The Sacred Heart Department of Athletics had five student-athletes named National Strength and Conditioning All-American by the National Strength and Conditioning Association for the 2018-19 season. The honor is based on athletic performance numbers in squat, clean, bench press, vertical jump and speed.
Kevin Duke (Football), Landon Kramer (Men's Lacrosse), Olivia Millard (Women's Lacrosse), Kristen McCann (Softball) and Allie Rinaldi (Women's Rugby) were the Pioneer honorees this season.
"Congratulations to these student-athletes on earning All-America status," said SHU Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine. "The behind the scenes work to prepare for practice and competition is often overlooked and it is a testament to their dedication to their craft to be recognized for that hard work. I would also like to extend kudos to Coach Fee and his staff for their diligence in creating a culture and structure that allows our student-athletes to succeed."
In four seasons under the direction of Assistant AD and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Chris Fee, the Pioneers have had 31 All-America selections.
Kramer a senior LSM, earns the honor for the second consecutive season. He has helped the Pioneers lacrosse program to three-consecutive NEC Tournaments; this season by corralling 31 ground balls in 14 games played. "Landon has been tremendous for us in the weight room and turning the culture of our program," said Fee. "His dedication to making the team and himself the best they can possibly be has helped him become just our second two-time NSCA All-America selection."
Duke quarterbacked the Pioneers football team to a third conference title in the past six years. A two-year captain, he earned All-NEC First Team honors as a senior, accounting for 220.0 yards of total offense per game.
"Kevin's effort and toughness has been the most consistent on the football team for years," said Fee. "He is a leader that sets the tone for his teammates and pushes people to get better in all areas."
McCann helped pitch the Pioneers to another NEC Tournament berth in 2019, with nine victories and 133 strikeouts. She was named All-NEC Second Team as a junior, with 11 wins, three saves and 183 strikeouts
"Kristen has great work ethic and passion," said Fee. "She represents everything I believe a student athlete should be."
Millard saw action in 13 games and showed true leadership and 'team-first' attitude, by playing in three games in goal during the 2019 season. She has played in 24 career games as a Pioneer.
"Olivia's strength, work ethic, and toughness are one of the best I have seen in college athletics," said Fee. "She is one of the most competitive student athletes we have in our department with the gift of making her teammates better every day."
Rinaldi is a member of the Pioneers rugby team, playing scrum-half for the young program. In the fall, she was named to the NIRA All-America Tier 2 First Team
"As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I have known Allie to be the hardest working individual on a very hard-working Women's Rugby team," said Fee. "Allie's work ethic, attention to detail, leadership, and ability to be coached has been vital in her success as a student, athlete, and person."