GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Senior Tyler McLaren (Pepperell, Mass.), a member of the Southern New Hampshire University men's cross country team, has been selected as the 2017-18 Northeast-10 Conference Man of the Year. The award, which is voted on by a panel of administrators from each NE10 institution, was presented Monday night at the conference's annual awards banquet.
The Northeast-10 Conference Man of the Year honors student-athletes for their excellence in competition, in the classroom, and in community service. McLaren is the second Southern New Hampshire student-athlete to be feted with the distinction, as he joins Kyle Thomas (2015) as the two Penmen to be named NE10 Man of the Year since the award's inception in 2013.
The NE10 Men's Cross Country Sport Excellence Award winner, which is given to the top Academic All-Conference selection in a respective sport, McLaren turned in a magnificent season in 2017. He won both the Vermont Tech Invitational and the Bruce Kirsch Cup, while finishing runner-up at the New England Championship, NE10 Championship and NCAA East Regional. The two-time NE10 Athlete of the Week, who garnered NE10 All-Conference First Team and USTFCCCA All-Region honors, became the second runner in program history to qualify for the NCAA National Championship, where he turned in the highest finish at the meet for a Penmen, placing 43rd out of 249 runners in a time of 32:02.8. McLaren topped the previous SNHU best by 32 spots, while finishing just three spots shy of attaining All-America status.
Off the course, McLaren compiled a 3.85 cumulative GPA as an international business major and was an NE10 Academic All-Conference selection for the third consecutive year. He was named the SNHU Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, served as the president of the Economic and Finance Association as well as the Junto Personal Development Club, and was a portfolio manager in the Bloomberg Investment Competition.
As part of the nomination process, nominees were required to submit a 250-word personal statement. McLaren's is below.
The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest Division II conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship.
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Tyler McLaren Personal Statement
"One of the most important things in my life is personal development. To some, this may sound selfish, but it is important to understand the magnitude of impact you can have to everyone around you when you are a more profound person yourself. It is because of this I started a club with some friends in 2014 focused on personal development. It is called the Junto Personal Development Club (based from Benjamin Franklin's Junto Club), and it has been the most instrumental factor in my development to the person I am today. With fellow students from both the campus and the community, the Junto meets weekly to share ideas, pool-knowledge, and hold each member accountable to their goals. Important life-long traits I have learned from the Junto like self-discipline, grit, and integrity, have carried over to my academics, athletics, internships, and volunteer work. Pursuing personal development has made such a measurable impact in my life that I encourage all those around me to do the same. Life is difficult and barriers exist at every turn. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to help others realize the benefits of setting and reviewing goals, committing to being a life-long learner, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and developing grit. As Lou Holtz says, 'In this world you're either growing or you're dying.'"