CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Twenty track & field student-athletes, 13 of which were all-conference honorees this spring, have been selected to the America East Men’s and Women’s Track & Field All-Academic Team as was announced by the conference office Tuesday afternoon. These student athletes, who excel both academically as well as athletically, represent the best of the America East Conference.
The men’s selections were University at Albany’s Valete Graham (Bronx, N.Y.) and Andrew Overbaugh (Catskill, N.Y.), Binghamton University’s Chris Gaube (Vestal, N.Y.) and Dan Walker (Cortland, N.Y.), Hartford University’s Adam Wells (Wayne, Pa.), University of Maine’s Miles Bartlett (Casco, Maine), UMBC’s Cliff Bridges (Raleigh, N.C.), University of New Hampshire’s Jeff Kaste (Atkinson, N.H.) and University of Vermont’s Jared Alvord (Plainfield, Mass.).
The women’s selections were University at Albany’s Laura Cummings (Bay Shore, N.Y.), Zuliana Fontanez (Dorado, Puerto Rico) and Melissa Lee (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Binghamton University’s Marsha Fiesinger (North Syracuse, N.Y.) and Caitlin Wright (Ithaca, N.Y.), University of Hartford’s Elizabeth Foster (Ellington, Conn.) and Kaycee Martinez (South Yarmouth, Mass.), University of Maine’s Lindsay Burlock (Caribou, Maine) and Stony Brook University’s Holly and Lucy Van Dalen (Wanganui, New Zealand).
The All-Academic squads are a product of the June 2005 Athletics Director meetings, where faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor the league’s top student-athletes, whom excel equally in the classroom as they do on the playing field.
For the last two academic years, the All-Academic Team has been selected based on a formula. Starting this year, America East has adopted a more subjective approach based on feedback from various coaches’ groups and administrators and approval by the athletic directors. The process will now resemble the CoSIDA’s Academic All-America program. Student-athletes worthy of consideration will now be nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine member institutions.
All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time or are made up of 10 student-athletes for individual sports like track & field. There may be more student-athletes recognized if a tie exists or fewer if eligibility requirements limit the number of nominees. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.