Six Skyhawks Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors

Seniors Maura Ferrarini and Stephen Polito headline honorees

Jill Alves
Sarah Biggers
Maura Ferrarini
Corey Donahoe
Trent Fontanella
Stephen Polito

EASTON, Mass. (February 9, 2012) – Six members of the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Conference Champion Stonehill College men's and women's cross country teams have earned U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honors.

Representing Stonehill on the All-Academic lists are women's cross country seniors Jill Alves (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) and Maura Ferrarini (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) and sophomore Sarah Biggers (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Lakeland) while seniors Corey Donahoe (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) and Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) represent the men's cross country team alongside sophomore Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin).

Ferrarini, most recently named the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner, was the top finisher for the Skyhawks at the NCAA National Championships posting a time of 23 minutes and 23.6 seconds, 70th overall, on six-kilometer course to lead Stonehill to 19th place as a team. Alves followed in 89th place in a time of 23:48.2 while Biggers crossed the finish line in 23:55.4 for a 98th place finish.

On the men's side at the NCAA National Championships, Polito led Stonehill with a time of 33:42.5 on the 10-kilometer course for a 96th place finish overall out of 187 runners and 21st overall as a team. Donahoe crossed the finish line in 33 minutes and 50 seconds to claim the 106th spot and Fontanella turned in a time of 34:58.0 for 142nd overall.

Polito collects his fifth academic honor of the season after earning the NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence award for the second-straight year, NE-10 Academic All-Conference, NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll and Athletic Director Honor Roll accolades for the fall 2011 campaign.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field and Cross Country Team in Division II, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or greater through the most-recent semester, completed at least 12 credit hours in the semester of cross country competition, and placed in the top 50 percent at the most recent NCAA National Championships or in the top 30 percent at the NCAA Regional Championships.

Since 2005, Polito is Stonehill's only student-athlete, male or female, who has been represented on the USTFCCCA All-Academic list four times. Alves becomes the first female student-athlete to earn All-Academic honors three times since Jennifer Gardynski (Everett, Mass./Everret), 2006-08. Biggers, Donahoe, Ferrarini and Fontanella have all earned first-career All-Academic honors. Overall since 2005, the men's cross country team has had four student-athletes recognized (11 honors total) while the women's team has had 20 student-athletes honored (28 selections total).

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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