Brandeis students cited as track, softball standouts
Brown named New England Outdoor Track Athlete of the year, Specker named to Academic All-American Division III Softball teamChris Brown has been named the Division III New England Outdoor Track and Field Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Brown had an outstanding senior campaign for the Judges. He is a seven-time University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week in 2011-12, including cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. During his outdoor campaign, Brown won the UAA titles in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. He finished second at the New England Division III championships and third at the ECAC Division III championships in the 800 meters. His time of 1:51.01 in the 800 at New England was the eighth fastest in Division III this season, but Brown saved his top performance for the week in between those two meets.
At the New Balance Twilight Invitational at Bentley College on May 13, Brown won the 1,500-meter race with a school-record time of 3:43.49. It was the fastest time in Division III this season by three full seconds and the sixth-fastest time in Division III history. Brown established a school record, eclipsing the mark of 3:44.90 set by Mark Beeman ’85, an inaugural member of Brandeis’ Hall of Fame, nearly 30 years ago.
Brown will compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 24-26 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in Claremont, Calif. He will forgo running the 800 and try to win an NCAA title in the 1,500. Brown will be in search of his second All-America honor of 2012, having placed third in the mile run during the indoor season.
Brandeis University senior Marianne Specker has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division III softball first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA). This is her second year in a row as a Capital One Academic All-America first-team member.
Specker had an outstanding senior year for the Brandeis Judges. She was a first-team All-University Athletic Association selection as an infielder and a third-team All-New England selection. She finished tied for the UAA lead with 41 RBI and was among the top five in the league in batting average (.401) and hits (59).
Specker finished among the Judges’ career top 10 in hits (184, 3rd), games played (166, 4th), games started (161, 4th), RBI (111, 4th), total bases (242, 6th) and doubles (34, 8th). The Judges posted a 27-18 record and were runners-up at the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England tournament.
In the classroom, she finished with a 3.92 grade-point average in psychology. Specker was also a Phi Beta Kappa member and vice president of Brandeis’s chapter of the Psi Chi psychology honor society. She was a seven-time Dean’s List and three-time Academic All-UAA selection.
Specker was named Brandeis’s Charles A. Napoli Scholar-Athlete and was a recipient of a Joseph M. Linsey Fellowship for postgraduate studies for a Brandeis student-athlete. She will attend Boston University’s Ph.D program in sports psychology next year.
Specker is one of two Division III softball players to earn repeat first-team honors. She is the sixth person and second softball player in Brandeis history to earn two Academic All-America honors, and the first with two first-team selections. Brandeis has now had Academic All-Americans selected in each of the past four years and 22 overall.
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