Edison, N.J. - Iona College cross country/track & field standout Mitch Goose and Marist College outstanding women's swimmer Katie Conard have been named the 2012-13 MAAC Student-Athletes of the Year by a vote of the league's sports information directors, announced today.
The MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration created the MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year award in October 2001 to recognize overall excellence in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community. Each MAAC member nominated one male and one female for the honor. The conference sports information directors vote to determine one overall winner for men and women. The conference awards honorable mention accolades to each nominee. Nominees must have at least a 3.2 overall grade point average, be in their second year of residence at the institution, and be a starter or important reserve on their team.
“I had the pleasure of watching Mitch run for Iona and Kate swim for Marist and it does not surprise me that they were equally competitive in the classroom as well as in their sports,” noted Rich Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. “The core mission of the MAAC is to provide opportunities for young men and women to excel in the classroom and on the sport fields or natatoriums of the league. Both Mitch and Kate have had great individual success, but more importantly have helped their teams succeed in MAAC, ECAC and NCAA championships.”
Goose, a graduate student from Norwich, England, is a four-time All-American (2011 and 2012 cross country, 2012 indoor 3k second team, and 2012 outdoor 5k second team). In the 2012-13 season, he led the Gaels to the 2012 MAAC Cross Country Championship and earned Individual Champion and Most Outstanding Performer honors. Goose was also the Individual Champion and Regional Athlete of the Year at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Northeast Regional as the Maroon and Gold were team champions. He was named a NCAA All-American with a 23rd place finish at the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Championship with Iona finishing 29th. Goose was the 2013 MAAC Outdoor Track champion in the 1500-meter event. He ran the fourth fastest 5k time in Iona history at 3:46.81 to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary where he finished fourth to advance to the NCAA Final in Eugene, OR. Goose is a five-time MAAC Champion and has won all five events that he has competed in the MAAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He finished second and third in two MAAC Cross Country Championships and holds the Iona school record in the Outdoor 5k event. A three-time member of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team (2010, 2011, and 2012) and a six-time selection to the MAAC All-Academic Team, he owns a 3.91 grade point average and earned his master's degree in history. Goose was also named the 2011-12 MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year and becomes only the second male to earn this honor in consecutive years since Richard Kiplagat (Iona) in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
"It is great to see Mitch rewarded for his hard work once again," said head coach Ricardo Santos. "There are many great student-athletes in the conference so it is truly an honor for him as the MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year. I couldn't be more proud of him!"
"Mitch epitomizes the principles of a student-athlete with his tremendous accomplishments both in and out of the classroom," said Director of Athletics Rick Cole, Jr. "Iona's cross country and track and field program continues to show its 'Rich Tradition of Excellence' and we are extremely proud of Mitch and this great honor."
Conard, a senior swimmer from East Setauket, N.Y., won 52 of the 56 dual meet competitions she entered during her four year career. In MAAC Championship individual events, she was the champion in 11 of 12 events that she entered, and finished second in the only event that she did not win by .24 seconds. Conard also helped guide the Red Foxes to 15 relay titles in MAAC Championships in her career. She won the 500-yard freestyle at the 2012 ECAC Championships and was a member of the first-place 400-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle events. Conard holds Marist’s school records in seven individual swimming events and four in relay events. She holds MAAC Championship individual records in the 500, 1,000, and 1,650-yard freestyles and relay records in the 400-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle. Conard is a three-time MAAC Swimmer of the Meet (2010, 2011, and 2013) and she was named Marist Sportsperson of the Year in 2013. A 2013 CoSIDA/Capital One Third Team Academic All-American, a two-time First Team Academic All-District selection (2012 and 2013) and a three-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team (2011, 2012, and 2013); Conard earned her bachelor's degree in psychology/special education with a 3.75 GPA.
"Congratulations to Kate Conard for her outstanding athletic and academic careers, as this award recognizes the best of the best," Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. "Our student-athletes and coaches to continue to validate high-level Division I athletics combined with excellent academics."
"Kate Conard has always exemplified the true definition of a successful student-athlete," Marist Director of Swimming Larry VanWagner said. "Her dominance in the pool and classroom is a brilliant reflection of the power of mind, body and spirit."
Honorable mention recognition was awarded to the following nominees: Canisius College – Shawn Parkhurst (men’s swimming), Morgan Leonard (women's lacrosse); Fairfield University – Michael O’Keeffe (men's soccer), Lauren Liseth (softball); Iona College – Marion Joly-Testault (women's cross country/track & field); Manhattan College – Tom Bechert (men's track & field), Kate Bowen (softball); Marist College - Will Griffin (men's cross country/track & field); Niagara University – Rene DeZorzi (men's soccer), Kari Honomichl (volleyball); Rider University – Brian Molloy (men's swimming), Megan Elgin (women's cross country/track & field); Saint Peter's College – Lovro Bilonic (men's swimming), Shona Potrzuski (women's cross country/track & field); Siena College – O.D. Anosike (men's basketball); Lesli Akeo (volleyball).