COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After a successful 2015-16 athletic year, four UConn athletics standouts were honored by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as All-Americans. Baseball’s Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.), women’s ice hockey’s Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.), men’s track and field’s Chris Ackell (Brookfield, Conn.), and women’s lacrosse’s Alyson Fazio (Methuen, Mass.) were recognized with the national accolade, as announced by the organization in early June.
NSCA All-America awards recognize athletic accomplishments and dedication to strength and conditioning. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association founded in 1978. Evolving from a membership of 76, the association now serves nearly 30,000 members in 52 countries. Drawing upon its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.
Sundberg wrapped up a stellar four-year career in 2016, helping lead the Huskies to their first-ever American Athletic Conference championship. An All-Conference Second Team member, the Husky tri-captain started in 61 games as the team’s primary centerfielder, hitting .258 to go along with a conference-best 53 runs scored. The senior OF blasted a career-best five home runs and drove in 28 to go along with a team-best 17 steals.
“Jack is one of the most consistent and hardworking athletes I have ever worked with,” said baseball strength and conditioning coach Moe Butler. “He brings a relentless work ethic to every training session and his energy is infectious. Even more impressive is how he has evolved into a strong leader both on and off the field. Not only does he demand the best of himself – he challenges his teammates to be better everyday. He is a team-first guy that will sacrifice for the greater good.”
Chuli closed out her Connecticut career in style as a senior, earning distinction as an American Hockey Coaches Assocation 2016 CCM All-America Second Team member. A four-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, Chuli played in 26 games with 24 starts, stopping 972 shots and holding a career-best 2.31 goals against average. The Husky goalie made 30-plus saves in 18 of her 26 appearances and stopped at least 40 shots on nine occasions in the net.
“Elaine is a highly motivated athlete who places the highest regard on mental and physical preparation,” added Joel DeMarco. “Her passion, tenacity, and work ethic in all aspects of training have raised the bar for our performance expectations. She has helped set the standard in our program and inspires her teammates to be great. She is a great competitor and has used her development off the ice to elevate herself as a goalie.”
Ackell continued his strong outdoor career in 2016, winning the hammer throw at the American Athletic Conference championship for the second-straight season with a toss of 59.93m, helping the Huskies secure a second-place team finish at the event.
“Chris has demonstrated the highest level of dedication, commitment, and passion to weight room training,” said DeMarco. “He is a consistent leader, both in his words and actions. He displays all the great qualities you want as a strength coach and he has translated his achievements in the weight room into success as a thrower.”
A 2016 team captain, Fazio appeared in 15 games with 14 starts as a senior, registering 37 total points on 24 goals. The Husky midfielder earned a spot on the Big East All-Tournament Team and scored three goals in the last 37 seconds against Temple in the Big East Semifinals on May 5.
“Alyson Fazio consistently demonstrates the values of the University of Connecticut Sports Performance department,” remarked Anna Zamora. “Her hard work and dedication to Strength and Conditioning directly reflects in her numbers and achievements. Fazio’s continued discipline sets her apart as a leader in the weight room and the Lacrosse Field. It has been a great pleasure coaching Fazio and watching her grow as a student-athlete and achieve success.”