1,003 Spring Student-Athletes Receive Honors
HADLEY, Mass. – A total of 1,003 student-athletes have been named to the 2014 NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team by the conference office today. To be honored, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35. A transfer student must have completed one year of study at the institution.
Of the 1,003 student-athletes named to the team, 286 were honored for the second time in their career, while 190 were recognized for the third time. In addition, 126 members of the group garnered both All-Academic and All-Conference accolades this winter, led by 28 student-athletes from Williams and 20 from Middlebury and Tufts. A total of 51 individuals were named to both the All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic Teams by the conference.
Five student-athletes distinguished themselves by receiving All-Conference, All-Sportsmanship, and Academic All-NESCAC. The individuals that collected all three honors were senior Samuel King (Rye Brook, N.Y.) of Bowdoin (men’s tennis), senior Chris Lee (Longmeadow, Mass.) of Williams (men’s outdoor track and field), senior Matt Micheli (San Francisco, Calif.) of Williams (men’s tennis), senior Justin Reindel (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) of Amherst (men’s tennis) and senior David Sutherland (Queenstown, Md.) of Tufts (men’s outdoor track and field).
The 2014 Spring All-Academic Team includes five NESCAC Players of the Year, four NCAA individual champions, a NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, an Arthur Ashe Award Winner, an NCAA Elite 89 Winner and 34 All-Americans.
Tufts junior Cole Bailey (Millersville, Md.), the NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year and two-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, recorded 118 points on 53 goals and 65 assists to help the Jumbos earn their second national championship and post a 21-2 record. The First Team All-American was also named the top attackman in Division III and the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player.
Jo Clair (Glastonbury, Conn.) of Tufts was named the NESCAC Softball Player of the Year after turning in one of the greatest seasons in school and conference history. The senior catcher led the league in hits (68), runs (59), RBI (69), home runs (24) and slugging percentage (1.006), while posting a .439 batting average to lead the Jumbos to back-to-back national titles as NCAA Championship Co-Most Outstanding Player. She also helped Tufts set a single-season record with 47 wins.
Colby senior Katharine Eddy (Cheshire, Conn.) earned NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Year accolades, while landing on her first NESCAC All-Academic team. One of Colby’s top offensive threats, she paced the Mules with a conference-best 33 assists and 67 points. Eddy was also second on the roster with 34 goals and third with 28 draw controls for a team that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Senior Joey Fritz (Cincinnati, Ohio) of Amherst, the NESCAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year and three-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, capped off his collegiate tennis career by being named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Senior Player of the Year and becoming the first Jeff student-athlete to win the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Singles Championship. This season, he earned All-America honors in singles and doubles, as he helped Amherst win its second NCAA Men’s Tennis Team Championship.
Williams senior Kara Shoemaker (Princeton, N.J.) was selected as the NESCAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year, while receiving NESCAC All-Academic recognition for the third time. An accomplished singles and doubles player, the six-time All-NESCAC and five-time All-America selection was a member of this year’s Eph team that finished third in the NCAA Championship, and won the 2013 ITA Small College Division III Doubles Championship.
A trio of track and field student-athletes garnered national titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Connecticut College’s Michael LeDuc (Canton, Conn.) wrapped up his illustrious collegiate career by winning his second consecutive NCAA Championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after winning his first NESCAC title in the event. The three-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree graduated as a three-time NCAA Champion and a combined nine-time All-America performer in cross country and track and field. Senior Jana Hieber (Goffstown, N.H.) of Tufts won the NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles to finish her career as a six-time All-American overall who qualified for every NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship of her career. The three-time NESCAC All-Academic selection also won six NESCAC titles, including the 100- and 400-meter hurdles this spring. Amherst senior Naomi Bates (Washington, D.C.) added a NESCAC and an NCAA outdoor long jump title to her list of 2014 accolades that includes a 2014 NCAA indoor long jump crown as well.
Sophomore Christina Raso (Burlington, Mass.) was named NESCAC Softball Defensive Player of the Year, while making her first All-Academic Team appearance. The shortstop, who registered 66 assists and 57 putouts, anchored an infield for the national champion Jumbos, who as a team led the conference with a .969 fielding percentage. Raso was also named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after pacing Tufts with a .429 batting average in six games.
Tufts senior Samantha Gann (Massapequa, N.Y.), who was the recipient of the ITA Women’s Division III Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award, earned a spot on the All-Academic Team for the third straight year. The award takes into account a player’s tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, and recognizes players who excelled on and off the court as Ashe did during his life. Sportsmanship, leadership and character are important criteria, as is community service.
Wesleyan junior Brianne Wiemann (Doylestown, Pa.) was awarded the NCAA Division III Rowing Elite 89 award. The award recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Wiemann was the coxswain for the Cardinals’ first varsity eights boat.
The NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team also featured numerous individuals that were a part of a conference championship squad and a few who helped their institution win a national title. A total of 113 student-athletes were members of a NESCAC champion team, while 41 individuals won a NCAA team crown, as the Amherst men’s tennis team (12) received its second national championship, the Trinity women’s rowing team (7) earned the program’s first national rowing championship, and the Tufts men’s lacrosse and softball (22) teams both teamed up to bring represent the Jumbos as national champions.
Founded in 1971, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) consists of 11 liberal arts colleges and has consistently reflected its commitment to the values of athletics and academic achievement. The member colleges of the conference are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.