Former Peabody High track and field star Chris Cennami was completely surprised when he found out he was named Little East Conference Rookie of the Year.
The UMass Dartmouth sprinter is only the second one in program history voted by the LEC’s head coaches as the top rookie performer. He made an immediate impact for the Corsairs this spring and has already put his name in the school’s record book for 100 meter dash times.
“It was a huge surprise for me,” said Cennami. “My mother kept saying she thought I could be chosen, but I told her there are so many good athletes in the league (that) it’s not going to be me. It’s such a huge step up from high school to college and takes a big adjustment to be able to run with these kids.”
The Corsairs had a very successful season, winning the conference both indoors and outdoors. During the winter indoor season, the team won both the Little East and MASCAC crowns and went to the Division 3 championship.
Cennami had to battle back from a hamstring injury he suffered during the indoor season. “I did a lot of rehab work and was in the weight room all the time to return to where I was before I got hurt,” he said. “I was able to get back to my times in high school and even a little better as the spring season wore on.”
He won the Little East Conference 100 meter dash and qualified for the New England Open Championship. Cennami was the fastest Little East runner in the 100 preliminary round at the conference meet (11.09 seconds) and was also the best runner in the finals. He finished third overall in the New England Alliance Championship (11.12)and 13th at the NE Open championship, matching his season-best time of 11.09.