Polito Earns Second NE-10 Sport Excellence Award

Senior led Stonehill to its second NE-10 championship in its last three seasons

Stephen Polito

EASTON, Mass. (February 8, 2012) – Stonehill College senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) has been named the men's cross country Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner by the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) for the fall 2011 athletic season, it was announced earlier today.

To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence award the student-athlete must have completed at least two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment at their current institution and at least two years of athletic eligibility at any institution. In addition, the student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 3.30. The NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence awards are chosen by a vote of a committee of athletic administrators and Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR). The NE-10 honors one student-athlete per conference-sponsored sport each year. There will be a total of 23 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winners during the course of the academic year.

Polito, who earns his second-consecutive Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award in cross country, led the Skyhawks to their second NE-10 championship in the last three seasons and fifth in program history this fall. A three-time NE-10 All-Academic selection for cross country, Polito finished second overall at the NE-10 Championships with a personal best time of 24:19.24 on the eight-kilometer course earning All-Conference first team honors for his performance.

Polito also finished 11th overall at the New England Championships in 25:07 picking up All-New England honors and placed third overall at the NCAA Division II East Regionals in a personal best time of 31:30.4 on the ten-kilometer layout. The graphic design major has earned a 3.70 cumulative grade point average and is a four-time All-NE-10 performer and has been on the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's honor rolls every semester at Stonehill.

Polito has earned three All-East Region selections in cross country (freshman, junior, senior) and two All-East Region selections as a member of the outdoor track and field team in the 5,000 meter run and 10,000 meter run. The senior has garnered two Division II ADA Academic Achievement awards (cross country and outdoor track) and is a two-time Northeast-10 Conference 10,000 meter outdoor champion.

A total of seven student-athletes, who excelled both on the field of play and in the classroom during the fall season, were recognized by the NE-10 in the sports of men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball. Stonehill College was the only school with multiple winners as senior Maura Ferrarini (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) earned Scholar-Athlete Sport-Excellence honors for women's cross country.

Stonehill earned its second-straight Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup Trophy for the 2010-11 academic year. In addition to capturing the NE-10 Presidents' Cup for the third time at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year, Stonehill ranked 51st in the final Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings which recognizes overall athletic achievement in NCAA sports. Stonehill was also recently ranked second in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs for the second-straight year. Stonehill has been recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 98-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) for the second-straight year as released by the NCAA – ranking third in all of Division II.

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