Buzzards Bay, Mass. -- Massachusetts Maritime women’s cross country and outdoor track & field standout Meredith Hall has been named as one of four recipients of the 2010-11 National Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Awards presented by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in recognition of her actions during competition last fall.
The NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Awards honor student-athletes who, through their actions in the competitive arena of intercollegiate athletics, have demonstrated one or more of the ideals of sportsmanship, which include fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility. Hall was one of two recipients of the Divisional Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award, an honor she shared with outdoor track & field competitor Tony Evans of the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.). The other two recipients of National Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Awards were rower Courtney Berger of Nova Southeastern (Fla.) University and outdoor track & field standout Louis Day of the University of South Carolina.
A native of Duxbury, Mass., Hall earned her degree in Emergency Management from Massachusetts Maritime in June. The former Duxbury High School standout concluded a stellar two-sport career by being named as the Academy’s Alumni Female Athlete of the Year, as she captained both the cross country and outdoor track & field squads and set the school record in the javelin. Hall earned the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference’s (MASCAC) Presidential Sportsmanship Award in May, which led to her nomination for the prestigious NCAA national accolade.
“I’m very honored and appreciative to receive this award,” Hall said. “It is a testament to everyone along the way who has taught me to do the right thing.”
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 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 was the top performer for the Buccaneers at last fall’s MASCAC Championships, as she posted a 34th place individual finish in her final collegiate race. In addition to being named as the Female Athlete of the Year, Meredith also received a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Service Award prior to graduation for her leadership as a member of that committee.
“Meredith Hall truly represents the all-around meaning of the term “student-athlete”, as she is a leader both by example and principle,” Massachusetts Maritime Director of Athletics Bob Corradi says of Hall’s national accolade. “Her selfless actions reflect an individual of great character, value and integrity, and her legacy is one that future Buccaneer student-athletes will strive to emulate in their everyday lives.”
Hall’s honor is the second major NCAA award that has been bestowed upon a Massachusetts Maritime student-athlete in the past two years. In January 2010, former men’s basketball standout Captain Richard Phillips ’79, who gained worldwide attention while being held captive by Somali pirates as captain of the Maersk Alabama in April 2009, received the 2009 NCAA Award of Valor at the organization’s Honors Dinner in Atlanta, Ga.