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November 29, 2011

4 Mariners named to Landmark All-Academic team

Four U.S. Merchant Marine Academy student athletes were named to the Landmark Conference All-Academic Team on Tuesday.

Cross country runners Patricia Evenson and Sam Sanford, soccer goalkeeper Gary Poulin and volleyball player Grace Mariani were named among the 32 student-athletes in the eight-school conference.

Athletes were honored for excelling athletically and academically. Nominees must compete in any of the Landmark fall sports and must be a sophomore or older with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better.

The conference will select an All-Academic team for each of the three athletics seasons during the year.

The four Mariners who were selected:

Evenson, from Bismarck, N.D., was a consistent performer for the women's cross country team in her sophomore season. She produced her fastest 6,000-meter time at the Paul Short Invitational with a time of 31:11 and also ran a season-best 26:13.17 for 5,000-meters, and helped the team place seventh at the Landmark meet. She has established an excellent GPA in her first two years at the Academy.

Mariani of Amherst, N.Y., had a solid sophomore season for the USMMA volleyball program team. She played in 71 matches for the year, piling up 66 kills which ranked sixth on the team. She was an all-around contributor with six aces, 29 digs, and five blocks for 75 total points. She earned Academic Honor Roll status in her first year of eligibility and has a strong GPA while studying system engineering.

Poulin, of Hauppauge, N.Y., earned All-Conference honors for the second time and helped USMMA to its first Landmark men's soccer championship. He posted shutouts in both postseason matches, and had four on the year with a 1.10 goals against average. He is majoring in marine engineering systems, has served as company academic officer, and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection as a junior.

Sanford, a native of Portland, Ore., was a consistent top-5 runner for the USMMA men's cross country team. He was the team's seventh runner across the line at the Landmark Championship, and his time of 28:56.06 at the C.W. Post Invitational ranked fourth best at that distance. He has earned a near-perfect GPA in the early going in the challenging marine engineering program.

Photo: Sophomore Grace Mariani was among four Mariners honored by the Landmark Conference. Photo by Shawn Antontelli