Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA Student-Athlete Is Runner of the Year

In class at the CIA, students learn how to run a restaurant or other food business. Outside of class, sophomore Alyssa Byndas (Milford, MI) knows how to run, period. Byndas, who runs cross country for the CIA, has been voted the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) Runner of the Year for the just-completed season.

Byndas had two second-place finishes during the regular season and another in the conference championship race. She was second best among 109 finishers at the six-kilometer SUNY Purchase Invite with a time of 24:16 and she completed the 5k course at the St. Joseph’s Invitational in 20:00 to finish second in a field of 167. Her third runner-up finish was in the pouring rain at the championships in Milton, NY, where she helped lead the CIA Steels to a fourth-place team finish among the eight teams competing.

The HVIAC also named its All-Conference and All-Academic teams for the fall sports seasons. CIA athletes earning All-Conference honors were sophomore Jose Gordillo (Los Angeles, CA) in men’s cross country, freshman Grant Vella (Troy, MI) in soccer, and sophomore Sarah Levine (Allegany, NY) in women’s volleyball.

To earn a spot on the All-Academic team, a student must reach sophomore year in their studies and maintain at least a 3.3 grade point average. Eight CIA student-athletes achieved that honor:

  • Marcela Andonie (senior, San Pedro, Honduras), volleyball
  • Kristin Brangwynne (junior, Mansfield, MA), cross country
  • Lauren Brugnatelli (junior, Brewster, NY), volleyball
  • Margaret DeMarco (sophomore, Virginia Beach, VA), volleyball
  • Jacquelyn Gasta (junior, Bay City, MI), volleyball
  • Craig Osborne (sophomore, Waukee, IA), soccer
  • Aly Stano (sophomore, Wadsworth, OH), cross country
  • Olivia Weidner (junior, Essexville, MI), cross country

The CIA’s sports teams are named for the tool chefs use to sharpen knives. The Steels compete in the HVIAC in cross country, soccer, and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and tennis in the spring.


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