Top athletes honored at UWS awards banquet

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Anton Svensson and Svenja Ruehl received the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Mertz Mortorelli Male and Lydia Thering Female Athletes of the Year awards, respectively, at the Yellowjackets Athletic Honors Banquet May 2 at Wessman Arena.

Cross country and track and field athlete Isaac Staat, and women’s basketball guard Hailey Kontny were honored as UWS Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year, and track and field athlete Alissa Boyhtari received the Yellowjacket Community Service Award.

In addition, the department honored each program’s all-conference, all-region, and all-America selections as well as the teams who took home conference championships over the past calendar year, including regular-season championships for men’s outdoor (2016) and indoor (2017) track and field; women’s basketball (2017) and men’s cross country (2017); and tournament titles for women’s basketball (2017) and softball (2016).

Lydia Thering Female Athlete of the Year

Ruehl, a junior from Kirchuers, Germany, has been a standout for the women’s track and field team since her arrival on campus. During last year’s outdoor track season, she won conference titles in the long and triple jumps.

During the 2016-17 spring season she claimed UMAC Field Athlete of the Meet honors after repeating as the conference champion in the long and triple jumps while adding top UMAC honors in the 60-meter dash.

She was an all-region performer and qualified for the NCAA national meet in the triple jump.

Mertz Mortorelli Male Athlete of the Year

Svensson, a senior from Sodertalje, Sweden, is a two-sport standout at UWS.

On the golf course, he consistently scored at the top of the leaderboard for the Yellowjackets, including a seventh-place finish in the UMAC Championships to earn All-UMAC honors.

On the ice, Svensson was the captain on the men’s hockey team while leading the team in both goals and points last season.

He singlehandedly willed the Yellowjackets to a win in this year’s playoffs thanks to a hat trick, and for his efforts earned All-WIAC honors for the second year in a row.

Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year

Majoring in physical education Kontny, a junior from Superior, has won numerous awards for her exploits on the basketball court, and this year added honors for her work in the classroom.

While earning her second consecutive UMAC Player of the Year award in 2016-17, Kontny also took home a Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District selection and academic all-conference honors.

She’s a member of the dean’s list and thus far in her UWS career Hailey has earned a grade point average of 3.946.

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year

Staat transferred to UWS from the Minnesota Duluth in 2015 and has been a member of the UWS men’s cross country and track and field teams. Last year Staat was named to the UMAC All-Academic Team and will undoubtedly find himself honored again in 2017 as a business major carrying a pristine 4.0 grade point average.

Yellowjacket Community Service Award

In addition to being a full-time student and a member of the UWS cross country and track and field teams, Boyhtari, a senior from Duluth Denfeld and an exercise science major, spends her time involved in numerous campus organizations, including the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Athletes in Action, where she served as president.

She has participated in the Northern Lights Elementary School reading program, volunteers with other team members each year at the Bong Center Heritage event and Grandma’s Marathon, and she can always be found helping out at kids’ races around the Northland, .

She also earned All-UMAC honors this past cross country season and carries one of the highest grade point averages in the department.