Carroll's Esposito Wins A.O. Duer Award - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll's Esposito Wins A.O. Duer Award

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Leah Esposito, a two-sport All-American and 2015, 1,000-meter Indoor Track and Field National Champion can add one more honor to her already chock-full trophy case. Today, the NAIA announced that Esposito is the 2015 winner of the prestigious A.O. Duer Scholarship Award.
Named in honor of the NAIA's former executive secretary for his 26 years of service to the Association, the award recognizes scholarship, character, and citizenship by junior student-athletes in any sport. The A.O. Duer Scholarship Award has been presented since 1967 to one male and one female junior student-athlete in any sport.
It is the third Duer Award for Carroll Athletics and the second in as many years. Volleyball and Track and Field athlete Kathleen Mulligan received the award in 2014 and former Carroll football quarterbackTyler Emmert was honored with the award in 2004.
As part of the application process Esposito was required to submit letters of recommendation. One of those who submitted a letter was Carroll President Tom Evans. President Evans' letter spoke to her all-around excellence.
"Leah is what I consider to be the 'full package' when it comes to student-athletes," Evans wrote. "Not only has she consistently exhibited outstanding academic excellence in the classroom, she has also demonstrated her athletic skill on every track she has competed on for the past two years. She had constantly exceeded everyone's expectations – even her own."
Head Cross Country coach David Morris echoes the sentiments of President Evans.
"I am very proud of Leah, she is a tireless worker and she is a very deserving recipient of this award," Morris said. "She is a great person, great student and a great athlete. Leah is a joy to coach and a great representative of Carroll College."
Morris also notes her leadership. She has stepped up to the role as the vocal leader of the cross-country team in 2015.
"She has always led by example but this year she has really stepped up," Morris said. "We have some talented underclassmen and Leah has become much more vocal to make sure the younger runners contribute to the overall team goals."
Along with Esposito's excellence in competition, the biology major has a 4.0 GPA. She attributes her success in both to her ability to focus on the task at hand.
"When I am running, I am 100 percent focused on getting better, when I am doing school work, I am 100 percent focused learning what I need to learn to succeed," Esposito said. "I dedicate all my energy to what I am doing at the time and I think that really helps me manage a busy schedule."
Esposito's competitive nature is also a big factor.
"I am a very competitive person," Esposito said. "It isn't just on the course I am very competitive in the classroom I push myself because I want to be the best I can be and improve every day."
The Helena native and daughter of Carroll professor Ralph Esposito is excited to bring more recognition to the community that she was raised in.
"It is very meaningful to me," Esposito said. "I grew up here and it is pretty exciting to bring recognition to this place. I love Carroll and I am excited to be a part of this great Legacy."
Esposito and the No. 2 ranked Saints women's cross country team have the opportunity to add more to the legacy. Carroll took fourth at nationals a season ago but look to build on that success this November. 

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