November 1, 2017

2017 NAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference: LeBlanc, Maggi & Shafer Earn Top Honors

New England College senior Abby Shafer (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) impressively earned her fourth Runner of the Year honor after completing the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Cross Country Championship 5k course in a time of 19:19.4. UMaine-Farmington sophomore Katie LeBlanc (Saco, Maine) completed the course in 19:53.5, good enough for runner-up honors and to earn her the 2017 NAC Rookie of the Year. 

In a vote of the conference coaches, Thomas' Alyssa Maggi (Belchertown, Mass.) was selected as the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, UMaine-Farmington head coach Dan Campbell and Colby-Sawyer head coach Lyndsay Ostler were honored as Coach of the Year and eleven women's cross country student-athletes were named to the Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2017 All-Conference announcement.


Shafer led the way this season for the Pilgrims, as she was the team's top finisher at all meets, while also earning eight-consecutive NAC Runner of the Week honors. The three-time NAC Runner of the Year, took home the honor once again this season as she placed first at the 2017 NAC Championship in a time of 19:19.4, which was 34 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Beyond the NAC Championship, the senior won eight of the nine races she's competed in this season. In early October, she set an all-time record at the Saints Invitational with an 18:34 finish, and won a 1,000-yard sprint for a six-second victory over the defending champion at the James Earley Invitational at Westfield State on October 7. Her best time this season was a 17:53.13 finish at the Buddy Harris Memorial Race, hosted by UMass Dartmouth in late September. 


LeBlanc has had a great rookie season for the Beavers. The sophomore recorded three top-two performances including one first-place finish. LeBlanc started her collegiate career with runner-up honors at the UMF Invitational (20:54). She then earned 36th place at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational (19:31) and ninth at the Bowdoin Invitational II. The rookie claimed her first medalist finish at the Runnin' Monks Invitational (20:38.9), before placing 17th at the Maine State Championship (19:34.5). She then earned runner-up honors, out of 95 runners, at the 2017 NAC Championship after crossing the line in 19:53.5, 34 seconds faster than the third-place runner. With her standout performances this season, she helped lead her team to one first-place finish and two second-place finishes, including the runner-up honors at the NAC Championship. She was selected NAC Rookie of the Week five times this season, including a stretch of four-consecutive weeks claiming the honor.

 

Maggi is being recognized for excelling academically and athletically throughout her undergraduate experience. She is currently enrolled in the accelerated MBA program at Thomas after impressively finishing her undergraduate work in three years. Maggi has been a leader on and off of the race course for her team and the Terriers community. She has served as a peer tutor, is a two-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and is a member of the dance team, all while excelling in the classroom. She was Thomas' 2016 NAC Sportsmanship Team honoree and serves as the true definition of the ideal Division III student-athlete, she is loyal, hardworking, and extremely reliable.

 

Campbell saw his squad claim runner-up honors at the 2017 NAC Championship after placing fourth a season ago. The Beavers scored 60 points this season, an impressive 51-point improvement from 2016. UMF placed three runners in the top-eight at the conference championship, including a runner-up finish, a fifth-place finish and an eighth-place finish. Campbell saw first-year Beaver runner Katie LeBlanc claim the 2017 NAC Rookie of the Year honor. Prior to the NAC Championship, UMF earned two fifth-place finishes, two runner-up finishes, and one first-place finish this season.

 

Ostler's squad was selected as the pre-championship favorite to win the 2017 title and her team did not disappoint. The Chargers earned their fourth-consecutive team championship after scoring 60 points with four runners in the top 11. The Chargers started the season with a third out of seven finish at the UMaine-Farmington Invitational and then were led through a tough schedule of impressive opponents. Colby-Sawyer had an individual runner finish an impressive 30th place out of 299 runners at the Corsair Invitational hosted by UMass Dartmouth, while also having a runner finish in 118th out of 257 competitors at the James Earley Invitational and a team finish of seventh out of 22 competing institutions at the Emmanuel Saints Invitational including a 35th out of 210 individual finish.


The medalist and the next seven finishers at the NAC Championship are honored as All-Conference First Team runners, while the next seven are named to the All-Conference Second Team.

Joining LeBlanc and Shafer on the All-Conference First Team were Castleton sophomore Kaylyn Crompton (Barre, Vt.) and junior Miranda Messeck (Highgate, Vt.), Colby-Sawyer senior Lauren Oligny (Plaistow, N.H.) and junior Martha Aschale (Cambridge, Mass.), and UMaine-Farmington senior Laura Pulito (Brownfield, Maine) and junior Gwen Baker (Windham, Maine).

Second team honorees include Colby-Sawyer freshman Amanda Boyd (Dedham, Maine) and sophomores Alison Fairbairn (Dover, N.H.) and Megan Spainhower (Northwood, N.H.), Husson senior Morgan Clifford (Brooks, Maine) and sophomore Lindsey Joliat (Brewer, Maine), Johnson senior Brynn Cairns (Rutland, Vt.) and Lyndon senior Sierra Hargrave (St. Johnsbury, Vt.).

The NAC Women's Cross Country Sportsmanship Team is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the sport culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity. The following eleven individuals have been selected to the 2017 Sportsmanship Team, Castleton senior Ali Nelson (New Hartford, N.Y.), Colby-Sawyer's Oligny, UMaine-Farmington junior Molly Jack (Bangor, Maine), Green Mountain senior Anneli Brandt (Tulsa, Okla.), Husson senior Shannon Staples (Waldoboro, Maine), Johnson junior Sarah Sodaro (Monkton, Vt.), Lyndon senior Libby Start (Randolph, Vt.), Maine Maritime sophomore Jessica Lindsay (Limestone, Maine), New England College junior Catherine Jones (Pownal, Vt.), UMaine-Presque Isle junior Chenoa Jackson (Wilton, Maine), and Thomas senior Emma Chase (Topsham, Maine).

2017 NAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference Teams

To view a PDF list of the All-Conference team click HERE.

FIRST TEAM
Abby Shafer, Senior, New England College
Katie LeBlanc, Sophomore, UMaine-Farmington
Lauren Oligny, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Kaylyn Crompton, Sophomore, Castleton
Laura Pulito, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Martha Aschale, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
Miranda Messeck, Junior, Castleton
Gwen Baker, Junior, UMaine-Farmington 

SECOND TEAM
Lindsey Joliat, Sophomore, Husson
Amanda Boyd, Freshman, Colby-Sawyer
Alison Fairbairn, Sophomore, Colby-Sawyer
Sierra Hargrave, Senior, Lyndon
Megan Spainhower, Sophomore, Colby-Sawyer
Brynn Cairns, Senior, Johnson
Morgan Clifford, Senior, Husson 

Runner of the Year
Abby Shafer, Senior, New England College
Rookie of the Year
Katie LeBlanc, Sophomore, UMaine-Farmington
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year
Alyssa Maggi, Senior, Thomas
Coach of the Year
Dan Campbell, Second Season, UMaine-Farmington  
Lyndsay Ostler, Sixth Season, Colby-Sawyer

Sportsmanship Team
Anneli Brandt, Senior, Green Mountain  
Emma Chase, Senior, Thomas
Molly Jack, Junior, UMaine-Farmington
Chenoa Jackson, Junior, UMaine-Presque Isle
Catherine Jones, Junior, New England College
Jessica Lindsay, Sophomore, Maine Maritime
Ali Nelson, Senior, Castleton
Lauren Oligny, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Sarah Sodaro, Junior, Johnson  
Shannon Staples, Senior, Husson  
Libby Start, Senior, Lyndon