CHARLESTON, S.C. - Four College of Charleston student-athletes were recently recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year.
Junior Bart "Bernie" Benton (Monroe, Ga.), sophomore Christine Klinar (Hanahan, S.C.), senior Amanda "Lonni" Lonergan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and senior Matt Sherrier (Boulder, Colo.) were among 225 collegiate and high school athletes from 90 schools across all divisions to receive the award, which recognizes the student-athletes' dedication to strength training and conditioning.
"Our athletes as a whole made fantastic gains over the course of the school year," CofC Director of Sports Performance Steve Bamel said. "The All-American athletes, in particular, are kids that, not only do what you ask them to do, but go above and beyond to push themselves to higher levels of performance. We have a great group of dedicated student-athletes at the College of Charleston."
Benton, a 6-foot-1 reserve guard on the CofC men's basketball team, is the ultimate teammate who will do whatever it takes to help make his team better.
"Bernie is a one-in-a-million athlete," Bamel said. "His attitude and work ethic is contagious and he has made his mark on this program for years to come."
Klinar, a 5-foot-8 thrower specializing in the javelin on the CofC women's track and field team, has been proficient in many aspects of training. Her work ethic and attitude toward training is perpetual.
"She has progressed in all of her weights and techniques, and accepts coaching in a positive and constructive way," CofC Assistant Director of Sports Performance Amber Manor said. "Her Olympic lifting technique is sound, and her power lifts are strong. She has been a pleasure to work with and we will expect her to continue her tremendous results for the remainder of the outdoor season."
Lonergan, a 5-foot-7 utility player on the CofC softball team, had a challenging off-season. Coming off of shoulder surgery, she made tremendous strides in both the weight room and on the field. However, in the first practice of the fall, Lonergan dislocated her other shoulder in a throw from the outfield. In an unwavering and herculean effort, she kept working and was cleared to take full swings in the spring.
"She is a true leader by example," CofC Assistant Director of Sports Performance Daniel Williams said. "Her attitude is contagious and unchanging. She has shown a true desire to make her senior year count when most would have quit."
Sherrier, a 5-foot-9 freestyle specialist on the CofC men's swimming and diving team, closed out his four-year career as one of the most accomplished swimmers in program history with a conference record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, four individual school records and four relay team school records.
"Matt understands the importance of intense training and the dedication it takes to be successful," Manor said. "In the weight room, Matt not only demands 100 percent from himself every day, but also from his teammates. Matt's mental toughness and desire to get better every day has built a standard among his team. The respect of his teammates to uphold the standard of their leader, in the weight room and in the pool, is what has put his team in a position to once again become CCSA Champions."
The NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year program is in its 33rd year and recognizes those collegiate and high school athletes, whose athletic accomplishments, in the opinion of their strength coach, reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning. These athletes are also recognized for their academic and personal accomplishments and their integrity as student athletes. Power Systems®, Inc. is the official sponsor of this program.
2012 COFC NSCA ALL-AMERICAN STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Bart Benton (Men's Basketball)
Christine Klinar (Women's Track & Field)
Amanda Lonergan (Softball)
Matt Sherrier (Men's Swimming & Diving)