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West Hartford’s Grant O’Connor Named Academic All-America

Grant O'Connor (center) has been named Academic All-America. Courtesy photo

Grant O’Connor, a 2015 graduate of Hall High School in West Hartford and a 2019 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named Academic All-America.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Grant O’Connor of West Hartford has been named to the 2018-19 Google Cloud Academic All-America Division III Track & Field/Cross Country Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

An electrical engineering and computer and systems engineering dual major, O’Connor, a Hall High School graduate, consistently appeared on the Dean’s List throughout his time at RPI. He earned Liberty League All-Academic awards three times each in cross country and track & field and was honored as a U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic selection a total of six times.

O’Connor is among the most decorated student-athletes in RPI Athletics history. As a four-year standout in both cross country and track & field, he was a two-year captain in both sports and earned a school-record nine NCAA All-America awards. They include: a national championship in the 5000 meters and a national runner-up in the 10000 meters at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship; third in the 10000 meters at the 2017 outdoor championship; third in the 5000 meters at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championship; third in the 5000 meters and fourth in the 10000 meters at the 2019 outdoor championship; a school-record fourth at the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championship; and 23rd and 25th at the 2017 and 2016 cross country championships, respectively.

He was the USTFCCCA National Track Athlete of the Year in 2018 after registering the most individual points at the NCAA Championship (18); the Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year five times, including three in track & field; the Liberty League Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Year twice; and the conference’s Track Athlete of the Year three times. A two-time NCAA Atlantic Region Championship Meet individual champion – the only one in school history – O’Connor was the Liberty League Rookie of the Year in cross country in 2015.

Among the Rensselaer and Liberty League records he holds are in the outdoor 10000 meters (29:19.53), which is eighth all-time in Division III history, and in the indoor 5000 meters (15:17.84). He is second on both record boards in the outdoor 5000 meters (14:09.85).

O’Connor, who finished first in 18 meets or events in his career and second 17 times, helped the Engineers capture three Liberty League cross country titles, including the first in school history in 2016, and one NCAA Atlantic Region Cross Country Championship, which is the only one in school history. Rensselaer won four conference outdoor track & field championships and finished as high as fifth at the NCAA Championship (2018). The cross country teams had three top 15 national finishes and combined with track & field to rank ninth and sixth in the nation the past two years, respectively.

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