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Somerset, NJ -- Evgeniya Tyrtova (Omst, Russia/Liceum #66) of Fairleigh Dickinson and Michael Foster (Easton, MD/Easton) of Mount St. Mary’s both enjoyed distinguished athletic and academic careers at their respective institutions. The recent graduates can now add one more accolade to an impressive list of accomplishments with their selection as the Northeast Conference (NEC) Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
For each of the past six years, the NEC and its Faculty Athletic Representatives have bestowed the honor upon the male and female student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility, graduated and compiled the highest grade point average in the Conference at the conclusion of the academic calendar. Tyrtova, a Nursing/Pre-Med major, posted a perfect 4.0 GPA, while Foster majored in Biology and finished with a 3.99 GPA.
“Congratulations to Evgeniya and Michael for their extremely impressive academic and athletic accomplishments,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “The Northeast Conference is committed to providing its student-athletes with a first-class experience academically and competitively, and Evgeniya and Michael took full advantage of those opportunities. We are proud to have them both represent all 4,800+ NEC student-athletes.”
Tyrtova recently earned the Mary Kay Stratis Award, presented to the FDU female student-athlete who possesses the highest GPA upon graduating. On three occasions she was named to the exclusive National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association (NIWFA) All-Academic Team, which honors just 13 student-athletes from the 20 schools that make up the organization. Tyrtova also earned annual recognition on the FDU and NEC Academic Honor Roll, as well as the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
On the strip, Tyrtova posted a best-ever 13th place finish in the epee at the 80th annual NIWFA Christmas Invitational last December. As a junior, she recorded eight victories at the NIWFA Championships.
At the Mount’s year-end awards banquet, Foster was one of three recipients of the Sheridan Award, which is presented to the student-athlete, 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. He was a four-time member of the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and was also tabbed an NEC TV Scholar-Athlete this past winter.
As a senior, Foster started 53 games at second and third base for the Mount. Batting leadoff, the Easton, MD native hit .276 on the year and led the club with 32 runs scored. He ranked third on the Mountaineers with 25 RBIs, and finished with eight doubles, a triple and two homers. Foster’s 210 at bats were the third-best single-season mark in Mount St. Mary’s history and his 58 hits tied for the 14th on the all-time list. He compiled 16 multiple-hit games on the year, including a 4-for-4 performance in the Mount’s 14-3 win over St. Bonaventure on February 28. Foster also hit a grand slam in the Mount’s 9-5 victory over FDU on May 5th. He closed out his career with a .276 average, 139 hits, 76 runs scored, 22 doubles, a triple, five homers and 68 RBIs.
NEC Scholar-Athlete of Year History
Year Men Women
2011-12 Michael Foster, MSM Evgeniya Tyrtova, FDU
2010-11 Sean O’Reilly, SFPA Ali Kliment, MU
2009-10 Filip Kisdobranski, SFNY Maggie O’Connell Dubois, MSM
2008-09 Benjamin Evenden, MU Kathleen Henry, SHU
Tara Maxwell, RMU
Erin Reifsteck, SFPA
2007-08 Ian Butcher, SFPA Katja Bavendam, SFNY
2006-07 Moran Stern, SFNY Lisa Jaszka, RMU
Andrija Vrdoljak, SFNY
About The Northeast Conference
Now entering 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 (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit www.northeastconference.org.