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May 31, 2009 Hood's Danielle Sgro And St. Mary's Emily Smithson Win MACDA Post-Graduate Scholarships

Hood senior distance runner Danielle Sgro and St. Mary's field hockey All-American Emily Smithson were two of the three post-graduate scholarships awarded by the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (MACDA).

The MACDA postgraduate scholarships recognize three student-athletes for superior work in the classroom and on the field. The honorees represent three Maryland institutions of higher learning and differing levels of NCAA competition. Each recipient will receive a non-renewable, one-time grant of $500 upon their enrollment in a postgraduate program.

To be eligible, student-athletes must possess a minimum 3.2 grade-point average in undergraduate studies, excel in a varsity sport, participate in leadership activities beyond the playing field and plan to further their education.

Sgro, a native of Indiana, Pa., was a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track & field at Hood, serving as team captain in both sports.  Four times, she was selected as cross country's most valuable runner.  Sgro was a two-time All-Capital Athletic Conference selection after finishing in the top 12 at the CAC Cross Country Championships in 2007 and 2008.  She holds cross country records in the 6K for freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classifications. 

In track, Sgro set records in the 3K, 5K, 6K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon, and qualified for the Boston Marathon.  She earned all-conference honors following a second-place finish in the 10,000m in 2008.  As a member of the Hood Honors Program, Sgro earned Dean's List recognition every semester, was a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-American, and was inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. 

The Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year and magna cum laude graduate, she was a political science major with a minor in English literature and history.  Her extracurricular activities included serving as a resident assistant for two years, being the senior class secretary, as well as interning at the Strategic Health Care Lobbying and Consulting Firm and the law office of Camilla O. McRory.  Hood has endorsed Sgro for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships through which she will be able to study abroad for graduate school at Oxford University.  Her future plans are to attend law school with a health care concentration and someday work either as a health policy analyst, journalist or health care attorney.

Smithson, a Richmond, Va. native, was a four-year starter for the St. Mary's field hockey team, playing in each of the team's 68 games with 65 starts and leading the Seahawks to a 44-24 overall record.  A center midfielder, she guided the Seahawks to the Capital Athletic Conference championship game in 2007 and 2008. 

The 2008 CAC Co-Player of the Year, Smithson earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America Third Team laurels after leading the team with 10 goals and 23 points.  She was a two-time NFHCA All-South Region pick and All-CAC selection who finished tied for second all-time at St. Mary's with 12 assists.  Smithson also ranks eighth all-time with 42 career points and 10th with 15 career goals. 

The vice president of the CAC Student-Athlete Advisory Council, she earned Dean's List plaudits seven of her eight semesters and was named to the NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad as a sophomore, junior and senior.  Smithson is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Chi Alpha Sigma and Psi Chi Honor Societies as well as a three-time member of the CAC All-Academic Team.  A magna cum laude graduate, she was a psychology major with a minor in educational studies. 

Smithson has been accepted into the School of Psychology at James Madison University and was awarded a graduate assistantship in the educational technology and media center at JMU.  She plans on working in a public school system as a school psychologist after completing the program.

The third recipient of a 2009 MACDA post-graduate scholarship is Clifford Bridges of Division I University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Bridges earned seven varsity letters as a jumps specialist for the UMBC indoor and outdoor track & field teams.