Trainer Culina promoted; Gray, Obed, Giberson compile outstanding seasons

This story was published on March 28, 2001 on Page C6 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

ORONO – Paul Culina, who has spent the last six years as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Maine, has been promoted to head athletic trainer.

The 33-year-old Culina, an Auburn native, takes over for Rob Lawton, who left the university in February to take a sales position.

“Paul, during his tenure at the University of Maine, has developed a great rapport with our student-athletes, coaching staffs and the local medical community,” said UMaine athletics director Suzanne Tyler. “Perhaps what makes Paul most attractive for this promotion is his continued commitment and loyalty to the University of Maine during his six-year tenure here.”

Culina has been a visible member of the UMaine training staff in his role as the primary trainer for the Black Bear men’s ice hockey team during his tenure. He also has helped cover the Mike Kessock Sports Medicine Center at Memorial Gym, which makes him responsible for all of the student-athletes’ sports medicine needs.

In addition, Culina has worked with the football, men’s soccer and baseball teams along with men’s and women’s swimming and diving. He has taught courses and supervised student athletic trainers.

“I am excited about this opportunity,” Culina said. “I have been lucky to work for a number of skilled head athletic trainers and hope to utilize what I have learned from my mentors as well as bring my own management style to the UMaine sports medicine operation.”

Culina holds a B.S. in physical education with a minor in health education from Norwich University (Vt.) and also received a master’s in education there. He was an assistant trainer at Norwich from 1991-94 and was an assistant at Bowdoin in 1994-95 before joining the UMaine staff.

Gray sets Colby-Sawyer record

Hermon High graduate Chris Gray recently wrapped up a productive freshman basketball season at Colby-Sawyer College.

Gray, a 6-foot-8 center, was a force down low, establishing a school single-season record with 33 blocked shots.

Gray also vaulted into second place on the career blocked-shot list, after just one season. Alexi Bobbolia holds the record of 85 swats from 1996-2000.

Gray was one of three players on the team to play in all 28 games for the 21-7 Chargers.

Gray started five games and averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest. The Chargers earned a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament, where they fell 65-59 to SUNY-Brockport in a first-round contest.

Gray scored in double figures five times and scored a season-best 18 points against Plymouth State.

Obed earns NESCAC recognition

Nathan Obed of Tufts University in Medford, Mass., has been named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.

Obed, a senior hockey player from Old Town, was among 10 Jumbos recognized for having been significant contributors to their respective teams while carrying a grade point average of 3.35 or better. He scored 15 goals and registered 27 assists to help Tufts post a 15-1-1 record.

Obed is a double major in English and American studies.

Giberson gets A-10 rookie honor

Mellory Giberson of Bingham, a freshman gymnast for the University of Massachusetts, has been named the Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year and a member of the all-conference team.

Giberson finished third in the all-around (38.700) and on the uneven parallel bars (9.800) at the conference championships last weekend. Her performance in the all-around currently ranks her fifth in the conference in the event. UMass finished second to George Washington in the A-10 meet.

Giberson, a Valley High graduate, is a two-time Maine high school all-around champion.