Skyhawk women sweep awards for fourth-straight year
EASTON, Mass. (November 15, 2018) – The Stonehill College women's cross country's junior Anna Lastra was named Northeast-10 Conference Athlete of the Year, while freshman Rebecca Erhard was selected as Rookie of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Thursday.
Both Lastra and Erhard have assisted the team in five top-five team finishes this season, including winning three of the five meets. The Skyhawks earned their first title at the Kutztown Division II/III Challenge finishing first of 10 teams, they then ran in late October for their second Championship at the Sixth Annual Bruce Kirsh Cross Country Cup taking first out of 11 teams, and just last week Stonehill took home its 17th NE10 Championship beating out 15 teams.
Lastra is Stonehill's fifth Female Runner of the Year (PHOTO BY: Jim Stankiewicz)
Lastra ran in four of the five meets this season, taking home three top-15 finishes. She kicked off the season with the Division II/III Challenge crossing the line seventh out of 105 competitors in the six-kilometer course with a time of 23:53.1, and followed that with a 36th-place finish at the New England Championship besting her finish from last year clocking in a time of 19:05.5 in the five-kilometer course. The junior placed 13th overall in the field of 124 competitors at the Bruce Kirsh Cup and peaked at the NE10 Conference Championship two weeks ago when she took home the individual title with a time of 21:57.4.
This is the program's fourth-straight individual title, which Emily Knox '18 won last year and Nicole Borofski '17 won back-to-back the previous years, both previous NE10 Runners of the Year. In NE10 Cross Country history, this is the third time that a school has seen four-straight Female Runners of the Year, with Springfield College leading the way with six-straight from 1987-92 and Merrimack College with four straight from 1997-2000.
During her three years on the cross country team, the Bridgton, Maine native has been tabbed on the NE10 All-Conference first team this year, third last season, and second her freshman year. The junior has received one NCAA Division II All-East Region honor when she finished 13th at the Championship her freshman year. On the academic side, Lastra was tabbed on the NE10 Academic All-Conference team, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team, NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll, Athletic Director's Honor Roll, and received the Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award.
She is a 2016 graduate of Fryeburg Academy where she competed in both cross country and track and field. Lastra was placed on the high honor all four years, while being given the Iron Will Award her sophomore year.
Erhard is Stonehill's 10th Female Rookie of the Year (PHOTO BY: Jim Stankiewicz)
Erhard was selected as the Female Rookie of the Year with her three top-15 finishes out of the five meets this season. The freshman kicked off her collegiate career at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Invitational finishing 38th with a time of 19:16.1 in the five-kilometer course. She then saw her best mark of the season at the Division II/III Challenge finishing third out of 105 competitors at the Division II/III Challenge clocking in at 23:44.6 in her first six-kilometer race. Erhard then placed 28th at the New England Championships and then 12th at the Bruce Kirsh Cup. Most recently, Erhard placed 15th out of 144 competitors at the NE10 Championship two weeks ago for her best six-kilometer time this season of 22:36.7.
This is the program's fourth-straight NE10 Female Rookie of the Year, eighth in 10 years, and 10th in program history. In the NE10, this is the fourth-straight Female of the Year from the same institution for just the second time, as Springfield College has the longest streak with seven-straight Female Rookies of the Year spanning from 1986-94. The Wenham, Massachusetts native earned her first NE10 All-Conference third team honor this season with her mark at the Championship. She was also tabbed as the NE10 Rookie of the Week the first week of October.
The 2018 graduate of Hamilton Wenham Regional High School competed in cross country and track & field where she named the Salem News Cross Country All Star junior and senior year. She was named the Eastern Massachusetts All-Scholastic All Star, received All-League honors, Eastern Massachusetts honors, and was a three-season MVP.
Stonehill travels to Bethpage, New York to compete on Saturday, November 17 for the NCAA Division II Cross Country East Regional Championship at Bethpage State Park, hosted by Adelphi University. The men will kick off the event with a noon start time, while the women will run at 1:15 p.m.
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