esposito

Leah Esposito competes in the steeplechase, the final race of her remarkable career, at the NAIA National Outdoor Championships.

Jerek Wolcott, for the Independent Record

Carroll College senior cross country and track and field All-American Leah Esposito, a Helena High grad, was named the 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Academic All-America of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.

Esposito closed out her career with 19 All-American honors, including a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at this spring's NAIA Track and Field National Championship, a race that she had run just twice before the national championship meet.

Her biggest, jaw-dropping accomplishment came in the fall when she overcame a mid-season pulmonary embolism and returned to win the individual Frontier Conference championship in her final race on her home course in Helena. She also earned All-American honors at the NAIA Indoor Championship meet.

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Academically, Esposito graduated with a 3.97 GPA in the biology program at Carroll. She will take a year off before attending medical school, and hopes to become a surgeon.

As the All-America of the Year for her sport, she is now eligible for the overall All-America of the Year, an honor she took home for the 2015-16 academic year.

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