Tuesday, May 8, 2007

UAlbany Athletes Honored At Seventh Annual Great Dane Awards

University at Albany Vice President and Director of Athletics Lee McElroy presented Ashley DeNeal, Kate Fontana and Ryan Chrobak with ECAC Merit Medals on Monday evening at the seventh annual Great Dane Awards, held at SEFCU Arena on campus. The event celebrates UAlbany Athletics in the 2006-07 academic year. Presidential Scholar-Athlete Awards were given to Stephan Hall and Alyssa Lotmore. Each of the 19 intercollegiate men’s and women’s teams handed out their most valuable player awards.

ECAC Merit Medals are annually awarded to the school’s top senior male and female student-athletes who have shown excellence in the classroom and as competitive athletes during the current academic year. Presidential Scholar-Athlete Awards are presented to the Department of Athletics’ top students.

DeNeal, a senior outside hitter on the women’s volleyball team, has a 3.57 cumulative grade point average in a dual major of criminal justice and psychology. DeNeal was named the 2006 America East Conference Championship’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Great Danes to a five-game, come-from-behind victory over UMBC in the tournament championship. DeNeal, a first-team all-conference selection for the second year in a row, led the program to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances during her career.

Fontana, a senior midfielder on the women’s lacrosse squad, has a 3.72 GPA in criminal justice. She is the first player in the program’s history to be chosen to the All-America East Conference team in four consecutive years, including three first-team selections. Fontana had 38 goals and eight assists for the Great Danes, who made their first-ever appearance in the conference championship game. She finishes her career as the school’s all-time scorer with 156 goals and 36 assists for 192 points.

Chrobak, who had a 3.56 GPA as an undergraduate, is currently enrolled in UAlbany’s criminal justice program. He was voted the football program’s top defensive back for the third straight year after making 43 tackles and recording a team-high nine pass break-ups. UAlbany posted a 7-4 record and finished second in the Northeast Conference standings. Chrobak, who had 188 tackles, 29 pass break-ups and six interceptions as a collegian, was voted to the 2006 Division I FCS Athletic Directors Academic All-Star Team.

Hall, who is pursuing a master’s degree in information technology systems, was a two-time All-America East Conference midfielder in men’s soccer. He started 74 career matches and totaled 10 goals and 15 assists. Hall was named to the ESPN The Magazine University Division Men’s Soccer Academic All-America national first team for the second consecutive year. He earned his B.S. in urban planning last May with a 3.98 cumulative GPA and received the Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award.

Lotmore, a senior distance runner on the women’s track and field and cross country teams, has a 3.85 GPA in social welfare. Lotmore won two events at the 2007 America East Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships by finishing first in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs. She posted a season-best time of 9:51.40 in the 3,000 and was first across the line in the 5,000 by nearly 24 seconds. Lotmore was named to the America East indoor track all-academic team.

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