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2017 spring SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year honorees announced

2017 spring SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year honorees announced

CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce the 2017 spring SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year honorees. The Scholar Athlete of the Year award is presented to those who truly embrace the meaning of a "student-athlete," showcasing their dominance both on and off the field. This season the SUNYAC honors six student-athletes for their accomplishments.

To be eligible for the SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year award student-athletes must prove both academic and athletic excellence by obtaining a 3.30 overall grade point average (GPA), by being a starter or significant reserve for their team and they must be at least a sophomore.

Tim Cronin (Sr.), Oswego, Baseball

An economics major, Cronin (Walden/Valley Central) excelled in the classroom, and was dominant on the mound. The senior pitcher was selected to the All-New York Region First Team, ABCA/Rawlings All-New York Region First Team, SUNYAC/Don Axtell Co-Pitcher of the Year, and All-SUNYAC First Team. The four year Dean's Scholarship recipient also proved that academics was of equal importance, earning himself CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 honors, the SUNY Chancellors' Scholar Athlete Award, and SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll (2016-17). Cronin also was involved in various community service initiatives for which Oswego has earned national recognition for, including SUNYAC Day of Service and Yards for Yeardley.

Jennifer Groat (So.), Plattsburgh, Softball

Groat (Ballston Spa/Ballston Spa) proved early in her career she was an all-around student-athlete. On Monday, Groat was named to the 2017 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. The sophomore catcher/left fielder for the Cardinals was selected to the NFCA All-Region Second Team, All-SUNYAC First Team, ECAC Division III North First-Team All-Star, and SUNYAC All-Tournament Team. Groat was among the statistical leaders in the SUNYAC, including tied for third in triples, fifth in doubles, and 10th in batting average. Groat is studying childhood education while also dominating this year on the softball diamond averaging .364 overall at the plate with 51 hits.

Dave Foster (Sr.), Cortland, Men's Lacrosse

Foster (Farmingville/Sachem East) is a senior business economics student and defenseman for the Cortland Red Dragons. On Monday, Foster was named to the 2017 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. A student in the classroom, but also a student of the game, Foster capped off an impressive career for the Red Dragons. The three-time honorable mention All-American, is also a three-time All-SUNYAC First Team member, and a three-time SUNYAC All-Tournament member. Additionally this season, he was was selected to the Second Team All-ECAC North squad and competed in the USILA North/South senior game. 

Nicole Gottschalk (Sr.), New Paltz, Women's Lacrosse

Majoring in communication disorders, with a concentration in Spanish and a linguistics minor, Gottschalk (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) found great success both on and off the field. The senior midfielder for the Hawks finished the season with 16 goals, two of those being game winners, plus six assists (22 points), and recorded 41 of 47 shots on goal. Gottschalk won the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence and was named to the 2017 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. At age 14, Gottschalk was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes and now serves as a Connecticut Youth Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association.

Connor Christopherson (Gr.), Cortland, Men's Outdoor Track & Field

A graduate student and multi-event athlete for the Red Dragons, Christopherson (Morrisonville/Saranac) is majoring in health (physical education as an undergraduate). Christopherson was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and 2017 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. At the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, Christopherson took home third place and All-America honors in the decathlon. Christopherson was named All-Atlantic Region in the decathlon. Additionally, Christopherson was a member of the 4x400 relay team that took home first place at the SUNYAC Outdoor Championships. 

Marissa Cossaro (Sr.), Geneseo, Women's Outdoor Track & Field

Capping off a tremendous career as a distance runner for the Knights, Cossaro (East Northport/Northport) showcased her ability to balance both academics and athletics majoring in mathematics and double minoring in Spanish and adolescent education. The senior claimed her second (8th in 5K at Indoor) All-American performance at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in the 5,000 meter. Additionally, Cossaro was the SUNYAC Outdoor runner-up in the 5,000, while also finishing third in the 1,500 meter. A SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award recipient, Cossaro is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Sigma Iota, and Gold Key Honor Society. The senior also devoted time to the School of Education as a research assistant, examining the impact of poverty on urban education. Cossaro was named to the 2017 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll.

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