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Blugolds host sixth annual student-athlete banquet

Photo by Kendall McGinnis, UWEC Photo
Photo by Kendall McGinnis, UWEC Photo

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire held their sixth annual athletics banquet this week, presented by Northwestern Mutual, Festival Foods and Sodexo.

Photos | Play of the Year nominees | Student-Athlete video

The student-athletes were recognized for their outstanding achievements, both on the playing field and in the classroom over the last academic year. The department also handed out its major awards while all members of the Class of 2019 received a special award in appreciation of their service to the department.

The Super Six Award winners were honored for the 2017-18 season. The Super Six recognizes and honors outstanding student-athletes who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in their sport, in the classroom and in campus and community organizations. These individuals epitomize the ideals of intercollegiate athletics as an educational experience at UW-Eau Claire.

Earning Super Six honors for the 2017-18 season were Darin Lau (Cross Country/Track and Field), Logan Coert (Swimming and Diving), Tori Erickson (Gymnastics), Callie Fischer (Cross Country/Track and Field), David Kornack (Track and Field) and Erica Oawster (Track and Field).

Lau earned All-American honors for the fourth time in his career, becoming the first 4-time All-American in program history and only the 15th in NCAA DIII history. He was also the recipient of the 2017 NCAA DIII Cross Country Athlete of the Year and he remains the school record holder in the 8K Cross Country with a time of 23:22. On the track, Lau is an 8-time Track All-American. In 2017, he was the WIAC Indoor 3K Conference Champion, as well as an All-American 3rd place finish in the NCAA DIII Indoor 5K. Lau also excelled in the classroom, earning 2017 WIAC Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year, as well as the WI Academic Excellence Award scholarship.

Coert was an important leader on the Men's Swim and Dive team throughout his career, as a two-time Team Captain. He was also a record-breaker, breaking school records in the 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley, records that stood for nearly 25 years. He was a WIAC Conference Champion in 400 medley relay, while being a NCAA two-time qualifier in the 200 and 400 free relays, as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays.

Erickson also smashed a number of school records in her time on the Blugold Gymnastics team. She owns all four top scores in the all-around, as well as the school record holder on vault. Erickson was also very involved on campus, as a Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) member and Athletes in Action Student Leader from 2016-2018.

Fischer excelled in cross country and on the track, earning multiple awards and scholarships in both sports. She was team captain in 2016 and 2017, aiding in a WIAC Team Title and 2nd place NCAA finish during the 2017 season. In the classroom, she managed a 3.98 GPA while double-majoring in Biochem/Molecular Biology and Spanish.

Kornack has earned three All-American honors, in 2018 for Indoor and Outdoor Shot Put and in 2017 for Outdoor Discus. He earned NCAA runner-up recognition for the Indoor and Outdoor Shot Put in 2018. Kornack has also made an important impact in the community, volunteering through Special Olympics and the Lions Club in Edgar, WI.

Oawster is another Blugold who earned national recognition as a two-time All-American in the 2018 Indoor Shot Put and 2018 Outdoor Discus. She set school records and was WIAC Champion in both of those events as well. Oawster is also a three-time Dean's List member and recipient of the All-Academic Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Below are the finalists for the department's senior and special awards with the winner listed in bold.

Top Senior Scholar Athletes

Presented to the student-athletes with the top GPAs in the senior class

Lauralynn Anderson, Gymnastics – 4.0

Johnny Mueller III, Men's Hockey – 3.96


Top Male Senior Athlete

Presented to the top male student-athlete who had the most outstanding accomplishments of the academic year.

David Kornack, Track and Field

Caleb Odmark, Swimming and Diving


Top Female Senior Athlete

Presented to the top female student-athlete who had the most outstanding accomplishments of the academic year.

Kiya Bjorge, Gymnastics

Allison Chomniak, Women's Golf

Maddie Dunathan, Women's Basketball

Erica Oawster, Track and Field                                                                                   

Mady Pashibin, Volleyball

Sam Senczyszyn, Swimming and Diving

Molly Stewart, Women's Tennis

Courtney Wittig, Women's Hockey


Blugold Award

Presented to the student-athlete who best represents what it means to be a Blugold- showing passion and pride for their sport and university.

Nick Bauer, Men's Golf

Jessica Coyne, Volleyball

Brittany Farr, Swimming and Diving

Zach Janssen, Men's Tennis                                                                                                                                                        

Kelly Knetter, Women's Hockey

Brian Kulaga, Football

Amelia Moorehouse, Gymnastics                                                                                             

The Senior Class, Softball

Wilyam Wright, Men's Basketball

Hanna Zevenbergen, Women's Tennis

Monica Zoellner, Soccer


Comeback Player of the Year

Presented to the student-athlete who has come back from an injury or illness to make a positive impact on his or her team.

Jessica Coyne, Volleyball

Lindsey Henderson, Women's Tennis

Sammy Lefaive, Soccer

Kyler Lueck, Men's Track and Field

Trevor Nelson, Football

Sam Senczyszyn, Women's Swimming and Diving


Team Community Service Award

Men's Basketball

Women's Basketball





Play of the YearView Nominees


Women's Hockey

Women's Soccer


Men's Swimming & Diving

Men's Track & Field