College Sporting News is proud to announce the finalists for the fourth annual Senior Student-Athlete Awards for senior student-athletes who compete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A Selection Committee, comprised of former MIAC student-athletes, administrators and coaches will make the final honoree determination, to be announced next week.
The "CSN SSAA" is awarded to one male and one female senior student-athlete who personify what the MIAC and Division III represents: academic excellence, outstanding athletic performance, and a commitment to community service.
Criteria for the awards are as follows:
The nominees must have completed (or will complete) either their final year of athletic eligibility or have graduated during the current school year • Participation in MIAC-recognized and NCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate athletics • A grade point average greater than 3.00 (on the 4.00 scale) • Community service and involvement, on campus and/or beyond
Below are the finalists for 2008-2009, chosen from nominees submitted by MIAC member schools. The information for the finalists includes their name, school, hometown, major field of study, grade point average, sport and description of their athletic and community service accomplishments. The additional nominees are also listed.
Jordan Berg, Augsburg College (Gaylord, MN) – Physics (3.77 GPA), Football
Finished as Augsburg’s school record-holder in every passing category, both career and single-season, in just three seasons. He finished his career with 8,777 passing yards (292.6 ypg), 796-of-1,350 passing, 74 TDs. Led team to back-to-back 5-5 seasons in 2007 and 2008, the team’s best records since 2003. Was a finalist for the Gagliardi Award. Two-time All-MIAC honoree and was named to the All-West Region team in 2008. Winner of Augsburg’s Men’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year award. Academic All-MIAC in 2007 and 2008 and was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first team in 2008. His community service includes volunteer work at local food shelves, taking part in a mission trip, and working with Boys and Girls Club. He also participated in Adopt-A-Highway program and park cleanup. Berg designed a new logo for the Auggie football team and SAAC, and painted a mural for the football locker room.
Joe Daly, Saint John’s University (Owatonna, MN) – Accounting (3.76 GPA), Golf
A member of the two-time defending national championship golf team, Daly was a Third Team All-American in 2008, as well as an All-District selection by GCAA. He was medalist at the MIAC Meet his freshman year, winning MIAC Freshman of the Year honors, and was fifth this fall. Daly has been named Academic All-MIAC and was named an All-American Scholar in 2008. He is a Regent Scholar, SJU’s top academic scholarship. His community service includes being part of the group that founded SJU’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, volunteering with the Red Cross, being involved in the Student Senate and serving as the group’s President two years.
Tony Thrasher, Hamline University (Hustisford, WI) – Mathematics and Environmental Studies in Biology (3.90 GPA), Basketball
Thrasher was named to the All-MIAC team this winter, after being named All-MIAC Honorable Mention each of the previous three seasons. He ranks seventh among Hamline’s all-time scoring leaders, sixth in steals, and ninth in rebounding. He was a finalist for the Josten’s Trophy. On the Dean’s List every semester he has been at Hamline, Thrasher won the Eliza A. Drew Prize in 2007 (outstanding student in Environmental Studies) and is a recipient of the Carl Rudyard Mathematics Scholarship. He has mentored at the Horace Mann and Hancock Elementary schools, participated in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and has been involved in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee’s Tons For Teens drive.
Rachael Click, Gustavus Adolphus College (Rochester, MN) – Elementary Education (3.91 GPA), softball
Click is a three-time All-MIAC honoree, as well as a two-time All-Region selection, and was named All-American Honorable Mention in 2007 and 2008. Click was the MIAC Rookie of the Year her freshman season. She finished second in Division III in hitting with a .560 batting average 2008. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester at Gustavus and was a recipient of the school’s Service/Leadership scholarship each year. She was named MIAC Academic All-Conference three times and CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District First Team three times. Click was a CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America First Team selection as a junior and a Third Team her sophomore year. She was named a NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete each year. She has been the Big Partner/Little Partner and Study Buddies programs as well as the Relay for Life Cancer Walk.
Katie McCaffrey, University of St. Thomas (Fort Collins, CO) - Mathematics (3.86 GPA), Volleyball
McCaffrey was MIAC Player of the Year in 2008 and a two-time All-MIAC honoree. She was named to the All-American Team by AVCA in 2007 and 2008. She was named a First Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA/ESPN and is a recipient of an NCAA post-graduate scholarship. Her community service includes involvement in Kickin’ for a Cure, Dig for a Cure, Feed My Starving Children, and the Silver Wings Service Organization.
Katie Theisen, University of St. Thomas (Elko, MN) – Biology (4.00 GPA), Cross country and track
Theisen is a three-time All-American in cross country and a two-time All-American in track. She is an All-MIAC performer in track and cross country each year, and has helped St. Thomas to 10 (of a possible 11) team championships in her sports. She was named a First Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA/ESPN and is a recipient of an NCAA post-graduate scholarship. She has been involved in fundraising efforts for Huntington’s disease and Autism. Theisen was active in development of the Tommie Olympics and in organizing the first UST Athletic Banquet. She volunteers in the Campus Ministry and is president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
Kent Bostrom, Bethel University
Tim Madson, Bethel University
Martin Mudry, Macalester College
Jeff Schnobrich, Saint John’s University
B.J. Viau, University of St. Thomas
Nelson Westby, St. Olaf College
Ashley Davenport, College of St. Benedict
Annie Flanagan, Macalester College
Liz Gunderson, Hamline University
Jessica Heinen, Hamline University,
Tiffany Magnuson, Augsburg College
Kelly Matzen, College of St. Benedict
Annegret Nautsch, Bethel University
Cassie Otte, Saint Mary’s University
Theresa Perrini, Saint Mary’s University
Beth Spurrier, Bethel University
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College Sporting News is a sports technology and publishing company founded in the year 2000. The CollegeSportingNews.com website began creating original sports content focusing on the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2002 and has since published over 700 articles about the conference and its member schools. A highlight of the MIAC coverage continues to be the "Profiles of Excellence" series featuring some of the young men and women who represent the Conference's commitment to excellence both in the classroom and in athletics.