Central Islip, N.Y. - The East Coast Conference announced the 2016-2017 Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, as well as the Scholar-Athletes of the Year for all of its sponsored sports at the ECC Awards Dinner on May 22. Jesper Malmstrom (Linkopping, Sweden) of the LIU Post men's soccer team was named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Rachel Hutchinson (Freeville, N.Y.) of the Roberts Wesleyan women's cross country and track & field teams earned the honor as Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Malmstrom, a finance major with a 3.97 GPA, was named CoSIDA's Division II Men's Soccer Academic All-American of the Year after leading LIU Post to an 18-1-1 record and the number one ranking in Division II. He owned a 16-1-1 record in 18 starts in goal. He ranked first in the East Coast Conference and third in Division II with a 0.45 goals-against average, and was also first in the conference and fifth nationally with eight shutouts.
Hutchinson, a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics with a 4.0 GPA, was a standout for the Roberts Wesleyan women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field teams. In her time at Roberts Wesleyan, she was a three-time All-Conference First Team runner in Cross Country and earned 14 All-Conference honors at ECC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She is currently the league's record holder in the 1,500 meter run, set at this year's outdoor meet, and also earned the National Championship in the same event at the National Christian College Athletic Association meet just last week. Hutchinson has also been the league champion in the mile run, 1,000 meter run, the 4 x 800 meter relay, and the distance medley relay in her time at Roberts.
Malmstrom and Hutchinson were also named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year for their respective sports as well (Hutchinson earned the women's cross country honor).
2016-2017 ECC Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Softball – Meghan O'Leary (Lafayette, N.J.), Bridgeport: O'Leary, a Second Team All-Conference selection earns after hitting .336 with four homeruns and 33 RBI. The Criminal Justice and Human Security major also compiled a 3.63 GPA
Baseball – Kevin Podell (Wantagh, N.Y.), Molloy: Podell earns his second straight Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. The senior has posted a 3.92 GPA as a Business Management major and hit .278 with 22 RBI on the season.
Men's Basketball – Jules de Courtenay (Brisbane, Australia) St. Thomas Aquinas: De Courtenay, a Computer Science major with a 3.87 GPA, wins the award after starting all 33 games and scoring 5.8 points per game and pulling down 4.6 rebounds per game for the ECC and East Region Champion, Spartans. deCourtenay was also named the Elite 90 Award honoree at the NCAA Elite Eight for having the highest GPA among student-athletes competing in the national finals.
Co-Women's Basketball - Samantha Burden (Westbury, N.Y.), St Thomas Aquinas: Burden, a senior Marketing major with a 3.72 GPA, averaged 6.8 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game for a Spartans team that advanced to the ECC Championship semifinals. She was named to the ECC Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Co-Women's Basketball - Julie Williams (Smithtown, N.Y.), NYIT: Williams averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in helping lead the Bears to the final of the ECC Championship and to an NCAA Tournament berth. In the classroom, Williams maintained a 3.87 GPA as a Physical Therapy major.
Women's Bowling - Colleen Kelly (Quincy, Mass.), Franklin Pierce: Kelly, a senior Business Management major with a 3.85 GPA, earns the honor after being named to the ECC Championship All-Tournament Team and finishing second on the Ravens with 289 strikes and 338 spares.
Men's Cross Country - Aaron Bellomo (Hudson, N.H.), Roberts Wesleyan: A ECC First-Team honoree after finishing third in the ECC Championship in a time of 26:02, Bellomo repeats as the Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year by boasting a 3.88 GPA as a Communication major.
Men's Indoor Track and Field – Taurai Augustin (Castries, Saint Lucia), Holy Family: Augustin was a First Team All-Conference selection in the 500 (1:06.09) and 1,000 (2:33.53) meter runs. In the classroom, he holds a 3.96 GPA as a Biology/Pre-Med major.
Women's Indoor Track and Field – Elizabeth Stirling (Wantagh, N.Y.), LIU Post: Stirling, who was the Women's Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2016, earns the Indoor honor after winning earning All-Conference honors in the 3,000 and 5,000 meter runs and compiling a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student (3.6 undergrad GPA) Biology major.
Men's Lacrosse – Thomas McDermott (Ridley, Pa.), Chestnut Hill: McDermott, a senior Accounting major with a 3.66 GPA, earns the honor after being named the ECC Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017. McDermott led the ECC with a .581 save percentage, making 147 saves on the year.
Co-Women's Lacrosse – Shannon Knapp (Lafayette, N.Y.), Roberts Wesleyan: Knapp, a senior Arts/Philosophy/Religion major with a 3.93 GPA, was an ECC All-Conference Second Team member after leading the ECC with 201 saves.
Co-Women's Lacrosse – Alyssa Milano (Holbrook, N.Y.), NYIT: A junior Business Administration major with a 4.0 GPA, Milano ranked fourth in the ECC with 58 goals and 10th with 67 points to earn All-Conference First Team honors.
Men's Outdoor Track and Field – Ryan Gioe (Huntington Station, N.Y.), LIU Post: Gioe, a Mathematics and Physics major with a 3.93 GPA, Gioe was the 10,000 meter run champion at the ECC Outdoor Track & Field Championship, clocking a 3:36.63.
Women's Outdoor Track and Field – Mackenzie Donahue (East Aurora, N.Y.), Daemen: Donahue, a Health Promotion major boasts a 3.33 GPA. On the track, she won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs at the ECC Championship in meet-record times. Donahue also qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship meet in the 10,000 meter event.
Women's Soccer – Isabella Mitrevski (Rochester, N.Y.), Roberts Wesleyan: Mitrevski was an All-ECC First Team pick and a First Team All-American after scoring 10 goals and dishing out six assists for 26 points on the season. Academically, the senior History major graduated a semester early with a 3.93 GPA.
Men's Tennis – Sharvill Nawghre (Nagpur, India), Queens: Nawghre earns his second straight Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor in the same season he earned the league's Player of the Year award. Nawghre finished 2017 with a 11-6 singles record and earned a 3.65 GPA as a Corporate Finance and Economics major.
Women's Tennis – Hayle Scanlan (Indianapolis, Ind.), Daemen: Scanlan, who finished with a 14-11 singles record in 2016-17, earns the Scholar-Athlete honor after finishing with a 3.86 GPA as a Biochemistry major.
Volleyball – Amber Drzymala (West Seneca, N.Y.), Daemen: Drzymala, an All-Conference First Team selection, helped the Wildcats to their first ECC Regular Season title with 379 kills and a .192 hitting percentage. She also posted a 3.64 GPA as a Business Administration major.