Laura Barito, the reigning NCAA Woman of the Year and 2011 Stevens Institute of Technology graduate, was honored at the New Jersey Sports Writers Association’s 76th annual banquet on Sunday in recognition of all her achievements during her epic collegiate career. A two-time NCAA national champion in two different sports, Barito was a 22-time All-American performer from 2007-11. Also among the honorees on Sunday were MLB All-Stars Al Leiter and Eric Young, Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year award-winner Jay Williams and former Rutgers football player and NJSWA Most Courageous Athlete Eric LeGrand.
In October, Barito became just the second Woman of the Year recipient to come from the Division III ranks. The award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership.
“We could not be more proud of what Laura Barito has accomplished and grateful for everything that she has done for Stevens,” said Stevens director of athletics Russ Rogers (Branchburg, N.J.). I would like to thank the New Jersey Sportswriters for honoring Laura - we all very much appreciate Sunday’s luncheon.”
Rounding out Sunday’s NJSWA honorees were Kim Jones of the YES Network, Tom Luchento of the Standardbred Owners Association, Steve “The Schmoozer” Somers of WFAN, George King of the New York Post, Shaheen Halloway of Seton Hall Basketball, Dana Brown of Seton Hall and the Toronto Raptors, Rees Jones of the PGA, 2009 AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey and three members of the original 1962 New York Mets.
Barito is currently in graduate school at the University of Delaware, pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and bio-mechanics. Though she is only in her first year of research, Barito is working on projects that involve the knees, including knee replacements and knee implants. She is also in training for the U.S. Swimming nationals in December.
She appeared on Stevens Institute’s President’s List from 2007 to 2011 and was named a College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American from 2008 to 2011. CoSIDA/Capital One named Barito to the Academic All-America First Team and the Empire 8 named her a Senior Scholar winner. She was also a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.
Barito earned NCAA titles in swimming (50-yard freestyle) and track (400-meter hurdles), was an eight-time Empire 8 conference record holder in swimming was named Conference Athlete of the Week six times in the sport. She also earned Conference Athlete of the Week three times in track, was a four-time Empire 8 champion in track and was the hurdle/sprint team captain. Additionally, she competed in cross country and earned all-conference honors in that sport. She was a nutrition representative and service leader for both the track and swimming teams. Selected twice as Stevens Athlete of the Year, Barito was also named both Empire 8 Swimmer and Track Athlete of the Year during her career.