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Five Pace Athletes Nab Academic All-Conference Recognition

From left: John Kukura, Joshua Kreitler, Brandon Donnellan, Najmah James and Garrett De Lotto.
From left: John Kukura, Joshua Kreitler, Brandon Donnellan, Najmah James and Garrett De Lotto. Photo Credit: Pace Athletics

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. --  Five Pace University student-athletes have been recognized by the Northeast-10 Conference for their success in both the classroom and on the playing field by being named to the Spring 2017 Academic All-Conference Teams.

A Chester, N.Y native and senior on the men's lacrosse team, Brandon Donnellan was named to the Men's Lacrosse Academic All-Conference Team and was also recognized with the NE-10 Sport Excellence Award for lacrosse. Additionally, lacrosse teammate Joshua Kreitler, a junior from Shelton, Conn., Najmah James, a junior women's lacrosse standout from Danbury, Conn. and baseball seniors John Kukura of New City, N.Y. and Garrett De Lotto of Southbury, Conn. were all named to the Academic All-Conference Teams in their respective sports.

To be eligible for selection to the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference teams, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of the team's competitions, achieve a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one academic year.

For Donnellan, this is the third time he has been named to the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference, and he is also a two-time Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award winner. Last season, Donnellan was picked as the Pace Athletics Merit Award Winner for the 2015-16 campaign and earned the prestigious Pace Athletics Darrell Halloran Memorial Award in 2017.

Kreitler made his second appearance on the NE-10 Academic All-Conference Team and has earned a spot on the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll for six straight semesters. The junior attack also played a key role in the men's lacrosse team's historic season, putting together his best offensive numbers to date with 38 goals.

James helped lead the Setters to a program-best 11-6 record in 2017, as they qualified for the NE-10 Conference Championship for the second year in a row. After two seasons as an NE-10 All-Conference Second-Team honoree, she made the jump to the NE-10 All-Conference First Team in 2017. A lock-down defender, James caused 19 turnovers this season and picked up 29 ground balls, both good for second on the team.

On and off the diamond, Kukura enjoyed a highly decorated year. One of the top outfielders in the conference, he was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Division II East All-Region Second Team for a second straight year. Kukura finished the season with a batting average of .337, tallying 15 doubles, 44 runs scored and posting a .451 on-base percentage.

Since transferring to Pace prior to the Fall 2015 semester, De Lotto has earned a spot on the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll each semester at Pace. This season, the sure-handed infielder earned ECAC Player of the Week recognition and was named to the NE-10 Weekly Honor Roll three times. De Lotto compiled a 15-game hitting streak during the season, and tallied seven doubles, three triples, two home runs while posting a .995 fielding percentage. 

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