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Greenland's Keenan keeps on winning NCAA championships at Tufts

June 07. 2014 11:12PM

A SMALL percentage of college athletes ever win a national championship. Fewer still get to win two, and the percentage who win national titles in multiple sports is miniscule.

Greenland's Bri Keenan has won three - two in softball, one in field hockey.

A Portsmouth High School graduate, Keenan helped Tufts University win its second consecutive NCAA Division III softball championship last month, earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the super regional at Bridgewater (Mass.) State, and playing a key role in the Jumbos' 6-1 run through the NCAA Finals at Tyler, Texas.

In the best-of-three championship round, Tufts bounced back from a 2-1 Game 1 loss with consecutive 6-0 defeats of Salisbury (Md.) University.

The two softball titles followed a 2012 Division III field hockey championship season in which Keenan served as the Jumbos' starting goalkeeper.

And there may be more championships to come; 2014-15 will be Keenan's senior year.

Overall as a junior, she played in 38 of 51 games for the Jumbos, starting 36. She hit .357, with an on-base percentage of .438 and a slugging percentage of .480. She was 11-of-12 in stolen-base attempts, scored 27 runs and drove in 12.

KEENAN isn't the only Granite Stater who enjoyed multi-season success during the just concluded academic year. Goffstown's Jana Hieber capped her track and field career by earning 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The award recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Hieber is one of 13 cross country and track-and-field atheltes selected to the district team, which includes athletes from schools in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

This academic honor came on the heels of Hieber winning the NCAA Division III outdoor championship in the 400-meter hurdles at Ohio Wesleyan University on May 24.

Hieber had qualified for the nationals by running the second-fastest 400 hurdles time (58.58 seconds) in NCAA Div. III history on May 10. After that accomplishment, she was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division III National Athlete of the Week on May 12.

During the indoor season, Hieber achieved a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Pentathlon Championship. She finished her career as a six-time All-American overall who qualified for every NCAA meet indoor and outdoor of her career. She also won six conference titles.

Hieber graduated from Tufts this spring after she was a double major in anthropology and music.

UNIVERSITY of New Hampshire director of sports medicine Jon Dana has been selected to receive the 2014 Athletic Trainer Service Award (ATSA) by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). He will receive the award at the organization's 65th annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia on June 27 at the Indiana Convention Center Hall in Indianapolis.

The ATSA recognizes NATA members for their contributions to the athletic training profession as a volunteer at the local and state levels. ATSA recipients have been involved in professional associations, community organizations, grass-roots public relations efforts and service as a volunteer athletic trainer.

No other award, NATA or otherwise, is a prerequisite for eligibility for the ATSA. Recipients of the award must be a member of NATA, have 15 years of Board of Certification status and be affiliated with NATA for 15 years.

"Jon is very deserving of this award and has been a stalwart in the training profession for a long time," said UNH director of athletics Marty Scarano. "His service and commitment to our student-athletes is unparalleled. All young, aspiring health professionals would do well by observing people just like Jon."

"Jon was a prime candidate for the award because of his volunteerism, participation and leadership at all levels," said Dan Sedory, athletic training program director at UNH. "The breadth of his knowledge as well as his confidence and style is what we strive to do in the athletic training profession."

A native of Hempstead, N.Y., Dana graduated from Northeastern University in 1979. Currently serving as the primary contact for football and skiing, he started his athletic training career at the interscholastic level, working for Brookline and Newton South high shools.

From there, Dana became the head athletic trainer at Fitchburg State University and worked with the Falcons from 1980-84. He subsequently transitioned to UNH where he has worked since then.

Dana began his tenure at UNH as an assistant athletic trainer and was promoted to the men's head athletic trainer in 1987.

Afterwards, he was elevated to oversee the entire athletic training staff in 1989 and then named the UNH director of sports medicine in 2001.

Beyond UNH, Dana has demonstrated his skills in the international arena and several prominent athletic events.

UNH WILL be well-represented at the USA Field Hockey Women's National Championship. Wildcats Lindsey Nerbonne of Bow, Megan Bozek, Kellie Joyce and Carlie Tarbell have been named to the 2014 New England Team that will compete at the USA Field Hockey Women's National Championship.

The four Wildcats continue training at various Division I institutions in New England through June 12 before heading to Lancaster, Pa., for a June 15 practice day and the June 16-21 National Championship tournament.

The event features the most elite athletes in the country, including top collegiate players, current National Team members and members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Field Hockey Team. This tournament also serves as the selection trials for the U.S. Women's National Squad.

Nerbonne, the 2012 New Hampshire Union Leader Player of the Year as a senior at Bow High School, played in 19 games last year as a freshman at Syracuse University. The 5-foot, 7-inch midfielder recorded four points and that included an assist in the Oct. 13 game against UNH. She helped lead Syracuse to a 16-4 overall record and No. 2 national ranking entering the NCAA tournament. Nerbonne joined the Wildcats for the spring 2014 semester.

"College Notebook" is compiled by the staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Submissions can be emailed to

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