Huskies’ Athletics Celebrates Division III Week April 2-8

Huskies’ Athletics Celebrates Division III Week April 2-8

Story by Christina Cracolici, Assistant Director of USM Athletic Communications

 GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics will take part in the NCAA's annual Division III celebration from April 2-8.  Along with hosting baseball, softball and women's lacrosse games throughout the week, USM Athletics will highlight a small selection of its outstanding student-athletes and program achievements and will host several events focusing on the Division III Student-Athlete. 

National Student-Athlete Day, Friday, April 6, coincides with Division III Week, and USM Athletics will sponsor lunch for Husky student-athletes. Lunch will be complimentary for student-athletes and USM Athletics staff from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The complimentary lunch will be available at both Brooks Student Center (Gorham, Maine) and Woodbury Student Center (Portland, Maine).  Student-Athlete will need to show their valid USM ID, and let the staff know which team they are a member of to receive their lunch. 

            "As we approach NCAA Division III Week, it gives me occasion to reflect on the wonderful work and many significant accomplishments of our student-athletes," said USM Director of Athletics Al Bean.   Whether it is in the classroom, in competition or in the community, our student-athletes rise to the occasion and achieve at very high levels.  They accomplish all of this while still balancing family, social life and part-time employment responsibilities.  It's rewarding to see the personal growth and development of each student-athlete and I'm especially proud of the many contributions they make to strengthen our learning community in Athletics.  I'm confident that USM student-athletes will continue to be leaders in their chosen field."

            Division III Week is an opportunity to observe and celebrate the contributions and impact of athletics and student-athletes on the University of Southern Maine campus and surrounding community.  The Huskies' athletic department supports 22 Division III intercollegiate athletic teams and nearly 500 student-athletes, with 248 female and 247 male student-athletes. Collectively, the Huskies' student-athletes have an outstanding 2.93 grade point average and record 178 student-athletes were recognized this past Fall as William B. Wise Scholar-Athletes.  To earn William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete accolades, a Southern Maine student-athlete must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative grade average for the fall and spring semesters, be a full-time student both semesters and be a member of a varsity team for a full season.  Each of the Huskies' 22 intercollegiate programs has representation among the 178 student-athletes that were honored. 

Forty-three different majors are represented by the Huskies' 495 student-athletes, with General Management (43), Athletic Training (36), Biology (29), Exercise Physiology (28), Nursing (27), Criminology (24), Sport Management (22), Health Science (25), Mechanical Engineering (13), Finance (12), Exercise Science (12), and Marketing (11) being the favorites. However, USM student-athlete pursuits range from Theatre to Social Behavioral Sciences, to Physics and Liberal Studies.  Husky student-athletes academic achievements have been recognized not only by the athletic department, but also at the University, conference, regional and national level.   

Recent graduates Daniel Del Gallo '17 (Gardiner, Maine) and Mary Caron '17 (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's) of the Huskies' wrestling and softball teams, respectively, became the most recent additions to the numerous Southern Maine student-athletes that have earned Academic All-American honors.  Both Caron and Del Gallo are serving as assistant coaches to their former teams while pursuing post-graduate educations. 

A three-time captain of the Huskies' wrestling team, Del Gallo is a two-time winner (2015, 2016) of the NCAA's Elite 90 Award given to the top student-athlete at his or her sport's national championship event.  Breaking through in his third consecutive trip to the NCAA championship in his final season with USM (2017), Del Gallo earned All-American status en route to claiming Southern Maine's first national championship in wrestling. Del Gallo is just the second Southern Maine student-athlete to earn first team Academic All-America ® honors, joining former women's basketball National Player of the Year and two-time All-American Ashley Marble (Topsfield, Maine) with the rare distinction.  Del Gallo is the first repeat Academic All-American in USM Athletics' history, earning second team honors in 2016.

Named the Little East Conference Woman of the Year, Caron was a two-year captain of the softball team, and is a 2017 first team All-Little East Conference selection at shortstop. Starring for Southern Maine since 2015, Caron joined an elite group of University of Southern Maine student-athletes in her final season, becoming the Huskies' seventh individual to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American ® honors with her selection to the Academic All-America ® Division III Softball Third Team.  The first USM softball player to earn the prestigious academic accolade for her outstanding achievements in the classroom and on the field, Caron joins Husky standouts Alison Drury (women's college division fall/winter at-large, third team, 2000), Darryl Whitney (men's cross country/track and field, second team, 2003), Ashley Marble (women's basketball, first team, 2007), Molly Carl (women's cross country/track and field, third team, 2012), Chris Bernard (baseball, second team, 2014), and Daniel Del Gallo (wrestling, second team, 2016; first team, 2017).

In addition to national academic honors, numerous student-athletes are recognized at the conference and regional level.  The Little East Conference recognized 28 Fall student-athletes as LEC Fall All-Academic Team selections and 23 following the conclusion of the winter sport seasons, with more sure to come at the end of the 2018 Spring seasons.  During the Fall, two Husky student-athletes earned a spot on the team with a 4.0 grade point average: Hana McNally (Burlington City, N.J./Holy Cross) of the women's soccer team and a graduate student in the Special Education program, and sophomore Megan Gettings (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) of the volleyball team and a nursing major achieved a 4.00 grade point average, while seven USM student-athletes obtained a GPA of 3.8 or higher this Fall.  

Among the members of the 2017 LEC Fall All-Academic team are women's volleyball standout senior Jessica Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) and a pair men's cross country runners juniors CJ Moody (Old Town, Maine) and Colin Jones (Scarborough, Maine).  Both Moody and Jones were members of the Huskies' 2017 Little East Conference championship team. Moody has a 3.933 GPA in nursing, while Jones has a 3.833 in general management. Williamson, the most decorated player in USM volleyball history, earned her fourth consecutive nod to the LEC All-Conference team and was selected as the 2017 Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year.  The owner of several USM career records, Williamson has a 3.586 grade point average and will complete her degree in biology this spring.   

            Fourteen different majors were represented by the 23 LEC Winter All-Academic selections from Huskies' men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's indoor track & field.  Ten Huskies had a GPA of 3.7 or higher on the all-academic team, led by women's basketball senior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue), who has a 3.99 GPA in the nursing program.  

Among the members of the 2017-2018 LEC Winter All-Academic team are standout student-athletes sophomore Jhanel Potts (Boston, Mass./Concord-Carlile) of the women's indoor track & field team and Moody of the men's indoor track & field team.  Helping the women's track & field team to its 18th consecutive Little East Conference championship, Potts earned Division III All-New England status as a member of the Huskies' championship 4x200 meter relay team at the New England Division III Championship.  One of three nursing majors on the list, Potts is a two-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and has a 3.48 grade point average.

A multi-sport competitor for the men's indoor track and field team, Moody finished second in the heptathlon at the New England Division III Championship, earning All-New England honors.  Also a member of the men's cross country team, Moody earned LEC Fall Academic team honors, helping both teams to their respective LEC titles this season.  

Several teams have also been recognized for their collective success.  The Huskies' women's cross country team earned the United States Track & Field and Cross Country All-Academic Team honor for the seventh consecutive season (2011-2017).  To earn the distinction as an USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, the Huskies compiled a team cumulative grade point average through the Fall 2017 semester of 3.16 on a 4.0 scale, and competed in and compiled a team score at the NCAA Regional Meet. In addition to the team honors, two individuals - Jasmine Boyle in 2016 and Molly Carl in 2011 and 2012 - have received the USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual honor during the same period.

The Huskies' women's basketball team has consecutively (2015, 2016, 2017) earned the Athletic Department's Remo Reciputi Award, presented to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average, and in its program history has had eight student-athlete earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.  In 2007, it's most decorated alumnae Ashley Marble (2003-2007) earned first team Academic All-American honors – USM's only first team Academic All-American – and was named the Academic All-America of the Year as the top student-athlete in women's basketball in the college division (NCAA Division III, II and NAIA).

With a long-standing tradition of academic success, Husky student-athletes have also achieved tremendous sustained success at the conference, region and national level. The Huskies' baseball team, one of the top 25 programs in NCAA Division III year in and year out, became the first team from the State of Maine to win a National Championship when it won the 1991 NCAA Division III World Series.  Over the years, numerous Husky baseball players have earned all-conference, all-region and All-American honors, and last Spring sophomore Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) became the 29th American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-American, joining his older brother Sam Dexter on the list, who was named the ABCA Division III National Player of the Year in 2015.

Over the last three academic years, Huskies' athletics has crowned at least one national champion, including track and field standouts Jamie Ruginski (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and Peyton Dostie (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and most recently wrestler Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine), who became the Huskies' wrestling program's first national champion, and its third All-American, claiming the title at 149 pounds.  Del Gallo, who has competed at the NCAA National Championship three times, is a two-time winner of the NCAA's Elite 90 Academic Award, which is an award presented to the top student-athlete at his or her championship event.  A four-time NWCA Scholar All-American, Del Gallo earned second team Academic All-American honors in 2016.  

The Huskies' track and field teams have had sustained success.  The women's track and field teams (indoor and outdoor) have had an unprecedented success in the Little East Conference.  Coming off of the indoor season the Huskies' women's team captured their 19th consecutive Little East Conference championship, while sophomore Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine) qualified for her second trip to the NCAA Nationals.  Three members of the team earned USTFCCAA All-Region honors in junior Emily Close (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union), Kalilwa and Potts.  It is the second straight year that Potts has earned the accolade, while Close and Kalilwa are first time recipients. 

On the men's side, USM won its fourth straight conference championship.  Four members of the team earned USTFCCAA All-Region honors:  junior Drew Gamage (Sabbatus, Maine/Oak Hill), senior Ron Helderman (Madison, Maine), freshman Zach Hoyle (Sidney, Maine/Messalonskee) and junior C.J. Moody(Old Town, Maine). Hoyle, the 2018 LEC Track Rookie of the Year, also competed in the NCAA Nationals. 

Led by NCAA qualifiers sophomore Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) and freshman Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble), USM wrestling had its most successful season with five wrestlers earning All-Northeast Region status following a fifth place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast Region Championship. Both Shorey and Del Gallo earned All-NEWA honors for the region, while Shorey was the 2018 co-Rookie of the Year, following Del Gallo in earning the honor in 2017. 

            Shorey and Hoyle are two of many successful first-year Southern Maine student-athletes who have quickly navigated their way into intercollegiate success. This fall, Southern Maine men's soccer goalkeeper Richard Glemawu was named the Little East Conference's Rookie of the Year, while Huskies' women's basketball freshman Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) was named the Rookie of the Year by four different awards' bodies: the Little East Conference, Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA), New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA), and Northeast Region.  

            From Southern Maine's Class of 2021 through this year's class of 2018, and forward to our recent graduates, Husky student-athletes are excelling at their athletic and academic endeavors, and conclude their time in a Southern Maine uniform prepared to successfully navigate their careers and future endeavors. 


2018 NCAA Division III Week at the University of Southern Maine

Monday, April 2

Student-Athlete/Faculty Coffee Hour



Tuesday, April 3

Student-Athletes in the Community


USM Student-Athletes will visit local elementary schools and


discuss what it takes to be a student-athlete.




Softball vs. Husson University (3:00 pm) 



Wednesday, April 4

Free T-Shirt Giveaway: Women's Lacrosse vs. Salem State (4:30 pm)


Baseball vs. Bowdoin (4:00 pm)



Thursday, April 5

Men's Lacrosse vs. Thomas (3:00 pm)


Softball vs. Salem State (3:30 pm)



Friday, April 6

National Student-Athlete Day


Student-Athlete Luncheon: 11-1 pm, Brooks Student Center (G)

Student-Athlete Luncheaon: 11-1 pm, Woodbury Campus Center (P)



Saturday, April 7

Softball vs. Keene State (1:00 pm)



Sunday, April 8

Baseball vs. Wheaton (1:00 pm)

 - cac -