Amherst's Tropiano, Bates' Alexander Garner CoSIDA Academic All-America

Courtesy Amherst/Bates Sports Information

HADLEY, Mass. - Seniors Elise Tropiano (Plainview, N.Y.) of Amherst and Isabel Alexander (Harvard, Mass.) of Bates were chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as members of the Women's Cross Country/Track & Field Academic All-America College Division Second Team, it was announced on Friday.

Tropiano is only the 18th Amherst College student-athlete to earn a spot on an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team, an honor that has been bestowed since 1952. She is the 10th Amherst athlete to be named to either a First or Second Team and only the second Lord Jeff cross country and track star to be recognized, matching Carter Hamill’s 2005 Second Team nod.

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.

Alexander is the fourth Bates female athlete ever to win CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, and the first since volleyball player Amanda Colby in 1999. Nancy Bell '84 (cross country) and Sydnee Brown '85 (field hockey) are also in that group.

A double-major in psychology and Spanish, Alexander graduated from Bates in May with a 3.78 cumulative grade point average.

She gained her fourth and fifth NCAA All-America awards this year by finishing fifth at indoor nationals in the 800 meters, followed by a sixth-place showing in the 400-meter hurdles at outdoor nationals. For the second straight year, she also won the 400-meter hurdles at the NESCAC and New England Division III Outdoor Championships in 2009, setting the meet record in the latter at 1:01.78 and rewriting her own Bates record in the process. Alexander graduated as the owner of nine Bates track and field records.

Earlier this month Alexander was named to the All-District First Team by CoSIDA, the fourth straight year that at least one member of the Bates women's track and field team has garnered ESPN The Magazine All-Academic honors.

Along with teammate and classmate Jen Marino, Alexander automatically made the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's 2009 Academic All-America team, by virtue of qualifying for the NCAA Championships while maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.50.

To be eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.