Emily Stites Wins CAA Athlete of the Year Honors
Updated: Thursday 06/25/2015 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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William & Mary junior Emily Stites (Wyoming, Ohio) was voted the Colonial Athletic Association's Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Year on Thursday, after an outstanding spring campaign that culminated in a bronze medal at the NCAA Championships.  The league's head coaches voted on nominees from each school for Athlete of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year, as well as recognizing an All-Academic team and all-conference teams.

Stites this year became just the sixth Tribe athlete, man or woman, to win All-America honors in all three seasons of a single academic year.  The marketing major was 36th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, 11th indoors at 5,000m, and a careerbest third at the 10,000m outdoor championships just two weeks ago.  Her spring season included a Colonial Relays record and Zable Stadium record of 34:04 in the 10,000m, and a CAA Championships record 16:12 in the 5,000m.  Stites also ran 15:53 at the Mt. SAC Relays, and lifetime-bests of 4:28 in the 1,500m and 9:11 in the 3,000m, the latter to win the ECAC outdoor title in the event.  At the NCAA Semifinals, she ran 33:47.27 for third place, and improved to 33:26.15 in the national finals to win the bronze medal.

Stites is just the second woman in league history to win both Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Year in women's track and field, joining UNCW's Anna Raynor who accomplished the feat in 2006-07.  This is the third year in a row that a W&M athlete has been named Athlete of the Year, the first three-peat in the CAA since 2004-07, and this is also the first time since 1998 that two different athletes from the same school swept the cross country and track and field Athlete of the Year awards, after Carolyn Hennessey (Herndon, Va.) was the top athlete last fall.

Also being honored on Thursday was recent graduate Dylan Hassett '15, who was named to the CAA All-Academic team.  The kinesiology major won her second-straight CAA title at 10,000m this spring, and qualified for the NCAA Championships in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m.  She set lifetime-bests in 2015 at every distance including 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m, and the mile.  The all-conference teams were also recognized, comprised of the top three finishers in each event at the CAA Championships.  William & Mary had 17 All-CAA honors, second-most in the league behind champion Elon (19).

CAA Athlete of the Year: Emily Stites, W&M
CAA Rookie of the Year: Emily Dixon, Elon
CAA Coach of the Year: Mark Elliston, Elon
CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Emily Stites, W&M

2015 CAA Women’s Track and Field All-Conference Honorees:
100m: Annie Johnson (JMU), Hailey Blackburn (UNCW), Zanae Freeland (Towson)
200m: Latazah Coleman (Delaware), Zanae Freeland (Towson), Kennedy King (JMU)
400m: Camille Gooden (Northeastern), Tyrah Burrow (JMU), Kacey Wheeler (W&M)
800m: Kimberly Johansen (Elon), Meredith Bozzi (UNCW), Claire Tito (W&M)
1,500m: Kimberly Johansen (Elon), Kate Johnstone (Northeastern), Emily Stites (W&M)
5,000m: Emily Stites (W&M), Kathleen Stewart (JMU), Regan Rome (W&M)
10,000m: Dylan Hassett (W&M), Carolyn Hennessey (W&M), Kerri Ruffo (Northeastern)
100m hurdles: DeAna Forbes (JMU), Sydney Griffin (Elon), Valerie Afam (UNCW)
400m hurdles: Jennifer Esposito (Elon), Ashley Woodards (W&M), Breanna Brukalo (W&M)
3,000m Steeplechase: Tereza Novotna (Elon), Jordan O’Dea (Northeastern), Lucy Young (Northeastern)
4x100m relay: James Madison (Tyrah Burrow, DeAna Forbes, Annie Johnson, Kennedy King)
-Delaware (Latazah Coleman, Tyler Jackson, Paige Thompson-Charles, Amira Idris)
-Elon (Jennifer Pash, Simone Jackson, Bria Turner, Sydney Griffin)
4x400m relay: UNCW (Meredith Bozzi, Hailey Blackburn, Sarah Whitman, Alyssa Omile)
-William & Mary (Kacey Wheeler, Claire Tito, Ashley Woodards, Breanna Brukalo)
-Elon (Jennifer Pash, Simone Jackson, Emily Dixon, Jen Esposito)
High Jump: Julisa Tindall (CofC), Megan Kirschling (Elon), Morgan Crewe (JMU)
Pole Vault: Jacilyn Briggs (Northeastern), Lizzie Powell  (W&M), Nina Ullom (W&M)
Long Jump: Kennedy King (JMU), Amira Idris (Delaware), Ebony Owusu-Sampah (JMU)
Triple Jump: Amira Idris (Delaware), RoShani Glover (CofC), Chryssandra Tatum (UNCW)
Shot Put: Sarah Sisk (CofC), Bryanna Hames (Elon), Breanna Warren (Elon)
Discus: Bryanna Hames (Elon), Breanna Warren (Elon), Sarah Hillman (Delaware)
Hammer: Leia Mistowski (W&M), Jade Francis (Delaware), Monica Hagenauer (Delaware)
Javelin: Katie Johnston (W&M), Ashleigh Stallings (Towson), Nicole Genard (Northeastern)
Heptathlon: Emily Dixon (Elon), Shelby Hall (UNCW), Jessica Dunnigan (Northeastern)

CAA Women’s Track and Field All-Academic Team
Cara Butcher, College of Charleston
Dylan Hassett, William & Mary
Emily Kimble, UNCW
Megan Kirschling, Elon
Allie Rose, Northeastern
Illana Schnaufer, Delaware
Ashley Simmons, Towson
Kathleen Stewart, James Madison

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