Buzzards Bay, Mass. -- Massachusetts Maritime senior women’s cross country and outdoor track & field standout Meredith Hall has been named as the 2010-11 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Presidential Sportsmanship Award recipient in recognition of her actions during competition last fall. The award was announced earlier this week by MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann during the league’s annual spring meetings.
The MASCAC Presidential Sportsmanship Award is presented annually to a student-athlete that has demonstrated acts of sportsmanship during competition while also consistently demonstrating good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in his or her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics. Additionally, recipients have exemplified the values of respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility in their actions.
A native of Duxbury, Mass. and a graduate of Duxbury High School, Hall becomes the first Massachusetts Maritime student-athlete to receive this honor, and she has also been nominated for the 2010-11 NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award, as that recipient will be announced later this summer.
While competing for the Buccaneers in the Codfish Bowl Invitational on September 25, 2010 at Franklin Park in Boston, Hall was in the middle of her run along the five kilometer course when she came upon Brandeis University senior Hannah Lindholm, a fellow competitor whose boyfriend was a classmate of Hall’s at Duxbury High. Lindholm, who Hall has become friendly with over the years, had stopped running, was holding her chest and having difficulty breathing—as it turns out, she was suffering an asthma attack.
Hall, an Emergency Management major at Massachusetts Maritime, stopped competing to assess Lindholm’s situation. Lindholm, whose boyfriend was on the scene as well, told Hall that she was fine and she should keep running. But Hall was not convinced, and after taking one step forward, she took two steps back and stayed out of the race until she knew that Lindholm was going to be attended to by the medical staff on hand.
“She told me to keep going,” said Hall afterwards, “but I wasn’t going to leave her alone.”
In the process, she sacrificed both time and team standing in the competition In fact, Hall, who has been one of the Buccaneers’ top performers throughout her career, was the second Massachusetts Maritime runner across the line with a time of 24:16 that was good for 153rd place when she was on a solid pace in the event.
The sacrifice of time and placement meant nothing. It was Lindholm’s health and well-being that was the primary concern for Hall both during and after the race. Lindholm was treated at the scene and completed the remainder of her senior season.
“Anyone would have done the same thing,” Hall said at the time. “I know she would have done the same thing for me.”
“It was really sweet and courageous that Meredith stopped to make sure I was alright,” Lindholm said of Hall’s action. “I was at first surprised she stopped, as I had waved a couple of runners on and told them I was OK, but Meredith was so kind to me—I really appreciated everything she did.”
While Hall spoke humbly in a matter-of-fact fashion about the event afterwards, Buccaneer Head Coach Linda Letourneau praised her captain for her actions and the lesson of sportsmanship it highlighted.
“True to her EMT training, Meredith did what she was trained to do, sacrificing her time, her overall place and the team’s standing to do it,” Letourneau said. “I can’t say enough positive things about the way she reacted and handled a difficult situation.”
Hall went on to finish 34th individually at the 2010 MASCAC Cross Country Championships as the Buccaneers’ top runner, and she completed her outstanding two-sport career at Massachusetts Maritime this spring by once again serving as a team captain for the Buccaneer outdoor track & field team for a third straight season under Co-Head Coaches Chris Barry and Cathy Lohse-Whitelaw. The school-record holder in the javelin, Hall earned the school’s highest athletic honor earlier this month when she was named as the 2010-11 Massachusetts Maritime Alumni Female Athlete of the Year, the same night that she also received a Senior Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Service Award.
“This is an incredibly well-deserved honor for an extraordinary student-athlete and leader on our campus,” Massachusetts Maritime Director of Athletics Bob Corradi says of Hall’s award. “Meredith’s selfless actions reflect an individual of great character, value and integrity, and she has made all of us at the Academy extremely proud.”