Warnke, VanDamme named UWS athletes of the yearAthletic award winners will be honored at the 2012 UWS Hall of Fame banquet on Sept. 29
The University of Wisconsin-Superior athletic department announced its 2011-12 departmental and team awards. Winners of the departmental awards were chosen by a vote of the Yellowjacket athletic staff, while coaches and team members voted for the individual team awards.
“The 2011-12 year was a successful one for us across the board, and that is all because of the hard work that our student-athletes and coaches put in,” athletics director Steve Nelson said. “From our academic performance to the job we did on the field, on the court, on the track and in the arena, everyone associated with our department can be proud of the job we did throughout the year.”
Men’s soccer defender Dan Warnke (Burnsville, Minn.) and softball outfielder Taylor VanDamme (Superior) were named the Yellowjacket Athletes of the Year, which recognize the male and female athletes who have displayed distinctive, unique or exceptional athletic accomplishments at UWS.
Women’s soccer standout Mandee Akason (Pine Island, Minn.) won the Lydia Thering Award, which recognizes a female student-athlete who has demonstrated the most dedication to her team.
Senior baseball pitcher Nick Bursik (Stillwater, Minn.) and women’s basketball senior Bri Davis (Hermantown, Minn.) were named the 2011-12 Scholar-Athlete Award winners, which honor a male and female student-athlete who have displayed distinctive, unique or exceptional scholastic accomplishment at UWS.
Men’s basketball senior Dustin Ritchie (Superior) and volleyball senior Sarah Gruber (Belgrade, Minn.) won the Yellowjacket Award, which recognizes a male and a female student-athlete who assisted the athletic department during his or her time as a Yellowjacket.
“I’m sincerely grateful to these people for all that they have done as Yellowjackets,” Nelson said. “They raised the bar with their performance athletically and in the classroom in 2011-12 and I look forward to seeing our group in 2012-13 continue the work that was started this year.”
Award winners will be honored at the 2012 UWS Hall of Fame banquet, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Barkers Island Inn in Superior.
In addition, the individual teams have also announced their award winners for 2011-12. The Yellowjacket baseball team will announce their award winners at their team banquet in September.
Men’s Cross Country
Runner of the Year: Andy Kast
Most Improved Runner — Male: Brandon Haling
Teammate of the Year — Male: Sam Paakkonen
Women’s Cross Country
Female Runner of the Year: Christina Micheletti
Most Improved Runner — Female: Samantha Anderson
Teammate of the Year — Female: Kristen Jasperson
Most Improved: Alex Young
Offensive MVP: Eric Nilsen
Defensive MVP: Dan Warnke
MVP: Mandee Akason
Rookies of the Year: Alexandra Paige, Katelyn Adams
Most Improved: McKenzie Krohn, Ana Morse
Golden Boot Award: Chelsea Cossin
MVP: Ben Aalfs
Most Improved Player: Brendan Bauer
Newcomer of the Year: Adam Hjelter
Defensive Player of the Year: Dustin Ritchie
Yellowjacket Award: Dustin Ritchie
Rookie of the Year: Keely Deadrick
Hustle Award: Farrah Wirtz
Leadership Award: Sarah Gruber
MVP: Connie Urmanski
Best Defensive Player: Sally Linzmeier
Most Improved Player: Mariah Marcol
MVP: Pat Dalbec
Rookie of the Year: Cody Hotchkin
Best Defensive Player: Pat Dalbec
Most Dedicated: Ben Waalkens
Co-MVP: Shanley Peters, Kaiti Graham
Most Dedicated: Ashlee Olson
Rookie of the Year: Dani Schultz
Men’s Track and Field
Track Athlete of the Year: Matt Reijo
Field Athlete of the Year: Nils Hansen
Teammate of the Year: Kevin Griepentrog
Women’s Track and Field
Track Athlete of the Year: Traelynn Lewis
Field Athlete of the Year: Katie Capriglione
Teammate of the Year: Christina Micheletti
MVP: Ashlee Olson
Offensive Player of the Year: Taylor VanDamme
Defensive Player of the Year: Chelsey Jarzin