HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2009-10 Winter All-Academic selections on Wednesday, with 469 student-athletes that participated in a winter sport earning All-Academic recognition. To be honored, a student-athlete must have reached junior 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.
Over a third of the 469 Winter All-Academic honorees also garnered All-Academic accolades a year ago, as 168 returned from 2009. A total of 36 student-athletes received both All-Academic and All-Conference, while 29 individuals earned both All-Academic and All-Sportsmanship honors. Four seniors received conference honors on all three teams: Bowdoin’s David Funk (Short Hills, N.J.), Colby’s Samantha Smith (Locust Valley, N.Y.), Jo-Ann Jee (Kuching, Malaysia) of Trinity, and Williams’ Ethan Buchsbaum (Princeton, N.J.), all of whom are squash student-athletes. All four earned All-NESCAC, All-Sportsmanship, and All-Academic recognition last year as well.
Of note on the Winter All-Academic team were the Amherst tandem of senior Kirsten Dier (Appleton, Wis.) and junior Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, N.M.) along with Bates senior Kush Mahan (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and the Williams senior duo of Buchsbaum and Zach Miller (Bridgeton, N.J.).
Stern earned Swimmer of the Meet honors for the second time in three years this past February at the 2010 NESCAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. Stern rewrote her own championship records with victories in the 100, 200 and 500-yard Freestyle events and was also part of three relay teams that finished second to help the Jeffs place second overall. At the NCAA championships a few weeks ago, Stern shattered the national marks she already owned with record-setting performances in the 100 and 200 free en route to her third consecutive NCAA title in both events.
Mahan and Buchsbaum shared NESCAC Men’s Squash Player of the Year this season, as Mahan recorded a 15-3 record in dual play while Buchsbaum was 10-11 and helped the Ephs to a runner-up finish at the NESCAC championship in February.
Amherst’s Dier along with Miller from Williams are two of the three nominees from the NESCAC among the seven finalists for the 2010 Hockey Humanitarian Award, given annually to college hockey’s finest citizen. The award will be presented during the 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four in Detroit, Mich. on Friday, April 9. Dier was one of five members of the Jeffs’ national champion women’s ice hockey team on the All-Academic team. Amherst successfully defended its NCAA title with a 7-2 win over Norwich on March 20.
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. For more information on the NESCAC, visit www.nescac.com.