Five straight for ECSU

Jun. 10—WILLIMANTIC — For the fifth consecutive year in which it has been awarded, Eastern Connecticut State University has claimed the Little East Conference Commissioner's Cup, the conference's top honor for overall institutional athletic performance among the league's nine primary member institutions among its championship sports.

The Commissioner's Cup was last awarded in 2019-20 due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.

"I am so proud of our student- athletes for their continued excellence on the playing field," said Eastern President Dr. Elsa N??ez. "To win the LEC Commissioner's Cup for the fifth time in a row is a wonderful tribute to their talents, their hard work and the support of their coaches.

" It brings great honor and recognition to our University and reflects our commitment to excellence in all we do at Eastern."

Director of Athletics Lori Runksmeier added " Eastern athletics has a long and proud tradition of success. Winning the LEC Commissioner's Cup for the fifth year in a row is a result of the hard work our student- athletes and coaches have put in this year, and is a testament to the support athletics receives from the University."

Eastern claimed the top spot in the conference in baseball, softball, men's golf, men's soccer, scored second- place points in the conference in women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field and shared second- place points in women's volleyball, field hockey and men's basketball.

No team from Eastern finished lower than fifth in the standings this season, only two placed lower than a tie for third and only one had a losing record in conference play.

While no points are awarded for LEC tournament championships — except in sports where there is no regular- season round-robin play — Eastern won titles and qualified for NCAA tournament play in men's soccer, field hockey, baseball and softball, with the baseball team going on to its fifth national title.

The tournament title was the sixth for men's soccer, first for field hockey, tenth for baseball and seventh ( in the last 12 years) overall and third straight for softball.

In addition to men's golf winning the first official LEC tournament championship, four Eastern teams finished second and four finished third among the nine championships contested in sports that do not crown regular- season champions.

The average points ( 7.63) and point differential between the winner of the Cup and the runner-up (+2.00) are both records in the 21- year history of the award. The Warriors have finished first or second in the rankings 14 times in 21 years and lower than third only twice.

Since Keene State College won the first 16 Cup titles,

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Eastern has claimed the last five and has also won the Presidents' Cup as the top academic institution in the conference a record six times, including five of the last seven years and the last two (this year's winner has not yet been announced).

" Congratulations to President Elsa N??ez, Lori Runksmeier and her staff, and the Eastern Connecticut student- athletes. It is an incredible accomplishment to win the Commissioner's Cup for the fifth year in a row in the highly- competitive Little East Conference," said LEC Commissioner Dr. Pamela S. Samuelson. "All members of Warrior athletics continue to produce quality programs in which student- athletes achieve at a high level."

University of Southern Maine finished second in the 2021- 22 LEC Commissioner's Cup standings with a scoring average of 5.63 points. The Huskies were the top scoring program in men's cross country, women's indoor and outdoor track & field, and were second in field hockey, softball, men's outdoor track & field.

Plymouth State University and Rhode Island College tied for third in the final Cup standings with scoring averages of 5.47 points. The Panthers were the top finisher in women's cross country and volleyball, and took second in women's lacrosse and tennis. RIC was the top scoring program in women's basketball and tennis, and was runner- up in baseball, women's indoor track & field and men's tennis.

For sports in which the LEC conducts in-season play ( baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball), points are determined by the ranked order of finish in the final regular season standings. For sports that do not conduct in- season play (cross country, swimming & diving, track & field), points are awarded based on the order of finish at the LEC championship meet.