PAWTUCKET, R.I. – For the third straight year, Eastern Connecticut State University has claimed the Little East Conference Commissioner’s Cup, the league’s top honor for overall institutional athletic performance among the LEC’s nine primary member institutions in its 19 sponsored sports. The Warriors captured the 2018-19 Commissioner’s Cup after accumulating a point average of 6.26 among their 17 programs that compete in the LEC.
“We are delighted to win the Commissioner’s Cup for the third year in a row for having the best athletic record in the Little East Conference,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “Our student-athletes are bringing honor and recognition to the University while achieving great heights on the playing field. For Eastern athletes to perform at a consistently high level across varsity sports in the conference is a tribute to them, their coaches and our athletic department. I could not be more proud of the Warriors!”
Director of Athletics Lori Runksmeier added “Eastern athletics has a long and proud tradition of success. Winning the LEC Commissioner’s Cup for the third 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 outright regular season title in men’s soccer, and was one of two programs to share regular- season championships in women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s basketball. The Warriors were second in the conference standings in women’s basketball and women’s cross country, and totaled four third-place finishes – men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, softball, and women’s swimming & diving. Only two of Eastern’s 17 programs placed lower than fourth in the LEC standings in 2018-19.
Although LEC tournament finishes do not factor into the Commissioner’s Cup process, Eastern won one women’s title each season: volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.
“Congratulations to the Eastern Connecticut State University administration, coaches and student-athletes on earning three Commissioner's Cups (the LEC's highest athletic award) in a row,” said Little East Commissioner Cora H.L. Brumley. “The Warriors exemplify the NCAA Division III philosophy by consistently excelling both on and off the field of play.”
“I am equally proud that our athletes take their studies seriously as they prepare for rewarding professional careers,” added Núñez. “Our student-athletes apply their teamwork skills, self-discipline and a commitment to excellence in and out of class on campus, and they demonstrate the same standards in athletic competition.”
At left: Eastern Director of Athletics Lori Runksmeier (center) and President Dr. Elsa Nunez (left) accept the 2018-19 Commissioner's Cup from Little East Conference Commissioner Cora Brumley.
The University of Southern Maine finished second in the 2018-19 Commissioner’s Cup standings with a point average of 5.94, marking the Huskies’ best finish since placing second in 2012-13, while 16-time LEC Commissioner’s Cup winner Keene State College finished third with a point average of 5.74. Rounding out the 2018-19 LEC Commissioner’s Cup standings are UMass Dartmouth (fourth, 5.61 points), Plymouth State University (fifth, 5.19 points), Rhode Island College (sixth, 4.68 points), UMass Boston (seventh, 4.53 points), Western Connecticut State University (eighth, 4.40 points) and Castleton University (ninth, 3.17 points).
Southern Maine won the Little East title in men’s cross country, and men’s indoor and outdoor track & field, and claimed the LEC regular season title in baseball in 2018-19. The Huskies were the runner-up in women’s lacrosse, and finished third in women’s basketball and women’s indoor track & field.
Keene State placed third in the Commissioner’s Cup standings for the second straight year. The Owls won the women’s cross country and women’s swimming & diving championships, and earned at least a share of the LEC regular season title in men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse. Keene State was third in the final standings in field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s indoor and outdoor track & field.
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.
About the Little East Conference
The Little East Conference (LEC) was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England’s premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 championship sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student-athletes, while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.