GENESEO, N.Y. - Recent SUNY Geneseo graduate Isaac Garcia-Cassani was named the 2018 Rich Funke Jr. Award, presented by the Rochester Press Radio Club earlier this week to the area's top collegiate male athlete.
During his career in a Knights' uniform, the Holbrook, N.Y. native garnered 13 All-America honors including three individual national championships and a fourth as part of a relay.
He recently closed his time at Geneseo by winning his second-straight national championship in the 1,500 at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. This past winter, he anchored the Knights' distance medley relay that won the first relay national championship in program history and later added an All-American runner-up finish in the 3,000.
As a junior, he won the mile at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships to garner Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet recognition before an outdoor campaign that included posting the sixth-fastest 1,500 time (3:42.66) in Division III history en route to the national championship a month later.
Earlier this spring, he nearly broke the four-minute plateau in the mile, posting a 4:01.35 clocking during the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton to finish less than a second behind 2016 U.S. Olympian Robby Andrews.
Also a standout cross country competitor, Garcia-Cassani totaled three top-eight finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships, highlighted by a fourth-place result in 2016 to lead the Knights to a national runner-up team finish. He also won two individual Atlantic Region Championships (2015, 2016) and logged a second-place finish this past fall to lead Geneseo to its third-consecutive team title. Tabbed the 2014 SUNYAC Rookie of the Year, Garcia-Cassani went on to win three-consecutive SUNYAC individual championships to become only the fourth competitor in conference history to achieve the feat.
Garica-Cassani is the first recipient since Gordon Lyons (men's basketball) won the award in 2015, while Lee Berube (men's cross country/track & field) capped his senior campaign with the recognition in 2012. On the women's side, Abigail Max (women's swimming & diving) and Melissa White (women's cross country/track & field) garnered the award in 2014 and 2003, respectively.