BOSTON – The America East conference has announced three finalists each for the 2018-19 Man and Woman of the Year. Two of the finalists hail from the University at Albany: Kyle Gronostaj and Tara Belinsky from the track & field program.
The America East Man and Woman of the Year award will be given to the top male and female senior student-athlete who have best distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership, according to the league’s mission statement.
Gronostaj, a distance runner and graduate student, holds four school records, and is the only UAlbany student-athlete to break 30 minutes in the 10,000m, doing so on three separate occasions. This season, Gronostaj earned three runner-up finishes at America East Indoor and Outdoor Championships and one third-place finish.
Belinsky, a thrower and graduate student, is the indoor and outdoor school-record holder in the shot put and is the first woman to record a mark of 50’ or further, which she has done during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. A three-time America East champion in the shot put, Belinsky won the event this year during the outdoor season, breaking the championship meet record in the process to help the women’s team complete the first-ever America East women’s Triple Crown.
Academically, Gronostaj earned his undergraduate degree in Business with a minor in Public Health and has pursued his graduate degree in Higher Education. He is a six-time America East All-Academic selection, and a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection, once for cross country and once for track & field. Belinsky received her undergraduate degree in Communication before continuing her studies pursing a graduate degree in the same field. She is a three-time America East All-Academic selection, and a one-time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection.
Gronostaj was named alongside UMBC’s Joe Sherburne and Stony Brook’s Michael Watts, while Belinsky was a finalist with UMBC’s Lauren McDonald and Binghamton’s Brooke Pettis.
The America East Man and Woman of the Year will be announced at the conference’s annual awards dinner on June 6.