On Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m., the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the second annual BLU Crew awards. The awards banquet is a gathering of all the student athletes on campus to celebrate their accomplishments throughout the year. Athletes nominate their peers for 13 awards and the winners are announced live.
“BLU Crew awards is about recognizing the achievements of all Lawrence athletes throughout the year and it is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate each other. The athletic department does a good job of recognizing success all across the board” said junior Anna Vogel, one of the hosts for the event. “I’m super excited for the event and SAAC has been working really hard to make sure that it runs smoothly and is fun for everyone. [Junior] Mikkel [Joehnk] and I have been having a lot of fun preparing,” added Vogel. Joehnk was Vogel’s co-host for the event.
In the category Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, sophomore Taylor Reifert of the men’s soccer team, junior Ben Peterson of the men’s basketball team, junior Kori Looker of the softball team and junior Hannah Kinzer of the women’s cross country and track and field teams were nominated. This award honors an athlete who made strong improvements from the year before and became an important contributor for their team. Nominated for Best Lawrence Win were the women’s basketball team for their win against Marian, the hockey team for their win over Augsburg, sophomore cross country and track and field athlete Josh Janusiak for his win at the Midwest Conference Championships, softball for their win against Benedictine (Ill.) and senior tennis player Alicia Lex for her win against Monmouth.
In the category of Most Outstanding Play, junior Lauren Deveikis’ game-winning three-pointer against Marian, women’s swimming 200-yard freestyle relay team at the Midwest Conference Championships made up of senior Paige Witter, senior Danielle Milan, junior Eryn Blagg and freshman Bridget Duero, senior hockey player Brad Muller’s game-winning goal in overtime versus Northland, freshman football player Terrell Myers’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Illinois College, sophomore baseball player Nolan Spencer’s steal of home versus Clarkson and Janusiak’s record-setting 10,000-meter run at the Hillsdale Gina Relays were nominated. Nominated for Biggest Upset were the men’s hockey team for their win over No. 6 Augsburg, the women’s swim team for placing second at the Midwest Conference Championships, the men’s swim team for placing fourth at the Midwest Conference Championships, freshman cross country runner Joe Kortenhof for placing fifth among all freshman at the NCAA Midwest Cross Country Regional, softball for their win over Benedictine (Ill.) and freshman track and field athlete Mikaela Hintz for her fifth place finish in the 400-meter dash at the Midwest Conference Outdoor Championships.
For Best Individual Performance, the women’s swimming record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay, Reifert for his performance in the game against Edgewood, senior basketball player Peter Winslow for his games versus Illinois College and Cornell College, Peterson for his game against Knox College, Janusiak for his win at the Midwest Conference Cross Country Championships, Janusiak for his record-setting 10,000-meter run at the Hillsdale Gina Relays and freshman track and field athlete Noah Shea for his triple jump and Newcomer of the Year wins at the Midwest Conference Indoor Championships were nominated. Nominated for Rookies of the Year, both men and women, were Shea, Myers, freshman hockey player Evan Cline, Hintz, freshman softball player Amanda Karnatz and freshman swimmer Elsie Riggle.
In the category of Coach of the Year, tennis coach Steve Francour, swim coach Drew Fleek and men’s soccer coach Will Greer were nominated. For Male Athlete of the Year, Reifert, junior football player Jake Gostisha, junior baseball player Matthew Holiday, senior tennis player David Jumes and Janusiak were nominated. On the women’s side Kinzer, sophomore volleyball player Arianna Neumeyer, Karnatz and junior soccer player Ryan Berkley were nominated for Female Athlete of the Year.
For the Defensive Award, Gostisha, junior volleyball player Cyra Bammer, Spencer, senior women’s soccer player Casey Merkle and Cline were nominated. Nominated for the Viking Award were Blagg, junior women’s basketball player Natalie Kramer, senior football player and track and field athlete Jackson Straughan and junior volleyball player Colleen Nowlan. This award honors some who truly embodies what it means to be a Viking. Finally, for the Iorn Vike award, Neumeyer, sophomore softball player Maddie MacLean, junior men’s soccer player Lewis Berger and junior hockey player Jake Roper were nominated. The Iorn Vike award honors those who put in extra effort in the weight room and is chosen by athletic performance coach Tyler Ayers.
The Lawrence student athletes do not often have the opportunity to come together because of their busy schedules of class, homework and practice. The BLU Crew awards is a fun event where they come together to celebrate everything that was accomplished in the last year.