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Spring Break? Not for Students Headed to BattleFrog

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    By Mike Piacentino
    Special to UM News 

    BF_Alison Scudds

    Team member Alison Scudds, a senior studying biomedical engineering, is president of the ’Canes Crossfit Club

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 4, 2015) – UM students are serious about fitness. So serious, that four students will forego the stereotypical college Spring Break to compete in the first three-day BattleFrog Collegiate Championship, beginning March 12 in Orlando.

    UM’s team, supported by the Department of Wellness and Recreation, is comprised of two females and two males who represent the “best of the best” of UM students who compete in obstacle course races. They are:

    • Steven De Nicola, a senior studying marketing, who is the designated team manager and a member of the University’s triathlon club, TriCane;
    • Adam O’Reilly, a senior studying economics and military and ecosystem sciences, who is a member of  UM’s Army ROTC program and has competed in obstacle course racing for five years;
    • Alison Scudds, a senior studying biomedical engineering who is president of the ’Canes Crossfit Club and a personal trainer at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center;
    • Leah Vertullo, a graduate of The Ohio State University, who is a first-year doctoral student in physical therapy. She is a member of the ’Canes Crossfit Club.

    “The whole team is excited and ready to go,” said De Nicola. “I have been friends with Alison and Adam since my first year on campus and have seen them compete in several events. Leah is one of Alison’s workout partners and seemed like a natural fit to the team.”

    Although the field of competitors hasn’t been finalized, other top institutions are expected to compete. The first “Preliminary” round is slated to pit each school against one of its traditional rivals.

    Following this seeding round, the competition will continue in a traditional 16-team, single-elimination bracket. Beyond bragging rights for a year, each member of the winning team receives a $2,000 scholarship. Additionally, each participating institution receives a $1,000 donation.

    “I’m really impressed with UM’s team,” said Scott Levin, executive director of the Department of Wellness and Recreation at the University of Miami. “It’s almost a cross-section of the UM student population. We have students of diverse backgrounds, with diverse interests and campus involvements coming together to represent the University of Miami on the national stage.”

    Video coverage of the event is set to appear on ESPN2 in May/June and will be repeated several times on EPSNU and other ESPN networks. Visit for more information on UM’s BattleFrog team and participation in the event.


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