BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognized some of its best and brightest winter-sport student-athletes on Tuesday with the announcement of the basketball, hockey, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field Elite 22 Awards.
Saint John's David Stokman and St. Thomas' Ashley Juza were the recipients of the men's and women's basketball Elite 22 awards, with Augsburg's Jacob Larson and Hamline's Madison Kolbow earning hockey honors. The swimming and diving Elite 22 awards went to Gustavus' Haley Pesik and St. Olaf's John Loepfe, while Carleton's Tris Dodge and St. Thomas' Mariah Terhaar were honored in indoor track and field.
The MIAC Elite 22 Award recognizes the true essence of the term "student-athlete" by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the Conference championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 Award, the MIAC Elite 22 Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average (GPA) in each sport who meets similarly high, sport-specific athletic requirements.
In all sports with MIAC team postseason tournaments, including basketball and hockey, the MIAC Elite 22 Award is presented to the individual with the highest GPA on the active roster at the MIAC Playoff championship contest. In swimming and diving and indoor track and field, the winner is the individual with the highest GPA who was named All-Conference. The recipient must be a sophomore, junior or senior and in at least his or her second season of competition with their current team.
Dodge (Sr. | Oakland, Calif. | College Prep) completed his final MIAC indoor track and field meet in February with a second-place finish in the 5,000-meter run and a sixth-place result in the 3,000-meter run. A Biology major at Carleton, Dodge has maintained a 3.95 GPA during his time as a Knight.
Juza (So. | Hudson, Wis.) saw action in nine games for the MIAC champion Tommies this season. The 5-foot-11 forward averaged 2.9 minutes per contest in her second season at St. Thomas. She has a 3.97 GPA while majoring in Actuarial Science.
Kolbow (So. | Forest Lake, Minn.) saw action in 27 games for the NCAA Tournament-bound Pipers this season, scoring 10 goals and assisting on seven more. The Biochemistry major has a 3.95 GPA at Hamline.
Larson (Sr. | St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville) played in 27 games for the MIAC champion Auggies, scoring a career-high eight goals with two assists during his time on the ice. A 4.0 student at Augsburg, Larson is majoring in Finance.
Loepfe (Jr. | La Crescent, Minn.) added MIAC Swimmer of the Year to his resume in February after picking up his third consecutive conference championship in the 100-yard butterfly in addition to a victory in the 100-yard backstroke and a third-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly at the 2019 MIAC Championships. Loepfe has a 3.92 GPA while majoring in Exercise Science at St. Olaf.
Pesik (Sr. | Eagan, Minn.) earned a trio of All-Conference honors at the 2019 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, thanks to third-place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and 400-yard freestyle relay, in addition to a runner-up performance as part of the Gusties' 200-yard freestyle relay team. Pesik has maintained a 3.96 GPA while pursuing degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics at Gustavus.
Stokman (Sr. | Maple Lake, Minn.) ended his playing career at Saint John's last Friday as the program's all-time leader in three-pointers (266), while ranking fourth in points (1,492) and fifth in assists (321). The senior guard has a perfect 4.0 GPA while working towards degrees in Economics and Philosophy.
Terhaar (Jr. | Stewartville, Minn.) was the MIAC runner-up in the pole vault competition at the 2019 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, cleared a height of 3.47 meters. The junior Biology major has maintained a 3.97 GPA at St. Thomas.
A physical award will be provided to the winners to commemorate their MIAC Elite 22 Award. The Conference also recognizes the honorees on the MIAC Elite 22 Award website, which will archive each of the 22 winners throughout the 2018-19 season.