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Athletes of Distinction

David Rowlands Award
Chris Mason Selected for 2009 David Rowlands NJCAA Male Student-Athlete of the Year

By Gage Axford, NJCAA Student-Assistant

For the first time in NJCAA history, a cross country/track & field athlete will receive the honorary title of David Rowlands NJCAA Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Chris Mason of SUNY-Delhi and seven-time NJCAA All-American will receive the prestigious award for 2009. The David Rowlands Award is given annually to a male NJCAA student-athlete that displays hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics.

 Mason produced an incredible NJCAA career, boasting back to back championships in three categories: NJCAA Division III Cross Country (2007 and 2008), NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field 10,000 meters (2008 and 2009) and NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field 5,000 meters (2008 and 2009). He is the only male athlete ever to repeat as individual champion in DIII cross country. Last year he also set championship meet records in the DIII outdoor track & field 5,000 and 10,000 meter races with times of 15:15.15 and 32:12.32, respectively.

Also in 2009, Mason finished third in the 1,500 meters and fourth in the Steeplechase at the 2009 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Mason's other accomplishments include a fourth place finish at the NJCAA Half Marathon in the fall of 2008 and a fifth place showing at the 2009 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 5,000 meters.

"Chris's success has come through his work ethic and dedication," explains SUNY - Delhi cross country head coach and Athletic Director Bob Backus. "He's certainly not the fastest runner that I've ever coached but he's the most determined. I'm convinced that if he had to, he could run the 10,000 meter trials on Friday and come back on Saturday for the finals."

Mason's hard work and determination fueled the SUNY - Delhi men's cross country team to back-to-back DIII national championships in 2007 and 2008. He then guided the track & field team to two top five finishes at the NJCAA DIII Track & Field Championships, taking fourth in 2008 and second in 2009.

A recent signee to a NCAA Letter of Intent to Middle Tennessee State University, Mason was an eight-time NJCAA Region 3 Champion with two cross country titles, three indoor championships and three outdoor crowns. He was also named SUNY - Delhi's Athlete of the Year for 2008 and 2009 and managed to be named Region 3 Athlete of the Week three times in his career.

About the David Rowlands Award

David Rowlands was an active member of the NJCAA. From 1972 to 1988 he was a regional director and from 1975 to 1988 was the chair of the NJCAA baseball committee. Rowlands, a baseball coach at Truman College (Chicago, Ill.), served on the NJCAA gymnastics, golf, executive and eligibility committees. Rowlands was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.

Chris Mason had a very successful two years at SUNY - Delhi, earning NJCAA All-American honors seven times. Photo courtesy of SUNY - Delhi. Photo courtesy of Dan Aurelio of Digital Photography.

Chris Mason won both the 2007 and 2008 individual national championship in Division III Cross Country - the first person to ever repeat as champion. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Community College - Selden.


Year, Name, Sport, College; City, State
1992-1993, Mike Worley, Basketball, Coffeyville Community College; Coffeyville, Kan.
1993-1994, Eddie Samue, Basketball, Pensacola Junior College; Pensacola, Fla.
1994-1995, Joe Michael, Robertson, Football, Jones County Junior College; Ellisville, Miss.
1995-1996, Doug Thompson, Baseball, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Perkinston, Miss.
1996-1997, William Gladness, Basketball, Carl Albert State College; Poteau, Okla.
1997-1998, Shawn Marion, Basketball, Vincennes University; Vincennes, Ind.
1998-1999, Anthony Evans, Basketball, Neosho County Community College; Chanute, Kan.
1999-2000, Mario Toledo, Tennis, Georgia Perimeter College; Dunwoody, Ga.
2000-2001, Marc Dunn, Football, Ricks College; Rexburg, Idaho
2001-2002, Cory Patton, Baseball, Seward County Community College; Liberal, Kan.
2002-2003, Filiberto Rivera, Basketball, Southeastern Community College; West Burlington, Iowa
2003-2004, Larry Kendrick, Football, Pearl River Community College; Poplarville, Miss.
2004-2005, Michael Murray, Baseball, Meridian Community College; Meridian, Miss
2005-2006, Brian Flores, Baseball, New Mexico Junior College; Hobbs, N.M.
2006-2007, Cody Jamieson, Lacrosse, Onondaga Community College; Syracuse, N.Y.
2007-2008, Devron Bostick, Basketball, Southwestern Illinois College; Belleville, Ill.
2008-2009, Chris Mason, Cross Country/Track & Field, SUNY - Delhi; Delhi, N.Y.













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