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Team-first attitude has suited Wildcats runner Twombly


. Award winner: UNH's Female Student-Athlete of the Year means a great deal to track, cross country standout from Exeter.

AS Anne Twombly reflects on her cross country and track career at the University of New Hampshire, it's not her long list of individual accolades that comes to mind. What stands out the most for the senior distance runner from Exeter is what her teams have accomplished and the memories made with those she has run alongside.

One award that did move Twombly, however, was being named the female 2014-15 Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year by the University of New Hampshire athletics department.

"It was so embarrassing," Twombly said. "I cried in front of the whole athletic department. It was such a surprise going down the list of nominees, some of which are going to Olympic trials, really serious athletes ... it's completely unexpected that I would receive that award, especially with the people listed."

When she won both the 800-meter and 5,000-meter runs at the America East Conference Championships last Sunday, Twombly said it was an honor to attribute those points to the Wildcats' third-place finish.

"I liked showing off what we worked so hard for and how impressive our distance program is," Twombly said. "We swept every distance event, which is a huge source of pride for me and my teammates."

Twombly won the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 10.8 seconds and the 5,000 meters in 17 minutes, 16.37 seconds.

"The first lap, nobody wanted to lead the race," Twombly said of the 800-meter run. "Usually the trend is you lead, you get kicked out so nobody wanted to lead the lap."

When one of the University at Albany runners took the lead in the second lap, Twombly quickly followed and went around her going into the final stretch of the race.

"When I came down the straight the last 20 meters, my whole body locked up," Twombly said. "When you tell your body to go faster than it physically can, the neurons can't respond to the command. I stopped and regained myself and luckily had enough of a lead and finished off the race. It was a pretty dramatic moment. It was my first time reaching max velocity."

In the 5,000-meter, Twombly said she enjoyed running alongside teammates Brianna Boden, of Keene, and Sarah Keiran. Boden and Keiran finished second and 12th, respectively.

"It was pretty fun to run next to Bri because I don't get to run next to her much outside of cross country," said Twombly. "I'm really lucky that we're not internally competitive that a lot of teams can be with this kind of thing."

That team-first culture the Wildcats have shined through during the indoor season when Twombly's teammates surprised her at the Boston University Last Chance Meet March 1. The majority of the UNH women's indoor track team took the drive down to cheer on Twombly in her attempt to qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.

"It was like my wedding day, metaphorically," said Twombly. "Like most women get wicked pumped for their wedding day. When they walked in, I cried like the bride cries when the groom walks in."

Her teammates wore their green and pink UNH cross country t-shirts that Twombly is fond of and made signs with phrases she is known to say or that get her riled up.

"They were cheering from every corner," Twombly said. "It was a total privilege and joy that not everybody can say happened to them."

Twombly won the mile race at the meet in a career-best time of 4 minutes, 38.5 seconds. The All-America Second Team selection this past winter finished 14th in the mile run at the NCAA indoor championships in a time of 4 minutes, 46.69 seconds.

The Last Chance Meet was not the only time Twombly's teammates have come out to support her.

A fine arts major, Twombly's senior thesis consisted of paintings and drawings based on her experience as a student-athlete. Her teammates and head coach Robert Hoppler attended the opening of her work being displayed at the campus art museum.

"He was wearing the same coaching outfit he's wearing in all the paintings so it was like he walked out of a painting, which is pretty funny," Twombly said of Hoppler's attire at the opening.

As for post-graduation plans, Twombly will still compete on occasion in races like the Exeter PTO 5K and plans to tailgate at as many UNH home track meets as she can next year.

"I don't see myself coaching or running professionally," Twombly said. "I'm really excited to start the next chapter of my life and see what that brings. I'm really looking forward to dedicating myself to one activity instead of being a student-athlete, which is a two-part deal."

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Baseball

Mike Montville and Cole Warren were two of nine Southern New Hampshire University players selected to All-Northeast-10 Conference teams. Montville, a first baseman from Portsmouth, and Warren, a pitcher from Bedford, were both named to the All-Conference First Team.

Montville, a graduate student, posted a conference-high .405 batting average alongside six home runs and 35 RBIs this season. He also led the conference with a .542 on-base percentage.

Warren compiled a 2.08 ERA and struck out 74 batters in 52 innings, earning a 2-1 record in his senior season. He struck out at least 10 batters in four separate games. Penmen junior Ryan Gendron was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. An outfielder from Nashua, Gendron started all 42 games for SNHU, recorded a .252 batting average with four home runs and 21 RBIs. He also posted a team-high 34 walks.

Wheaton College senior closer Mike Bisceglia was named to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference All-Conference Second Team. Bisceglia, of New Boston, recorded a league-best eight saves over 27 innings, tallying a 1-1 record and 1.67 ERA.

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Softball

Keene State juniors Mariah Crisp and Stephanie Long were named to the All-Little East Conference Second and First Team, respectively.

Crisp, a pitcher from Greenland, led the Owls in strikeouts (96) and ERA (1.49) in 84 ? innings. She finished with a team-high eight wins and five losses.

A center fielder from Salem, Long led the team with a .423 batting average, drove in 14 runs and hit a home run in the leadoff spot.

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Men's lacrosse

The LEC honored Keene State head coach Mark Theriault as its coach of the year while Rob Hart and Ryan Hart were All-LEC First Team selections.

A resident of Winchester, Theriault led the Owls to a 12-4 overall record and its second straight conference championship. Theriault has won the coach of the year honor each of the past three years and a league-leading seven times in his 16-year tenure at Keene State.

Rob Hart, a sophomore attacker from Londonderry, led the Owls with 80 points on 55 goals and 25 assists. A senior midfielder from Richmond, Ryan Hart scored 36 goals and led the team with 34 assists. Ryan Hart was also named to both the Division III New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) All-New England First Team and Academic All-New England Team.

SNHU senior Matthew Auger was named to the Division II NEILA All-New England Second Team. A short-stick defensive midfielder from Nashua, Auger scooped up 32 ground balls and caused nine turnovers for the Penmen. The Nashua South graduate finished the season with one goal and one assist. Luke Solms finished his senior season at St. Michael's College as a Division II NEILA All-New England First Team selection. A defender from Bedford, Solms caused 32 turnovers as the Purple Knights led the nation with 12.1 caused turnovers per game. He also corralled 39 ground balls. Nick Herzog, Matt Richard, Asa Weisberg and Chris Galluzzo were four of seven New England College players to earn All-North Atlantic Conference accolades. Herzog was named to the All-NAC First Team while Richard, Weisberg and Galluzzo were Second Team selections.

A senior captain from Hampstead, Herzog finished with 45 points on 31 goals and 14 assists. Richard, a freshman attacker from Weare, led the Pilgrims with 44 assists alongside 28 goals. Weisberg, a senior midfielder from Warner, went 82-for-167 on faceoffs and led the team with 48 ground balls. Galluzzo, a senior goalie from New London, earned an 8-8 record, earning a .577 save percentage.

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Men's golf

SNHU finished tied for 16th out of a 20-school field at the NCAA Atlantic/East Regional Wednesday. Bow's Josh Lacasse and Jake Nutter, of Bedford, finished tied for 51st and 56th respectively on the individual leaderboard. Austin Fox of Hooksett finished at 243 and posted an 84 Wednesday, good for a tie for 61st place.

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Daniel Webster College

Kyle Lovering, Anela Sehic and Cam Bomil were three of six Daniel Webster student-athletes that earned membership into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society this past week. Alpha Chi membership is awarded to the top 10 percent of a college's juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Lovering, a men's volleyball player from Manchester, recorded 45 kills and 14 assists this season for the Eagles.

A sophomore from Manchester, Sehic recorded one shot on goal for the Eagles women's soccer team in the fall and two put outs for the softball team in the spring.

Bomil, of Hudson, plays men's hockey at Daniel Webster.

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Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas awarded SNHU with the inaugural Queen City Cup at City Hall last Thursday.

The Penmen earned the cup by defeating St. Anselm College in a year-long competition over 16 different sports contested between the two schools. SNHU held a 21-12 lead heading into Saturday.

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Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at ahall@unionleader.com or on Twitter @AlexKHall.

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