Three claim spots on CSC Academic All-District X-C/Track teams

IMAGES: LEFT: Matthew Driben running in warm-ups on the indoor track, smiling; CENTER: Victoria Morrongiello running a race on the outdoor track; RIGHT: Bridget Pickard running outdoors in a cross country race

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three recent graduates of the Brandeis University cross country and track and field teams team have earned College Sports Communicators (CSC, formerly CoSIDA) Academic All-District honors. Matthew Driben of Reading, Pennsylvania, was honored for the men, while Victoria Morrongiello of Staten Island, New York, and Bridget Pickard of Westwood, Massachusetts, were recognized for the women. All three will be eligible for CSC Academic All-America honors, which will be announced in June.

Driben was a three-time winner during cross-country season last fall for the Judges, capturing the Wellesley Invitational, the Keene State Invitational and the Connecticut College White Race. He was the team's top finisher at 2022 UAA Championships, placing 50th overall. During track and field season, he ran a sub-15-minute 5K at New Balance track this season. Driben earned All-New England honors in 2022, when he placed second in the 10,000-meter run. Outside of competition, Driben posted a 3.96 grade-point average, graduating with degrees in biology and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He earned Dean's List every semester and Academic All-UAA honors each season he was eligible. Driben was involved with the Waltham Group, Brandeis's community service organization. He will be attending medical school in his native Pennsylvania next year after winning the University's Linsey Fellowship.

Morrongiello was a captain of both track and cross country in 2022-23. She provided leadership that the cross country team needed as they finished in third place at the regional championships, just missing out on a second-straight trip to the NCAAs. On the track, Victoria was part of two All-UAA distance medley relay teams in her career, running the 800-meter leg on the team that finished second in 2020 and third in 2022. The 2022 squad ranked 14th in Division III, again just missing a berth to the NCAA Indoor championships. Morrongiello has been as successful outside of track and field as she has been in it. She carried a 3.90 GPA and graduated with degrees in Health: Science, Society and Policy and Biology. She also served as the Editor in Chief of the Brandeis Hoot; as the event lead for Relay For Life; as the undergraduate departmental representative for the psychology department; as a crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line; and as a track and cross country member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Pickard also served as a co-captain of track and cross country this year. She was consistently the team's first or second finisher during cross country season, helping the Judges place third in the East region, just missing a spot at the NCAA Championships and earning individual All-Region honors with a 24th-place finish. As a junior, she was the Judges' fifth runner at Regionals, and sixth at nationals as they finished 20th at the NCAA Championships. Outside of competition, Pickard graduated with a 3.89 GPA and a degree in Health: Science, Society and Policy. She served as a biology department teaching assistant and was on the Dean's List every semester and Academic All-UAA team nine times. Pickard also served on Brandeis's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was a Peer Hotline Outreach Counselor. Pickard will be attending Imperial College in London to work towards a masters in epidemiology.

The 2023 Academic All-District® Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Teams, selected by College Sports Communicators, recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances in the athletic realm and in the classroom. The CSC Academic All-America® program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CSC Academic All-America® ballot. First-, second and third-team Academic All-America® honorees will be announced June 28-29.

The Division II and III CSC Academic All-America® programs are partially financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures to assist CSC with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2022-23 Divisions II and III Academic All-America® programs. The NAIA CSC Academic All-America® program is partially financially supported through the NAIA national office.