Northern Michigan Unveils 2016-17 Major Award Winners

Northern Michigan Unveils 2016-17 Major Award Winners

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan announced its major award winners for the 2016-17 season Wednesday.

Lajos Budai and Rachel Helm were named the Athletes of the Year while Jenny Ryan was tabbed as the Coach of the Year.

Adam Martin and Bre Gaspervich captured Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior accolades. Ryan Borges rounded out the Athletic Director Award honorees, receiving the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Each Wildcat team also unveiled its awards, which included MVP, newcomer, most improved, scholar-athlete and community service laurels.

Budai was a three-time All-American, placing third in the 100-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and seventh in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. At the GLIAC championship meet, the freshman won the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles and the 100-yard backstroke while also anchoring the gold-medalist 800 freestyle relay. For his efforts, he was named the GLIAC Swimmer and Freshman of the Year.

Helm became the first Northern Michigan swimmer since 1999 to be crowned a national champion by clocking in at a school-record 53.79 in the 100-yard backstroke at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. She also earned All-American honors in the 200-yard backstroke, placing third. The GLIAC Freshman of the Year, she won the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle and 200 IM at the conference championship meet.

Ryan guided the cross country team to its second-straight NCAA Championship appearance and coached Kameron Burmeister to Northern Michigan's first All-American finish since 2005. The Wildcats also took second at the GLIAC Cross Country Championship, their highest finish since 2005. Ryan's track & field team placed fifth at both the GLIAC Indoor Championship and GLIAC Outdoor Championship, its best finishes since 2011 and 2012 respectively. Five cross country runners were named to the all-GLIAC team while six track & field athletes and one relay team combined to capture nine medals at the two conference championship meets. Six track & field athletes went on to compete at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with three earning All-American awards for their efforts.

Borges was named the Marquette area's Special Olympics Coach of the Year after helping start its first powerlifting team. He trained and coached the athletes at events across Michigan, including at the past two Michigan Special Olympics Games. Through his involvement in the Olympic Training Site at Northern Michigan, Borges volunteered at Pump Up The Dome, Marquette's Spring Clean Up, Make a Difference Day and the U.P. Sports Training Camp at Bay Cliff Health Camp, run by Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service and Special Olympics Michigan Area 36.

Martin leaves Marquette as one of the most decorated Wildcats in school history. At the NCAA Skiing Championships, he raced to All-American finishes in the 2016 10K freestyle and 20K classic and 2017 10K classic and 20K freestyle. As a senior, he took fifth in the skiathlon and the 50K freestyle at the U.S. Distance Championships and represented the U.S. at the World U-23 Ski Championships for the second-straight year. He also received the NCAA Skiing Elite 90 award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA competing at the finals site for each NCAA championship. During his junior campaign, he placed on the 15K classic podium at the U.S. Skiing Championships and finished in the top 10 in three events at the U.S. Long Distance Championships.

Gaspervich concluded her career with 1,028 points, good for 25th in the history of the Northern Michigan women's basketball program. She also recorded 366 rebounds, 189 assists and 164 steals while starting 70 of the 113 games she appeared in. She averaged more than 10 points per game as a junior (12.0) and senior (11.9) and was the team leader in steals per game three of her four seasons as a Wildcat. She was also named Northern Michigan's 2016 Female Athlete of the Year and earned spots on the 2016 and 2017 all-GLIAC second and defensive teams.

The track & field team wrapped up the 2016-17 athletics calendar on May 25-27 by competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Male Athlete of the Year: Lajos Budai
Female Athlete of the Year: Rachel Helm
Coach of the Year: Jenny Ryan
Humanitarian of the Year: Ryan Borges
Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior: Adam Martin
Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior: Bre Gaspervich

Cross Country
MVP: Kameron Burmeister
Newcomer: Alexis Smith
Most Improved: Abby Fifarek
Scholar-Athlete: Maddy Walters
Community Service: Shayla Huebner

MVP - Offense: Jake Mayon
MVP - Defense: Darryl Williams
Newcomer - Offense: Walter Jackson
Newcomer - Defense: Kainon Clark
Most Improved - Offense: Paris Woods
Most Improved - Defense: James Brown
Scholar-Athlete: Josh Alanskas
Community Service: Aaron Rochow

MVP: Dominik Shine
Newcomer: Darien Craighead
Most Improved: Troy Loggins
Scholar-Athlete: Zach Diamantoni
Community Service: Philip Beaulieu

MVP: Shelby Klotz
Newcomer: Graison Ringlever
Most Improved: Cassandra Marshall
Scholar-Athlete: Megan Palacio
Community Service: Angelica Bogden

MVP: Bridget Bussell
Newcomer: Rachel Braunschweig
Most Improved: Megan Crane
Scholar-Athlete: Rachel Braunschweig
Community Service: Jami Hogeboom

Track & Field
MVP: Samanthia Johnson
Newcomer: Sydney McPeters
Most Improved: Kieren Becker
Scholar-Athlete: Shayla Huebner
Community Service: Kieren Becker

Men's Basketball
MVP: Naba Echols
Newcomer: Sam Taylor
Most Improved: Isaiah Johnson
Scholar-Athlete: Brett Branstrom
Community Service: Brett Branstrom

Women's Basketball
MVP: Bre Gaspervich
Newcomer: Erin Honkala
Most Improved: Sydney Dillinger
Scholar-Athlete: Sydney Dillinger
Community Service: Chloe Tompkins

Men's Golf
MVP: Austin Elsner
Newcomer: Chris Black
Most Improved: Dustin Dishaw
Scholar-Athlete: Martin Eliasson
Community Service: Hunter Mires

Women's Golf
MVP: Haley Hewer
Newcomer: Caro Els
Most Improved: Alyce Krumm
Scholar-Athlete: Avery Rochester
Community Service: Alyce Krumm

Men's Nordic Skiing
MVP: Adam Martin
Newcomer: Zak Ketterson
Most Improved: Krystof Kopal
Scholar-Athlete: Adam Martin
Community Service: Ian Torchia

Women's Nordic Skiing
MVP: Vivian Hett
Newcomer: Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes
Most Improved: Nicole Schneider
Scholar-Athlete: Sarah Bezdicek
Community Service: Kristen Bourne

Men's Soccer
MVP: Kevin Hoof
Newcomer: Sveinn Karlsson
Most Improved: Inaugural Season Team
Scholar-Athlete: Ben Hoffman
Community Service: Carson Burmeister

Women's Soccer
MVP: Allyssa Milam
Newcomer: Ashleigh Hansen
Most Improved: Anna Worman
Scholar-Athlete: Madison Hamilla
Community Service: Abigail Cook

Women's Swimming & Diving
MVP: Rachel Helm
Newcomer: Isabelle Tavares
Most Improved: Sara Foucault
Scholar-Athlete: Jamie Kimble
Community Service: Jamie Kimble

Men's Swimming & Diving
MVP: Lajos Budai
Newcomer: Jonas Reinhold
Most Improved: David Miranda
Scholar-Athlete: Nathan Rotundo
Community Service: Baris Kancoglu

MVP: Taylor Turner
Newcomer: Kenny Wilkins
Most Improved: Jonas Hagen
Scholar-Athlete: Thomas Felstead
Community Service: Ryan Borges

MVP: Alejandro Sancho
Newcomer: Jordan Auen
Most Improved: Jesse Porter
Scholar-Athlete: Brandon Marshall
Community Service: Austin Morrow