Elise Tropiano, Amherst College

Amherst College may never see another student-athlete take home as many awards as Elise Tropiano did during her senior year in 2008-09. The cross country and track standout helped the Lord Jeffs win a team National Championship for cross country as a junior, and has garnered numerous individual accolades both athletically and academically.

Although her senior year was cut short due to an injury that prevented her from competing at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Tropiano put together an impeccable résumé with her accomplishments from the cross country and indoor track seasons. A two-time All-NESCAC First Team selection, she was named the conference’s Most Outstanding Performer for taking home the individual title at the 2008 cross country championships.

Tropiano continued to rack up cross country awards when she was named the 2008 USTFCCCA Division III New England Women’s Athlete of the Year. She followed with a second-place showing at the NCAA Championships, which resulted in her second cross country All-America honor. In February, Tropiano was named the USTFCCCA Women’s NCAA Division III Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The domination continued during the indoor track season when Tropiano led Amherst by winning a national championship in the 5,000-meter run to mark her third All-America performance in the event. She had placed seventh in the 5k at nationals as a sophomore and junior, but this year took home the title as the lone runner to finish under the 17-minute mark (16:58.84).

Other highlights of Tropiano’s outstanding career include leading Amherst to the 2007 cross country national title and earning a pair of All-America honors during the outdoor season for her performances in the steeplechase. A psychology major with a GPA above 3.60, Tropiano captained the Jeffs’ cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams this year. She is also a two-time NESCAC All-Academic selection and has been nominated for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award, while also earning Second Team Academic All-American honors from CoSIDA.