FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shannon Gagne, New Haven Track & Field – Class of 2011
A five-time national champion and nine-time All-American, Shannon (Gagne) Arena is the most decorated individual student-athlete New Haven history. She’s the only individual National Champion in Charger Athletics history. Gagne burst on to the New England track & field scene during her freshman and sophomore seasons at New Haven, winning multiple events and setting three school records.
Her first trip to the NCAA Championships came in 2009 during the indoor season. She became the first New Haven women’s track & field athlete to earn All-American honors with her seventh-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Her success continued into the outdoor season with her second All-American honor in the 200-meter dash, placing fifth in the nation. That season included six Northeast-10 Conference Championships, NE10 Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year honors and United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) East Region Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year distinctions.
Gagne repeated as the 2010 NE10 and USTFCCCA East Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. This honor came after Gagne won four NE10 titles in the 55-, 200-, 400-meter dashes and long jump events. She went on to become the New England Champion in the 200-meter and ended her season with another All-American honor after placing fifth in the NCAA Indoor Championships. An injury forced her to miss the outdoor season in the spring of 2010.
Gagne returned to competition in the fall and put together one of the finest seasons in the history of Charger athletics. The Meriden, Conn. native became the first in NCAA history to win her combination of three National Championships in both track and field events during the indoor season with victories in the long jump, 200- and 400-meter dashes. It also marked just the second time in NCAA Division II women’s track and field history that three individual titles were claimed at the same championship meet.
Gagne added two National Championships in the outdoor season in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, while finishing fifth in the long jump for her ninth All-American honor of her career. Her performance helped lead the Chargers to a program-best fourth-place finish at the indoor National Championship, an astonishing feat with a mere two student-athletes competing against teams of 20-plus. She set six school records on her way to winning another six NE10 titles in her final season for the Blue and Gold.
The accolades poured in for Gagne following her outstanding 2011 season. She was a NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award recipient, one of the association’s most prestigious accolades, and was the only Division II finalist for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award. She collected USTFCCCA National Track Athlete of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year awards. She was the NE10’s Scholar Athlete of the Year, Woman of the Year and Indoor/Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Gagne received her fourth and fifth USTFCCCA East Region Track Athlete of the Year awards.
This year, the NE10 is proud to welcome eight additions to our Hall of Fame. We welcome three national-title winning teams, and five outstanding former student-athletes to the Conference Hall of Fame.
- Additional information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at New Haven
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.