Cambridge, Mass.—Junior Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) earned America East All-Academic Honors, as announced by the conference office on Wednesday. It is the second straight year that Omar has earned the distinction.
Hassan joins John Prizzi as repeat winners from 2013. This season Omar led the Retrievers at almost every race. He was the top finisher for the Retrievers in five of their six meets. Omar also earned All-Conference honors for his fifth place finish at the America East Championships earlier this month.
America East Release:
Twenty-three student athletes have been named to the 2014 Cross Country All-Academic Team. 12 men and 11 women have achieved academic and athletic excellence while representing and performing in the America East Conference this season.
On the men's side, Hassan Omar of UMBC, and John Prizzi from New Hampshire, represent the two repeat award winners from 2013. Among the 12 distinguished individuals, five competitors are all-conference performers. Eric Speakman, who won the America East Cross Country Championship, was the lone unanimous All-Academic selection. The four other All-Conference members include New Hampshire's John Prizzi (2nd), UMBC's Hassan Omar (4th), plus Vermont's Dan Moroney (6th), and Dylan Sounder (7th).
The remaining selections to the All-Academic team include Albany's John DeLallo and Christopher Buchanan, Binghamton's Andrew Roche, Hartford's Jonathan Choiniere and Christopher Helminski, Maine's Jesse Orach, and UMass Lowell's Zachary Nelson.
The women have three All-Academic honorees that are repeat representatives. Carolyn Stocker of Maine and Vermont's Alicia Clark each were named to the team last year. New Hampshire senior Anne Twombly has been selected to the All-Academic team for the third consecutive year.
Among the 11 team members, seven members earned spots on the All-America East team. Conference champion Elinor Purrier of New Hampshire is a first time All-Academic selection along with fellow Wildcats Anne Twombly (5th) and Laura Rose Donegan (6th), Stony Brook's Christina Melian (2nd), and Albany's Silvia Del Fava (3rd) and Molly Pezzulo (7th).
The remaining All-Academic Selections include Binghamton's Alexis Hatcher, Maine's Abigal Wessels and Carolyn Stocker, UMBC's Sophia Cologer, UMass Lowell's Jacqui Solimine. First time All-Academic selection Christina Melian of Stony Brook, and Alicia Clark were unanimous selections.
The two Elite 18 awards winners for cross country are both members of their respective All-Academic teams; Eric Speakman from Stony Brook, and Anne Twombly of New Hampshire.
For the seventh consecutive year, America East will select the All-Academic teams using CoSIDA's Academic All-America program as a model. Student-athletes worthy of consideration are nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by a committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine-member institutions.
All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time or are typically made up of 10 student-athletes for individual sports, with the exception being in the event of ties. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team's games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.