Central Connecticut seniors Jamal Fruster and Makenna Lommori were recognized as finalists for the Northeast Conference Student-Athlete of the Year presented by Provident Bank it was announced on Monday. Fruster enjoyed a standout career as a member of the men's track and field program, while Lommori was a standout on the Blue Devils volleyball team.
The NEC recognized the finalists for its Student-Athlete of the Year awards. The pools of 10 men and 10 women finalists produced the two conference-wide winners. Bryant tennis player Max Vogt and Wagner swimmer Amanda Lucia were selected as the 2015-16 NEC Male and Female Student Athletes of the Year, respectively.
The recognition as finalists for the NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award is just the latest honor for both Fruster and Lommori. The duo were each recognized at the CCSU Senior Athlete Awards and Academic Awards banquet. Fruster earned the Frederick M. Gladstone Award and Lommori with the Gail Rutz Award. The awards are presented annually to the most outstanding senior male and female athletes. Recipients are those who have successfully combined academic achievement, athletics and citizenship.
Fruster helped the Blue Devils outdoor track and field team capture its third straight team title at the conference championship meet held at CCSU this spring. He ran on the championship-winning 4x100 meter relay team as well as the 4x400 meter relay team, which placed third at the outdoor championships. Individually, he placed fourth in the 400 meter race at the NEC outdoor championships turning in a time of 48.74.
The school-record holder for the indoor 400 meter run (48.31), Fruster won the event at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships in 2014. An All-Northeast Conference performer on the track, Fruster was also recognized on both the NEC Academic Honor Roll and with the CCSU Academic Awards.
Lommori became just the third Blue Devil to earn All-Northeast Conference honors four times in her career after earning Second Team recognition as a senior. Lommori, the 2012 NEC Rookie of the Year and a three-time First Team selection, capped her outstanding career by ranking fourth all-time at Central Connecticut with 3,290 assists and 10th with 940 digs.
In her final season, Lommori ranked fourth in the NEC in all matches with 7.44 assists per set. In conference play, Lommori was third in the league with 3.46 kills per game. She finished the season with four triple-doubles to rank seventh nationally. She led the Blue Devils with 714 assists and was second in kills, digs and aces.
Off the court, she was a member of the Northeast Conference Academic Honor Roll and earned CCSU Academic Award recognition.
The NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one's community. Weighing one's leadership ability, athletic prowess, academic achievement and community service, the NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award was formerly known as the NEC SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year award. One student-athlete was honored annually from 2003 to 2014, before the award was renamed and the decision was made to recognize one male and one female student-athlete per academic year.
The 2015-16 academic year marks the second time that the awards program is following the amended format.