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It's Academic: Eastern No. 1 in LEC

Twenty-eight achieve All-Academic Team status in winter seasonLEC25.jpg

ericson_head72dpi_3895.jpgAt left from top: Ericson, James, Buczek

Complete list.pdf

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - A conference-high 28 Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes have qualified for spots on the Little East Conference All-Academic Team for the winter season, it has been announced by conference commissioner Jonathan C. Harper.

For the second season this year, james_head72dpi_3888.jpgEastern has topped the list of the conference's academic qualifiers. In the fall, the Warriors totaled a conference-best 31 academic qualifiers in a total of six intercollegiate sports. In five intercollegiate programs this winter, Eastern accumulated seven more academic selections than its nearest competitor.

All-Academic Team qualifiers must be have reached sophomore academic and athletic status, be enrolled in their current institutions for one full academic year, and show a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30buczek_head_72_7386.jpg.

Led by senior track and field and cross country athletes Sam Buczek (Milford), Ashlee James (Franklin) and Amanda Ericson (Bolton), Eastern's 28 qualifiers this winter have combined to qualify for the All-Academic Team a total of 77 times in their careers. Each member of that trio  qualified for the academic team for the maximum eighth time. Buczek is a Business major and James and Ericson are Education majors.

Additional athletes earning academic recognition a multitude of times are senior women's soccer/basketball player Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and junior cross country/track athletes Ryan Hughes (Cheshire) and Joey Perucki (Newington) As a two-sport athlete, Hickey qualified for the maximum sixth time. Hughes qualified previously twice in cross country and once in indoor and once in outdoor track while Perucki attained academic status once in cross country, twice in outdoor track and once in indoor track. Hickey and Perucki are Business majors and Hughes an Education major.

Hickey was a first-team NSCAA Scholar All-America selection this past fall.

Those qualifying for the winter All-Academic Team in their first seasons of eligibility include sophomore women's basketball players Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) and Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA), sophomore men's basketball player Joe Ives (Avon), sophomore indoor track participants Tommy Balestracci (Mystic), Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury), Colin Whiston (Brooklyn), Christine Charpentier (Monroe),  and Denica Gagnon (Colchester), and sophomore swimmer Amanda Fromerth (Manchester) and senior transfer swimmer Carolyn Jenkins (Willington).

Senior indoor track participant Stephanie Noheimer (Willimantic) earned a spot on the winter academic team with her second institution and second sport. In 2008/09, Noheimer qualified for the winter All-Academic Team as a sophomore basketball player while at conference institution Rhode Island College.

As an institution, Eastern was awarded the inaugural President's Cup last year signifying the highest overall GPA among all Little East Conference institutions. In the 19 conference-sponsored championships, Eastern featured a cumulative GPA of 3.02 during the 2009/10 academic year. Eastern sponsors teams in 17 of the conference's 19 championships.

Additional conference institutions include Keene State College, Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Dartmouth, Plymouth State University, Rhode Island College, University of Southern Maine, and Western Connecticut State University.