NEW ORLEANS, La. – Amherst College senior Elise Tropiano has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women’s NCAA Division III Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year, the Association announced on Thursday, Feb. 26. Tropiano was the top finisher at the 2008 NESCAC Championship and was the runner-up at the NCAA meet last fall.
The Plainview, N.Y. native finished second overall at 2008 NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships and also won both the New England Small College Athletic Conference and New England Regional titles prior to the championships. Tropiano maintains a 3.67 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in Psychology.
“The honor of being named the Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year is a true testament to Elise’s hard work and commitment in every facet of being a student-athlete here at Amherst College," said Amherst Head Coach Erik Nedeau.
The senior was named the 2008 USTFCCCA New England Region Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
Tropiano is joined by teammates Hallie Schwab and Zandra Walton on this year’s USTFCCCA All-Academic team.
"She has pushed herself to the limits in both the classroom and on the race course in an effort to the best that she can be, and this award is a fitting tribute to the benefits of her efforts. Whether it is staying up late to finish a paper, or getting an extra mile in when the weather is bad, she is always willing to do all that it takes, and it has been an honor to have had the chance to coach her,” added Nedeau.
A total of 221 Division III female student-athletes received the 2008 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Academic honor, up 18 from last year’s total. 103 Division III institutions are represented on this year’s All-Academic team, led by Washington University (Missouri), which placed six student-athletes on the team.
The New England Small College Athletic Conference had the most conference student-athletes on the 2008 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Academic list with 27, followed by the University Athletic Association with 21, and the Centennial Conference with 19 conference student-athletes on the list.
The award honors those student-athletes who have succeeded both academically and athletically. To be eligible for the award a student-athlete must carry a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and must finish in the top 25 percent of the field at their respective NCAA regional meet.
Brian Chenoweth of Wartburg College is the 2008 NCAA Division III USTFCCCA Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year.