletes, talking about and seeking help for mental health problems,” he said.
“I am glad to be a part of [the campaign] because everyone, no matter if they’re an athlete or student, they have their own struggles that they are going through,” he added
Introduced in 1989, the Richie Moran award is presented to a senior student-athlete member of the Red Key Society who has stood out in, “academics, athletics and ambassadorship,” according to Cornell Big Red.
As a recipient of this award, Evdokimov stands in good company. Last year’s award was shared by two-time NCAA wrestling champion Gabe Dean ’17 of and Alyssa Phelps ’17 of the Cornell volleyball team, who has the fourth-most assists in program history.
“[The award is] something that has been an inspiration to me ever since I was able to get it,” Evdokimov said. “I … look at it sometimes and makes me want to keep pushing … in sports, and academics as well.”