Adam Pfander, Men's Cross Country/Track & Field, Hamilton College
If Adam Pfander's cross country and track & field career would have stopped after the spring of 2015, he would have been celebrated as one of the better athletes to pass through the Hamilton College program in recent years.
Pfander helped lead the cross country team to an historic season in 2015, and he went on to become the 2016 male recipient of Hamilton's Jack B. Riffle Award, which goes to the top athlete in the senior class. He finished first in the New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) Men's Cross Country Championship for the second time (he also captured the individual crown in 2013) and led the Continentals to the team title for the first time since 1975. The NESCAC Championship was next and he helped Hamilton take fourth place -- the team's best finish since winning it in 1988 -- by landing in 27th place. He finished 21st and earned all-region honors for the second time in his career the following week at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship as the Continentals ended up in third place. It was Hamilton's best finish at regionals in at least 25 years and the men qualified for the NCAA Championship as a team for the first time since 1971. The Continentals finished 21st at the national meet and achieved their highest national ranking in program history. Pfander became only the second Hamilton men's cross country athlete ever to compete in the NCAA Championship as an individual and as part of a team.
In track & field, Pfander broke the school record in the 10,000-meter run as a sophomore and lowered the mark to 31:07.20 this spring. He won the NYSCTC title in that race on May 6 and earned 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field All-Region Team honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Pfander earned Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America. An economics major with a grade point average of 3.69, he was a first-team selection to the 2015-16 Academic All-District 3 Cross Country/Track & Field Team. He picked up NESCAC fall, winter and spring all-academic team honors a total of eight times.