By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington High School alumni, Steve Maffiolini recently received All-Academic honors with three other members of the Bentley University men’s track and field team. Maffiolini was recognized by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for his combined success academically and athletically.
In order to qualify for All-Academic honors, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships, either during the indoor or outdoor season.
In May of 2015, Maffiolini graduated magna cum laude from Bentley with a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in sports management. Head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field teams, Kevin Curtin said that seeing Maffiolini succeed as an academic standout was great to see.
“We take pride in our academic accomplishments,” said Curtin. “We strive to create an environment where our student-athletes can excel academically and athletically. The fact that Maffiolini and three of his teammates are receiving these academic awards lets us know that we’re doing that.”
The second-year team captain competed as a graduate student this past indoor season, but Curtin said that Maffiolini’s graduation is going to leave a tough hole to fill on the Falcon sprint squad.
“For four and a half years, he was our hardest worker,” the coach said. “Over the last two years, he was a team leader in every respect. He was both well-respected and well-liked by his teammates, and he really set the tone for what we expect from our sprinters.”
When he arrived on campus in his freshmen year, Maffiolini was running the 200m in the high 23 seconds, and he ran the 400m in 52.5 seconds. By the time he graduated, Maffiolini had knocked large chunks off of his 200m (22.69) and 400m (49.40) times.
“For a sprinter, he didn’t have a lot of flat-out speed, but he had great endurance,” said Curtin. “We’re in a conference with a lot of quality sprinters, but by the end of his junior year, Maffiolini was able to hold his own against them.”
At the Northeast-10 Championship, Maffiolini placed sixth in the 400m (50.53). One week later, he moved up to fifth in the 500m (1:05.40) at the indoor New England Championship.
“His final collegiate race at the New England Championship was a great one,” said Curtin. “He had never placed in that meet, but in his last couple of collegiate races he was able to qualify for the finals. He ran 1:05.40 both days, which is a testament to his strength and consistency.”
The men’s and women’s track and field teams each received All-Academic recognition from the USTFCCCA. The men’s 3.42 grade point average was second best in the nation among all Division II teams for a second-straight year. The Lady Falcons also excelled in the classroom with a GPA of 3.44. Bentley was one of just six East Region institutions to earn both men’s and women’s All-Academic honors, receiving the accolade for a sixth-straight year.
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