Six Standouts Lauded As Winter Scholar-Athletes
The Scholar-Athletes were members of teams in the six championship sports which America East sponsored in the winter season including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Member institutions of America East Conference for the 2011-12 winter season included University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.
A committee of athletic administrators and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives chose an honoree in each of the six winter championship sports. Each America East Scholar-Athlete was a starter or prominent reserve and carries a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30. America East recognizes a Scholar-Athlete in each of its 20 championship sports. Of those 20 sport Scholar-Athletes, a committee chooses an annual Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Aronhalt served as co-captain of the Albany men’s basketball team for the second straight year and earned Third-Team All-Conference distinction during his junior season. The guard played in 30 games, starting 27, for the Great Danes and surpassed the 1,000 career point plateau during the conference season. Aronhalt is a senior in the classroom majoring in human biology with a 3.78 cumulative GPA. The UAlbany Presidential Scholar received nods on the America East All-Academic Team, as well as the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and All-District Teams in 2012.
Kurowski is the only repeat winter Scholar-Athlete after also winning the award as a junior. The senior guard captained the Retrievers and led the team to the 2012 America East Women’s Basketball Title Game. A 2012 Second-Team All-Conference selection, Kurowski finished her career second all-time in the UMBC scoring annals, and in the top 10 in several other categories. She graduated magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in psychology in three years last May and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate and a master’s degree in early childhood education, earning a 4.00 in her first semester. Kurowski has earned a multitude of academic honors, most recently earning Division I-AAA Athletics Director’s Association Scholar-Athlete Team recognition for the second straight year.
Quinn, a senior specializing in the distance track events, finished second in the 5,000 meters and eighth in the 3,000 meters at the 2012 America East Indoor Track and Field Championship helping the Bearcat men to a third-place finish at the meet. Quinn is a biology major with a 3.78 GPA and has twice been voted to the Indoor Track All-Academic Team.
Van Dalen became Stony Brook’s first-ever national champion with her win in the one-mile race at the NCAA Indoor Meet earlier this winter, setting the facility record with a time of 4:39.76. She was named the USTFCCCA Northeast Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, an Indoor Track All-American for the second time in her career, and the America East Indoor Championship Most Outstanding Track Performer for the second consecutive year. After earning her undergraduate degree in sociology with a 3.78 GPA, Van Dalen now owns a 4.00 GPA in her pursuit of a Master of Arts in liberal studies. She has also previously been tabbed America East Scholar Athlete in outdoor track and field and cross country.
Eckhoff, a junior, captured the Most Outstanding Male Diver award at the 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championship after sweeping both diving events. He broke the school record in the three-meter diving event twice during the season and competed at the NCAA Zone meet in Buffalo. Academically, Eckhoff carries a 3.53 GPA while majoring in economics and is a two-time honoree on the America East All-Academic Team. He will be inducted into the National College Athlete Honor Society this spring.
A sophomore who competes in the freestyle and butterfly events, McCandless recorded six top-five finishes at the 2012 America East Championship including a gold-medal performance in the 1650-yard freestyle race. Her performances helped lead the Wildcats to a third-place team finish at the meet. McCandless has a 3.60 GPA in UNH’s intensive cellular and molecular biology program and thrives in it as one of the top students in the academic program.