CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 men's outdoor track and field annual awards. The awards include Track Athlete, Field Athlete, Rookie, and Coach of the Year, and were voted on by conference coaches.
Track Athlete of the Year - Isaac Garcia-Cassani, Geneseo
Garcia-Cassani repeats as Track Athlete of the Year coming off of a tremendous 2018 outdoor season. Placing first in the country in the 1500 meter at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, he ends his collegiate Track and Field career with four national titles - two in the 1500 meter, one in the distance medley relay (2018 indoor), and one in the mile run (2017 indoor). In his fourth national title - second consecutively in the 1500, the senior from Holbrook, N.Y. finished with a time of 3:50.21. He was also named the Atlantic Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, as well as Division III National Athlete of the Week after posting a 3:42:85 time in the 1500 meter at the Swarthmore Final Qualifier meet. He was a two-time SUNYAC Track Athlete of the Week, and placed first in the 1500 meter and 5000 meter runs at the 2018 SUNYAC Championships with times of 3:56.50 and 15:15.30, respectively. Garcia-Cassani ends his career a 13-time All-American.
Field Athlete of the Year - Tony DeYoung, Brockport
DeYoung had a phenomenal freshman campaign, placing first in the shotput and discus throw at the 2018 SUNYAC Championships, throwing a distance of 15.84 and 46.82 meters, respectively. His victories earned him the 2018 SUNYAC Outstanding Outdoor Field Athlete of the Meet. De Young finished third in the discus throw at the All-Atlantic Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a mark of 43.71 meters. His performance earned him a spot on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA All-Region team - one of three selected from Brockport. DeYoung was also a SUNYAC Field Athlete of the Week recipient after placing first in the shot put with a distance of 15.24 meters at the Cardinal Classic.
Rookie of the Year - Lukas D'Alfonso, Geneseo
D'Alfonso made a name for himself during his freshman season, earning his first first-place finish at the Westminster Invitation, where he ran the 400 meter with a time of 48.09. The Henrietta, N.Y. native continued strong throughout the season, placing fourth in the 400 relay with a time of 3:21.15, first in the 100 relay with a time of 41.87, and second in the 400 with a time of 48.62 at the 2018 SUNYAC Championships. D'Alfonso set a program record in the 200 meter at the Geneseo Beautiful Valley Open, having ran a time of 21.70. In addition to contributing to his team's SUNYAC Championship victory, and represented the Knights at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, finishing 20th in the 400 meter with a time of 49.93.
Coach of the Year - Chris Popovici, Geneseo
In the 2018 season, Geneseo Knights head coach Chris Popovici led his team to its sixth SUNYAC Outdoor Championship title in program history - the team's first since 2011. Following the team's victory, Popovici led nine men's track and field athletes to achieve All-Atlantic Regional honors, including Atlantic Region Men's Athlete of the Year, Isaac Garcia-Cassani. At the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, he led the men's team to a 30th overall finish out of 90 scoring teams, and led Garcia-Cassani to another national title. Popovici continues to build a nationally recognized program entering his seventh season as head coach for the Knights.