WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University junior Amy Varsell (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills HS) has been named the 2011-12 Division II East Region Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Varsell, an 800-meter specialist who'll be representing Bentley next weekend in Mankato, Minn. at the NCAA Division II Championships, repeated as Northeast-10 Conference champion and captured the New England championship in the 800 last month. She's the first woman in the program's history to claim a New England title.
"I'm very excited about this recognition for Amy," said her head coach, Kevin Curtin. "She continues to set higher and higher goals for herself and for her teammates to achieve and she continues to work hard to achieve these goals. She does a tremendous job of balancing the athletic and the academic demands that are placed on our student athletes and she manages to stay well-grounded while doing so."
Varsell, who earned Division II All-America honors both indoors and outdoors a year ago, had the ninth best qualifying time for the NCAAs, her 2:12.16 coming on Feb. 25 at the New Englands where she had a winning margin of about three-and-a-quarter seconds. That was 0.43 seconds off the school record she set in 2011.
"At the All-New Englands last weekend, I was talking to AIC Coach Leo Mayo towards the end of the meet and he told me than the during the 800 trials, Amy moved out of the pack and took the lead," started Curtin. "AIC's MJ Ohoueu followed her and got on Amy's shoulder. Towards the end of the race, Amy began to pull away and offered MJ a quick encouragement of 'come on' during the race which was a nice bit of sportsmanship on Amy's part. I think this speaks to the type of person that Amy is and why I'm so pleased with this recognition for her."
Varsell was also one of three Bentley athletes who received All-East recognition from the USTFCCCA. The top five from each region in individual events and each member of a relay ranked in the region's top three received that honor.
Varsell was recognized in both the 800 and the mile, where she had the fourth best time (5:05.80). Classmates Caitin Fahey (Bridgewater/ Coyle-Cassidy HS) and John Drago (Avon, Conn./Avon HS) were honors for their performance in the mile and 5000, respectively. Fahey had the region's best mile time (4:58.63) and Drago was fifth in the 5,000 (15:01.33).