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Somerset, NJ --
Two student-athletes from Fairleigh Dickinson, Mount St. Mary’s and Saint Francis U, along with one apiece from Bryant, Central Connecticut, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Wagner comprise the 2013 Spring Scholar-Athlete award winners for the Northeast Conference (NEC). This exceptional group of student-athletes features two repeat award winners, three Academic All-Americans and three NEC Player of the Year award winners.
All scholar-athlete award winners earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.
Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC also announced its spring Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 913 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average, an increase of three percent from the 2012 spring season. There were also a record 215 student-athletes named to the spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. The number of students named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll represented a four percent increase from a year ago.
Over the course of the 2012-13 academic year, a record total of 2,332 student-athletes landed a spot on the Academic Honor Roll. That figure represents nearly half of the NEC’s competitors. On the year, 582 student-athletes were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, also an all-time high for the Conference.
One of the most decorated NEC players in recent memory, Bryant senior third baseman Kevin Brown (Northborough, MA/Algonquin Regional)
shares baseball scholar-athlete honors. Brown, who was recently drafted by the Chicago Cubs, led Bryant to its first NEC Tournament crown, and was named NEC Player of the Year, a third team ABCA All-American and second team All-New England. He led the NEC in RBIs (48) and runs scored (49), and ranked in the top-five in hitting (.367) and stolen bases (22). As Bryant made history becoming the first NEC team to win a game in the NCAA Tournament with a 4-1 triumph over Arkansas, it was the Northborough, MA native who shined on the national stage. Brown had three hits - including the game-winner - in the victory over the Razorbacks and homered in the rematch two days later. He ended his career as Bryant’s all-time leader with 71 doubles and ranks second in program history with 277 hits. Perhaps the most impressive honor for Brown was his selection to the Capital One Academic All-American second team. Brown, who graduated with a degree in Political Law, ended his college career with a 3.53 grade point average.
Mount St. Mary’s senior Mark Quaranta (Virginia Beach, VA/Loyola Blakefield)
makes it back-to-back scholar-athlete honors in baseball. Quaranta was recently named the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for maintaining a 3.98 grade point average, the highest of any male graduating senior student-athlete in the conference. Quaranta was voted first team All-NEC at the utility spot this past season after earning second team All-NEC honors as a catcher in his junior year. He hit .280 with 10 doubles, three home runs and 29 RBIs. Quaranta led the team with 26 walks and had a .369 on-base percentage. Quaranta, who calls Virginia Beach, VA his hometown, ranks first all-time at the Mount in walks (76), and is also fourth in games played (185), fifth in at bats (605) and sixth in hits (188) and doubles (37). At year’s end, he was named one of four recipients of the Sheridan Award, annually presented to the Mount St. Mary’s student-athlete(s), who, through athletic and academic achievement, has exemplified the spirit and dedication demanded by intercollegiate athletics, and who, through such activity has fostered the ideals of Monsignor John L. Sheridan and Mount St. Mary’s University. Quaranta was also selected as a first team CoSIDA Academic-All District honoree. He majored in Economics and Business.
Saint Francis U sophomore Kevin Fawcett (London, Ontario/Oakridge Secondary)
claimed the men’s golf scholar-athlete award. In leading the Red Flash to the NEC title, Fawcett finished second in the field of 55 competitors, carding a three-over 219 over three rounds. He shot a season-low 69 in the opening round of the NEC Championship, and for the season, averaged 75.8 strokes per round to earn first team All-NEC honors. The London, Ontario product posted three top-five and eight top-15 finishes over the course of the year highlighted by a third place finish at the PSU Altoona Invitational and fourth place showing at the Colonial Classic. A Finance/Accounting major, Fawcett has compiled a 3.73 grade point average.
Saint Francis U junior Ann Colligan (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning)
repeats as women’s golf scholar-athlete award winner. A three-time All-NEC performer, she earned first team accolades this spring after finishing fourth overall at the NEC Championship. Colligan collected six top-five finishes in 2012-13, including individual titles at the Cleveland State and Purple Eagles Invitational events. The Kittanning, PA native was twice named NEC Golfer of the Week and posted the second-best per round scoring average in the conference this past season. A Middle Childhood Education major, Colligan maintains a 3.84 grade point average.
Monmouth junior midfielder Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, NH/Central)
is the co-recipient of the women’s lacrosse scholar-athlete award. Gibbons was named the 2013 NEC Offensive Player of the Year and was tabbed to the All-NEC first team for the second straight year. She racked up 30 goals, 32 assists and 62 points on the year, and ranked third in the league with 1.68 apg and fifth with 3.26 ppg. Gibbons also earned a spot on the NEC All-Tournament game for the second straight season after leading all players in scoring with 10 points in two games. She tallied three goals and three assists in MU’s semifinal win over the Mount, then added four assists as the Hawks beat Bryant, 9-7, for their second straight NEC crown. Historically, her 32 assists on the year ranked fifth in school history. A Candia, NH product majoring in Health Studies, Gibbons enters her senior year with a cumulative 3.40 grade point average.
2013 Northeast Conference Spring Scholar-Athletes
Central Connecticut junior midfielder Amanda Toke (High Bridge, NJ/Voorhees)
shares the women’s lacrosse scholar-athlete of the year honor. Toke was instrumental in CCSU’s breakthrough season, earning first team All-NEC accolades as the Blue Devils set program records for overall (nine) and league (seven) victories. She ranked second on the Blue Devils with 28 goals and third with 35 points. Toke was also 8-12 in free position attempts, the best conversion rate on the club. In a terrific all-around season, she finished second on the team in caused turnovers (23) and draw controls (36), and third in ground balls (29). The High Bridge, NJ native also excelled in CCSU’s first-ever postseason game, scoring twice against Bryant in the NEC semis. Toke, a Biology major, has attained a 3.52 grade point average in her time in New Britain.
Robert Morris junior Sean Meagher (Chesterfield, MO/St. Louis University)
earns men’s lacrosse scholar-athlete honors. Meagher was tabbed the NEC Defensive Player of the Year and a second team All-NEC long stick midfielder for the Colonials, who advanced to the conference title game for the first time. He led the NEC and ranked second in the nation with 2.53 caused turnovers per game, and his 38 on the year established a new school record. He also finished second on the Colonials with 45 ground balls. In the NEC championship match against Bryant, Meagher tallied a single-game school record and NEC Tournament record seven caused turnovers en-route to All-Tournament honors. In three years, he already ranks second all-time at RMU with 55 career caused turnovers. Meagher, who hails from Chesterfield, MO, carries a 3.80 grade point average. He is pursuing a double major in Accounting and Finance.
LIU Brooklyn senior shortstop Lauren Morizi (San Diego, CA/Torrey Pines)
caps off her senior season by winning softball scholar-athlete accolades. A Capital One First Team Academic All-American and second team All-NEC honoree, Morizi came back strong after missing each of the last two years due to knee injuries. She hit .397 with 71 hits, 33 RBIs, 18 doubles and 20 walks, while compiling a .525 slugging percentage and .460 on-base percentage, all team-leading figures. The 71 hits were the second-most in program history. On a conference-wide basis, Morizi ranked first in the NEC in doubles, second in batting average and hits, and third in on-base percentage. The San Diego, CA native was recently named the LIU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was presented the Michelle Hamdan Award, bestowed upon the student-athlete who has overcome adversity and persevered. A three-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Morizi graduated summa cum laude with a 3.94 grade point average and has been accepted into the doctoral program of Physical Therapy at LIU Brooklyn. She majored in Sports Science.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s Arvis Berzins (Adazi, Latvia/Riga Centre Language School)
wraps an outstanding sophomore campaign with his selection as the scholar-athlete recipient in men’s tennis. Berzins became the fourth player in league history to earn back-to-back NEC Player of the Year honors, leading the Knights to a second straight NEC championship. For the second straight year Berzins ended his season a perfect 7-0 versus NEC competition and he finished 14-6 overall playing exclusively at #1 singles. In FDU’s first round NCAA Tournament match at top-ranked Virginia, Berzins took the first set (6-3) from Jarmere Jenkins, the No. 3 ranked player in the country. The March NEC Player of the Month also teamed with Ibrahim Shams to claim first team All-NEC honors at #1 doubles. Berzins, a native of Adazi, Latvia, won the Walter Marusyn Male Athlete of the Year at FDU’s year-end awards banquet. He has posted a 3.86 grade point average majoring in Finance.
Mount St. Mary’s graduate student Kelly Conroy (Tallahassee, FL/John Paul II)
collects women’s tennis co-scholar-athlete plaudits. Conroy was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-America third team, becoming the first Mount St. Mary’s tennis player to receive the honor. She was one of four Mount student-athletes to earn the Sheridan Award, annually presented to those, who, through athletic and academic achievement, have exemplified the spirit and dedication demanded by intercollegiate athletics, and who, through such activity have fostered the ideals of Monsignor John L. Sheridan and Mount St. Mary’s University. As a senior, Conroy went 17-13 in singles play and was a perfect 6-0 against NEC competition at #1 singles. Her 17 singles victories tied for fourth in the conference and her 68 career wins ranks fifth in program history. Conroy, who hails from Tallahassee, FL, graduated with a 3.97 grade point average majoring in Communications, and has compiled a 3.89 GPA in her graduate studies as she pursues an MBA.
Fairleigh Dickinson senior Anna Rapoport (Moscow, Russia/#1239)
is the co-scholar-athlete award winner in women’s tennis. Rapoport was the centerpiece of FDU’s back-to-back NEC championship teams, becoming just the second player to twice be named NEC Player of the Year. The Moscow, Russia native posted a perfect 7-0 record in NEC play and wrapped her two-year career at FDU with a 12-0 mark against conference opposition. Rapoport rang up 10 wins this past season at #1 singles, tying her for most in the NEC, and 14 overall victories. Over two years, she posted an impressive 32-15 record. Rapoport, a two-time NEC Player of the Week in the spring, was also voted to the All-NEC doubles first team with partner Nicole Chis. A Communications major, she closed out her undergraduate career with a 3.65 grade point average.
Wagner graduate student Zachary Spector (Yahpank, NY/Longwood)
made the most of his fifth year of eligibility, claiming the men’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete award. Spector won the 10,000 meters at the NEC Championship meet in May, clocking in at 14:53.19, nearly nine seconds in front of his closest competitor. He nearly pulled off a double, finishing second in the 5,000 meters, less than two seconds behind the Mount’s Thomas Gruschow. Spector’s 18 points helped boost Wagner to a sixth place finish, the program’s best showing since 1992. An IC4A qualifier in the 10K, the Yahpank, NY product was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team, the lone Seahawk to earn the honor in the 2012-13 academic year. Spector finished with a 3.66 undergraduate grade point average as a Business Administration major. Now pursuing his MBA at the school, he posted a 3.84 GPA this past year.
Sacred Heart senior Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT/North Branford)
adds women’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete honors to her indoor award from this past winter. Selmquist was a double-winner at the 2013 NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and did it in dominating fashion. She broke a six-year meet record in the 10,000 meters, beating the competition by 18 seconds with a time of 36:05.40. Selmquist also crossed the tape first in the 5,000 meters, clocking in at 16:56.33, seven seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher. A Northford, CT native, she qualified for NCAA Regionals by breaking the school record in the 10K by nearly two and a half minutes with a time of at 34:58.98 at the Stanford Invitational to commence her outdoor campaign. She also earned All-New England honors in the 5,000 meters. Selmquist compiled a 3.82 grade point average as an Accounting major.
Sport Name School Cl GPA Major
Baseball Kevin Brown BRY Sr 3.53 Political Law
Mark Quaranta MSM Sr 3.98 Economics & Business
Men’s Golf Kevin Fawcett SFU So 3.73 Finance/Accounting
Women’s Golf Ann Colligan SFU Jr 3.84 Mid. Childhood Education
Men’s Lacrosse Sean Meagher RMU Jr 3.80 Accounting/Finance
Women’s Lacrosse Kaleigh Gibbons MU Jr 3.40 Health Studies
Amanda Toke CCSU Jr 3.52 Environmental Science
Softball Lauren Morizi LIU Sr 3.94 Sports Science
Men’s Tennis Arvis Berzins FDU So 3.86 Finance
Women’s Tennis Kelly Conroy MSM Sr 3.97 (u) Communications
3.89 (g) MBA
Anna Rapoport FDU Sr 3.65 Communications
M. Outdoor Track Zachary Spector WC Gr 3.66 (u) Business Admin.
3.84 (g) MBA
W. Outdoor Track Alyssa Selmquist SHU Sr 3.82 Accounting
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 32nd year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (@NECsports).