HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2010-11 Winter All-Academic selections on Thursday afternoon, with 767 student-athletes that participated in a winter sport earning All-Academic recognition. To be honored, a student-athlete 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.
A total of 181 individuals earned All-Academic recognition for the second year in a row. Fifty-three student-athletes garnered All-Conference and All-Academic accolades this winter, while 36 were honored as both All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic by the conference. Six individuals distinguished themselves on all three squads - Bowdoin senior Lauren Gesswein (Fairfield, Conn.), Middlebury senior Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.), Trinity junior Pamela Hathway (Munich, Germany), Tufts senior Valerie Koo (Hong Kong), and the Williams senior tandem of Will Gruner (Portland, Ore.) and Taylor Stevens (Atlanta, Ga.).
Notable members selected to the Winter All-Academic team were Amherst seniors Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, Conn.) and Kendra Stern, Albuquerque, N.M.), Middlebury senior Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.), and Trinity senior Randy Lim (Penang, Malaysia).
After battling through injury during her junior year, Daigneault has turned in her finest season on the court in her final campaign with the Jeffs. The NESCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year is among the league leaders in both points and rebounds with a team-best and career-high 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game heading into this weekend’s NCAA semifinals. She broker her personal record for points in a game with 24 on 11-of-14 shooting during a victory at Farmingdale St. on Jan. 20. Daigneault has had the hot hand for Amherst all season long, as she has made an impressive .616 percent of her shots. In addition to being named Player of the Year, Daigneault also garnered All-NESCAC First Team honors for the second time during her tenure with the Jeffs (2009).
For the third time in her career, Stern was chosen as the Swimmer of the Meet at the NESCAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. Stern joined Williams great Lindsay Payne as the only two individuals in meet history to garner Swimmer of the Meet three times. During the NESCAC championships, Stern won the 100, 200, and 500-yard Freestyle events for the fourth year in a row, setting a new meet standard in both the 200 and 500. Stern also participated on four Jeff relay squads, helping each place among the top three teams.
Lim was named the NESCAC Men’s Squash Player of the Year as he enjoyed the finest season of his career with the Bantams, posting a 16-1 record in match play. Trinity won its fifth-straight NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship along with the program’s 13th consecutive College Squash Association national crown this winter. In addition to being named Player of the Year, Lim also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team after being selected to the Second Team in each of the past two years.
Locke was chosen as the Men’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year and also earned All-NESCAC Second Team. Heading into this weekend’s NCAA semifinals, Locke anchors a defense that holds opponents to a league-low 56.2 points per game and a .344 shooting percentage. The program’s all-time blocks leader, Locke is currently third in the nation with an average 4.2 blocks per game. During the semifinals of the 2011 NESCAC Men’s Basketball Championship against Amherst, a game in which the Panthers overcame an 18-point deficit to win 67-61, Locke set a tournament record with seven blocks. He has also contributed to the offense this season, ranking second among his teammates with 10.0 points per game over 26 appearances and had a rare triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 blocks in a win at Colby-Sawyer on Jan. 6.
Locke and Amherst’s Daigneault are two of 21 individuals on the Winter All-Academic team that will be vying for an NCAA title this weekend. The NESCAC champion Panthers will be joined in Salem, Va. at the NCAA men’s basketball semifinals by Williams, and if both teams win on Friday they will meet for the national championship on Saturday. The Lord Jeffs, the NESCAC women’s basketball champions, are in the NCAA semifinals for the third year in a row hoping to take home their first national crown. The Middlebury women’s ice hockey team takes on host RIT on Friday in the NCAA semifinals, as the NESCAC champion Panthers are in search of their fourth NCAA championship (2004-06).
Also among the Winter All-Academic selections are four individual champions from this past weekend’s NCAA indoor track and field championship. Amherst junior Ben Scheetz (Lancaster, Pa.) won the 800-meter run and was named the men’s Most Outstanding Performer. Margo Cramer (Seattle, Wash.), Juliet Ryan-Davis (Newton, Mass.), and Kaitlynn Saldanha (Scarborough, Maine) gave Middlebury the title in the distance medley relay.
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.