The Great Northeast Athletic Conference announced its 2019 outdoor track & field major award winners on Monday afternoon, as Emmanuel College freshman Hannah Fitzpatrick was named the GNAC Women’s Track Rookie of the Year. Suffolk University led all teams taking home four individual winners and championship host Regis College claimed three honors.
All awards were voted upon by the league’s six GNAC head coaches, while the Regis women and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine men received the GNAC’s institutional sportsmanship awards in the sport of outdoor track & field. For the complete list of major winners and all-sportsmanship selections, please see below.
Fitzpatrick was selected as the GNAC Women’s Track Rookie of the Year, as the Saints first-year won the 1500 and the 5K, and took home second-place finishes in both the 800 and the 4x800m relay at the conference championships. Her teammates, junior Aime Knowles (Seabrook, N.H.) and freshman Aidan Sitler (Wethersfield, Conn.) represented Emmanuel on the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Suffolk junior Emily Manfra was named the GNAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year. The Stoneham, Mass. native was the conference champion in the 800 meters, setting a new GNAC Championship record with a time of 2:20.59, 7.50 seconds better than the former record holder. The All-New England runner finished second at the NCAA DIII New Englands in the 1500 with a personal-best time of 4:34.58.
Regis senior Matthew Malone was voted the GNAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Year after the West Roxbury, Mass. native finished first in the 100 meter hurdles and third in the 400 meter hurdles at the GNAC Championship. He was also a member of the Pride’s 4×100 relay that placed third.
Regis also swept the field athletes of the year individual awards, as seniors Fatima St. Hilaire and Daniel LaFlamme earned the respective honors. St. Hilaire, who was also a sprint standout for the Pride, was a runaway winner for the award after finishing first in both the long jump and triple jump at the GNAC Championship. Meanwhile, the standout thrower LaFlamme was first in the shot put and discus and second in the hammer throw at GNACs back on April 28-29.
Suffolk took home the other three rookie awards, as Rams freshman Matyas Csiki-Fejer was named Men’s Track Rookie of the Year and Allison Rodrigues and Michael Balestra captured the GNAC’s Field Rookies of the Year accolades.
Csiki-Fejer won a pair of GNAC titles in the 800 (1:59.97) and 1500 (4:00.23), setting new GNAC records in both events. He also Ffnished 11th at NCAA DIII New England Championships with a personal-best time of 3:58.60 in the 1500.
Rodrigues was the GNAC Champion in the women’s javelin event with a conference-record mark of 30.94 meters, and she also finished second at the conference championships in the shot put (10.91 M) and third-place in the discus (32.47 M). She became the first-ever Suffolk field athlete to compete at the regionals, where she finished 13th in the shot put and 17th in the javelin.
Balestra set a new GNAC Championship record in the hammer throw with a toss of 46.60 meters to beat the previous mark of 43.50, and later finished eighth at the NCAA DIII New England Championships with a 48.49 meter toss.
Saint Joseph’s of Maine head coach Tom Dann was named the GNAC Women’s Coach of the Year, while Colby-Sawyer College head coach Lyndsay Ostler (Bisaccio) was voted the GNAC Men’s Coach of the Year after the Chargers won the men’s team title in their first year in the GNAC.