Cambridge, MA — Harvard University senior Ali Farag was named the winner of the 2014 Skillman Award.
Presented annually since 1983, the Skillman Award is given to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. Candidates are evaluated for their on-court poise and demeanor; skill level and ability in the game of squash; team play; contributions to intercollegiate squash; leadership; and cooperation with players, coaches, and tournament officials.
The award is named for former Yale head coach John Skillman, who led the Bulldogs for over forty years. Skillman was inducted into the Men’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1990. This year’s award was presented at Harvard University on the final day of the 2014 Men’s National Team Championships.
Farag played at the top of the Crimson line-up throughout his three years at Harvard. During his inaugural campaign, he went undefeated and won the 2012 Pool Trophy (men’s individual championship). He also was named the co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.
As a junior, he was named co-Ivy League Player of the Year. He helped Harvard win a share of the Ivy League title, the Crimson’s first Ivy League title since 2006. He also helped the team finish the season with a national ranking of second. He came just short of repeating as the Pool Trophy winner by losing in the semifinals to St. Lawrence’s Amr Khaled Khalifa, a match that was considered one of the best matches of the collegiate season.
As a senior, Farag went undefeated. He helped Harvard win the Potter Cup, the Crimson’s first national team title since 1998, and Ivy League title. He was also named the Ivy League Player of the Year. He won his second Pool Trophy by defeating Khalifa in four games.
For his collegiate career, he was a three-time CSA First Team All-American and a three-time All-Ivy League player. Farag finished with a collegiate record of 52-2.
The Engineering Science major was named to the 2014 Academic All-Ivy League Team and was a 2014 CSA Scholar Athlete.
According to Harvard Head Coach Mike Way, “Ali plays with the utmost fairness and integrity. One could not ask for a better example in a number one player.”
Farag is the sixth Harvard player to receive the Skillman Award.