Stonehill Repeats as NE-10 Presidents’ Cup Champions

NE-10 Commissioner Julie Ruppert presents Brendan Sullivan (center), Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Elliott Turek, Chairperson of Stonehill's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, with the 2010-11 NE-10 Presidents' Cup. (PHOTO BY Andy Beardsley)

Skyhawks post seventh-straight top three finish in 2010-2011 with third Cup title

EASTON, Mass. (June 7, 2011) – Stonehill College has won the 2010-2011 Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cup, it was announced tonight at the Conference’s end of the year awards banquet in Providence, R.I. It marks the second-straight year the College has won the Presidents’ Cup and third overall, having also won the award in 2005-06 and 2009-10, and is the seventh-straight year it has finished in the top three in the final standings.

“Congratulations to the student-athletes, coaches, and administrators at Stonehill College on their outstanding accomplishment of capturing the Presidents’ Cup for the second straight year,” said Julie Ruppert, Commissioner of the Northeast-10. “In a 16-team Conference as deep and competitive as the Northeast-10, the success necessary to earn this honor requires tremendous dedication and commitment from the entire campus community and all of Stonehill should share in the celebration of this accomplishment. Stonehill is clearly living up to the ideals of Division II by providing high-level athletics competition, and balancing that with notable academic achievements in the classroom.”

The Presidents’ Cup is presented annually to signify overall athletic excellence in the Northeast-10 Conference and is awarded to the institution that compiles the most points based on the placement at the conclusion of the regular season of each of its programs which compete in league championships. Points for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and men’s golf are awarded based on placement in respective conference championships.

Stonehill captured its third Presidents’ Cup overall by accumulating 177 points during the academic year to edge rival Bentley University (173 points) for the second-straight year by four points. Southern Connecticut State University finished third (161) and Adelphi University placed fourth (154.5), while American International College rounded out the top five (149.5).

"This is the third time Stonehill has won the Presidents’ Cup and it is yet another outstanding endorsement of our athletic program, which is so central to our mission," said Rev. Mark T. Cregan C.S.C., President of Stonehill College. "At the College, we educate 'the whole person so that each Stonehill graduate thinks, acts and leads with courage.' Our student-athletes are leaders on and off the field, and their successes demonstrate our fulfillment of that mission. We are proud of how they comport themselves and of what they have achieved. All of us - students, faculty, coaches, administrators and alumni – take great satisfaction in being the recipient of this honor."

Women's Cross Country won its second-straight NE-10 Championship in October. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Stonehill’s student-athletes also performed in the classroom, with 22 earning NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors (through the winter sports program) to date, including senior women’s basketball honorable mention All-American Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) and junior men’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field All-Region honoree Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) who received NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence honors for women’s basketball and men’s cross country, respectively. Stonehill placed 11 on the Capital One Academic All-District teams and 53-percent of Stonehill student-athletes have achieved a 3.20 cumulative grade point average.The Presidents’ Cup caps another successful year across Stonehill’s athletic department, which saw 14 its 19 NE-10 programs earn postseason berths, including six NCAA Tournament bids, with the women’s cross country team capturing an NE-10 Championship and five others place second in their NE-10 postseason events. 16 Skyhawk student-athletes earned All-America status in their respective sports.

“This prestigious honor is a direct result of the collective contributions of our student-athletes and coaches to the rich tradition of athletic excellence at Stonehill,” said Brendan Sullivan, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the College. “To earn this award for two consecutive years in the highly competitive Northeast-10 points to the ability, dedication, and most importantly, passion of our student-athletes and coaches. I stand in awe of their impressive achievements and I would like to thank each of them for their continued commitment to the purple and white of Stonehill. Most importantly, I look forward to witnessing their next great academic and athletic accomplishments.”

Sophomore All-American Corey Thomas won the indoor high jump national championship in March (PHOTO BY Blake Wood)

Stonehill’s year got underway with the women’s cross country program capturing its second-straight NE-10 championship in late October, with the men’s team placing second at the Championships, followed by the field hockey team reaching the NE-10 title game and earning a trip to the NCAA Division II Championship semifinals for the second-straight year. The women’s cross country team also captured the East Regional title for the second-straight year at Franklin Park in Dorchester in early November, with the men also placing second as both reached the NCAA Division II Championships. The men’s soccer team continued to show marked improvement, making its first postseason appearance since 1999, while the volleyball team reached the semifinals of the NE-10 Tournament for the second time in three years.

The winter season was highlighted by sophomore All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) capturing the first individual NCAA National Championship in school history when he won the high jump crown at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., by clearing 7-feet, 0.5-inches. In addition to earning his second indoor high jump All-America honor, Thomas also claimed All-America status in the 60-meter hurdles and the men’s 4000-meter distance medley relay team also posted an All-America finish at the event. Men’s basketball made its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, reaching the second round after finishing second in the NE-10 regular season standings.

The men’s track and field team followed up a second-place finish at the NE-10 Indoor Championships with a second place performance at the Outdoor Championships. Thomas and senior Patrick Fullerton (Bradford, Mass./Haverhill) both brought home All-America honors from the NCAA Championships in the high jump and 1500-meter runs, respectively. The women’s tennis team made its third-straight trip to the NE-10 championship match, while the baseball, women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis teams also reached the NE-10 Tournament.

Stonehill, which participates in 19 of the 23 total sports offered by the Conference, was consistently successful in a number of their programs as men’s basketball, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country all finished in the top five in the conference during their respective seasons. Stonehill compiled an overall mark of 184-140-5 (.567) in team competition during the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, including a 121-80-5 (.600) clip in NE-10 play, with 10 of 13 team sports finishing .500 or better.

National Championship (1)
Corey Thomas – Indoor Track & Field (high jump)

NE-10 Team Championships (1)
Women’s Cross Country

All-Americans (16)
Courtney Foley – Field Hockey
Kathryn Nelson – Field Hockey
Laura Noce – Field Hockey
Lindsey Pinkham – Field Hockey
Stephan Neville - Football
Emily Rousseau – Women’s Basketball
Corey Thomas – Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field (high jump, 2x, 60-meter hurdles, indoor)
Patrick Fullerton – Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field (1500 & DMR)
Nathan Morse – Indoor Track & Field (DMR)
Daniel Pilz – Indoor Track & Field (DMR)
Sean Hanlon – Indoor Track & Field (DMR)
Samantha Lynott – Lacrosse
Kelsey Reilly – Lacrosse
Capital One Academic All-District (11)
Kathryn Nelson – Field Hockey (at large team)
Lindsey Pinkham – Field Hockey (at large team)
Elizabeth Belanger – Women’s Soccer
Kirstie St. Martin – Women’s Soccer
Tyler Hebert – Men’s Soccer
Emily Rousseau – Women’s Basketball
Katy Abarr – Softball
Samantha Lynott – Lacrosse (at large team)
Jill Alves – Cross Country/Track & Field
Erin Carmone – Cross Country/Track & Field #
Maura Ferrarini – Cross Country/Track & Field
# - still eligible for Academic All-America honors to be announced next week