Danielle Alfano, a senior from Chattanooga, Tenn. served as a prime example of the benefit of hard work a season can bring a student-athlete. From her first to her last race, Alfano showed steady improvement and exploded in her last two 5k races of the season. Between the Covered Bridge Invitational (Sept. 2) to the Conference Carolinas Championship (Oct. 22), she improved her 5k time by nearly three minutes, setting a new personal record at the league championships with a 19:24.4 time and a 13th place finish and All-conference selection. At the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship, she earned a spot on the All-Region Team finishing inside the top-25 with a time of 23:13.3. Alfano is a physical education major and carries a 3.53 grade point average in the classroom.
"Danielle is a great leader on and off the course," said Head Coach Peter Dalton. "As a senior Danielle realizes that by example she can lead the younger members of the team. This well-deserved award is just another example of her work ethic and leadership."
Other recipients of the award include Megan Mitchell of Lees-McRae (women's volleyball), Limestone's Ashley Alderin-Fleagle (women's soccer), Felix Duchampt of the Queen's (N.C.) cross country team and James Sweeney of Coker College (men's soccer).
Each school submits candidates that are the best of the best for the conference from their sport while meeting certain qualifications for nomination. The qualifications include being a junior or senior student-athlete with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale in all work completed at their member institution that have played in a conference sponsored sport. The GPA is calculated based on the student-athletes cumulative average through the previous semester and each student-athlete must have attended their member institution for at least one academic year. Additionally, in order to qualify for the award the student-athlete must be a current member of the All-Conference Carolinas First, Second, or Third Team that were recently selected by head coaches from conference member institutions that nominate and then vote upon award winners.