WALTHAM, Mass. – Four-time All-America Amy Varsell (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills HS), a rising senior at Bentley University, has been named to the 2012 Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America® Women's Track and Cross Country first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), which was announced Wednesday.
Her classmate, John Drago (Avon, Conn./Avon HS), also earned Academic All-America recognition with selection to the men's track and cross country third team.
Academic All-America is the latest honor for Varsell, who is coming off a second consecutive outstanding year for the Falcons. She's participated in five NCAA Division II Championships since March 2011 and has broken an individual school record about 15 times during that span. The 800 is her specialty, with her indoor record standing at 2:10.41 and the outdoor mark at 2:09.46.
At the NCAA Division II Track Championships, Varsell placed third in the 800 indoors this past March and fifth outdoors in May after a pair of fourth-place finishes in 2011. She also represented Bentley in the NCAA Cross Country Championships last fall.
The list of honors for the five-time Northeast-10 champion include 2011-12 USTFCCCA Division II East Region Indoor and Outdoor Athlete of the Year, Northeast-10 Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and the Northeast-10 Sport Excellence Award for women's indoor track.
Drago missed the track portion of the schedule due to injury after having a solid fall as a co-captain for the Falcon cross country team. He earned All-Region recognition from the USTFCCCA after a 19th-place finish in the NCAA Division II East Region, when he was the Falcons' number three runner. He was also 53rd in the Northeast-10 Championships after placing 24th in the event in 2010.
A two-time Academic All-Northeast-10 honoree, Drago ranks third in Bentley history in the 5,000 meters, both indoors and out, and was a 2011 All-New England performer indoors.
Both Varsell and Drago are standout students with each majoring in corporate finance and accounting. Varsell owns an impressive 3.86 GPA and Drago, who is also majoring in liberal studies, is at 3.83.
Varsell and Drago are the fifth and sixth Bentley student-athletes to earn Academic All-America kudos during the 2011-12 academic year, and all will be back this coming year. Previously honored were Weston Zeiner (soccer, second team), Lauren Battista (basketball, second team), golfer Matt Michel (men's at-large, third team) and field hockey's Nicole Dion (women's at-large, third team).
Varsell is Bentley's first women's track Academic All-America since Melinda Peterson in 1996, and Drago is Bentley's first in men's track and cross country since Ryan Agnew in 2006.