BAY CITY, Mich. -- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) announces the recipients of the Winter 2012 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards. The awards, sponsored by Meijer, Incorporated, are presented after the Fall, Winter, and Spring athletic seasons to six female and six male student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play. All grade point averages are based on a 4.0 scale.
The six female student-athletes to receive the Winter 2012 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: Jena Stutzman of Ashland University, Shelby Janutol of Ferris State University; Kristen Hixson and Caitlyn Madsen of Grand Valley State University; Mandy Jaeb of Tiffin University, and Catherine Leix of Wayne State University.
The six male student-athletes to receive the Winter 2012 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: John Guagenti of the University of Findlay; Austin Biefnes and Guy Kogel of the University of Indianapolis; Mike Hojnacki of Michigan Technological University; and Fares Ksebati and Ian Larkin of Wayne State University.
“It is with great pride that I acknowledge the amazing accomplishments of our 12 award winners. These student-athletes will make outstanding contributions in their respective communities as well nationally in their areas of study.” stated GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. “I would like thank Meijer for their continued support that allows the GLIAC to honor our top student-athletes.”
The following are biographies of the Winter 2012 GLIAC Commissioner’s Awards recipients:
Senior basketball player Jenna Stutzman (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland) is a two-time, first team All-GLIAC performer. Stutzman helped lead AU to a 33-2 record and a berth in the NCAA Division II title game in 2011-12. She averaged 15.3 points per game and was 12th in the GLIAC in scoring. Stuzman was a strong outside shooter finishing the 2011-12 season ranked 12th in the country in three-point field goals per game (2.8). She established a school, single-season record for three-pointers (98) and leaves AU second in career three-pointers (142). Stutzman was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team, the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team and the NCAA Elite Eight All-Tournament Team. She had a career-high 32 points in the Division II championship game against Shaw University (N.C.). She averaged 15.6 ppg., in her two seasons at AU. Stutzman is a child and family studies major with a 3.61 cumulative GPA.
Shelby Janutol (Troy, Mich.), a junior distance runner, has excelled in the classroom and in athletic competition since arriving at Ferris State. Janutol is a three-time GLIAC All-Academic Team honoree in both track and cross country. She became the school’s first-ever NCAA Elite 89 Award recipient for holding the highest grade point average of all female competitors at the 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. At the 2012 NCAA meet, Janutol helped the women’s distance medley relay squad to a fourth-place overall performance in a school-record time of 11:36.37 and earned All-America honors. Janutol is a biology major and currently has a 4.00 GPA.
Grand Valley State sophomore pole vaulter Kristen Hixson (Remus, Mich./Chippewa Hills) won the D-II pole vault championship this past indoor season, clearing a height of 4.00 meters to help lead the Laker track and field team to their second consecutive team national championship. Hixson finished in the top 10 of every meet she participated in during the indoor season and placed second at the 2012 GLIAC Indoor Championship. She was a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honoree in 2012 and now has three top five national championship meet finishes in her career. Hixson finished second at the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship and fourth at the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Championship. She won the 2011 GLIAC Outdoor Championship and finished second at the 2011 GLIAC Indoor Championship. Hixson was named All-Region and All-Academic by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2011 and earned the honor of being both the indoor and outdoor GLIAC “Freshman Field Athlete of the Year” in 2011. Hixson carries a 3.93 GPA and is majoring in biology.
Grand Valley State junior Caitlyn Madsen (West Chicago, Ill.) earned six All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA DII Swimming and Diving Championships as the Lakers finished sixth in the team standings. Madsen finished 10th in the 200 yard breaststroke (2:02.18), 11th in the 100 yard butterfly (56.29) and 11th in the 200 yard butterfly (2:01.88). In addition, she swam on three relays that earned All-America honors. Madsen claimed seven All-GLIAC honors, including a GLIAC title in the 200 yard butterfly (2:01.45). Caitlyn, who is a 12-time All-American, was a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honoree and a member of the Dean’s List. Madsen has a 3.84 GPA in biomedical science.
Mandy Jaeb (Louisville, Ohio) earned her third consecutive First Team All-GLIAC honor and her third All-GLIAC Defensive team honor this season as she helped lead Tiffin’s women’s basketball team to a new school record with 21 wins. She led Tiffin in five offensive categories which included points per game, field goals, free throws, assists, and steals. Jaeb posted the first triple-double in school history against Findlay on December 15, 2011 with 11 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Jaeb set new career records during the season for most free throws made while finishing with 1,585 career points. She was named to the All-Academic Excellence Team for the third straight year earning a 3.69 GPA while majoring in management.
Senior Catherine Leix (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) repeated as GLIAC champion in the 500 yard and 1650 yard freestyles in 2012. She was also an integral part of the 800 yard freestyle relay which won both conference and national championships. A 16-time All-American in her career, Leix was a top-eight finisher in all three individual distance freestyle events at the NCAA Championships in March, contributing greatly to the overall Division II team title earned by the WSU women’s squad. The education major has been named to the WSU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) every semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.95. She is also a four-time GLIAC All-Academic honoree, a two-time Commissioner’s Award winner and the recipient of the Dean’s Award for the Wayne State College of Education.
Findlay senior John Guagenti (Bluffton, Ohio) has been selected for his second Commissioner’s Awards in as many years. Guagenti was a member of the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team during the winter sports season with a 3.84 GPA. A business management major, Guagenti was tabbed the 2011-12 Midwest Region “Athlete of the Year”, and the GLIAC Indoor Track and Field “Athlete of the Year” after winning both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. At the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championship, Guagenti earned All-American awards in the 400-meter and 4x400-meter relay.
Senior Austin Biefnes (Aurora, Colo./Grandview) is a three-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Award winner that won the consolation finals in the 200 yard backstroke and 400 yard individual medley at the 2012 GLIAC Swimming and Diving Championships to help the Greyhounds finish third. He was also 10th in the 200 yard IM at GLIACs after he won the 400 yard IM and 1,000 yard freestyle in a dual meet at Ashland. Biefnes finishes his career fourth all-time on the UIndy list in the 200 yard back stroke, 200 yard IM and 400 yard IM. Biefnes has a 3.99 GPA majoring in chemistry with an emphasis on pre-med.
Senior Guy Kogel (Nahalal, Israel) is a two-time UIndy swimming “MVP” after earning first team All-American honors at the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships by taking seventh in the 200 yard butterfly, 200 yard medley relay and 400 yard medley relay. He was also an honorable mention All-American by winning the consolation final in the 100 yard fly and 12th in the 400 yard free relay to lead the Greyhounds to 12th in the country. Kogel was runner-up in the 100 yard fly, 200 yard fly and 200 yard medley relay at the GLIAC Championships to help UIndy take third. Over the course of the season, Kogel won 14 events and finished his career as the school record holder in the 200 yard fly and 200 yard and 400 yard medley relays. Kogel is currently working on his master’s in business administration at UIndy after graduating with a degree in computer science with a 3.73 GPA.
Mike Hojnacki (Milwaukee, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) finished his career with 1,288 points, 15th most in Michigan Tech history. He earned Academic All-District IV Honors twice and All-GLIAC North Division Second Team accolades. Hojnacki was named the team’s top newcomer his freshman season and the team’s most valuable player as a sophomore. He earned GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honors three times and graduated with a 3.69 GPA in mechanical engineering.
Junior Fares Ksebati (Grosse Point Farms, Mich./Grosse Pointe South), a Dean’s Award winner for the Wayne State School of Business Administration, is a two-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honoree. He finished 11th in the 1650 yard freestyle, 12th in the 100 yard breaststroke and 16th in the 200 breaststroke, contributing to Wayne State’s successful defense of the GLIAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship.
Ian Larkin (Detroit, Mich./Renaissance), a junior at Wayne State, was a Second Team All-GLIAC selection as well as a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team member for the 2011-12 academic year. He led the conference in three-point field goal percentage (57.1 on 28-of-49), was fourth in both field goal percentage (57.9 on 99-of-171) and blocked shots (1.6 per game), tied-for-eighth in offensive rebounds (2.1 per game), was 14th in scoring (13.4 ppg), and 20th in rebounding (5.4 rpg), while starting all 27 games. Larkin also set a career-high with 43 blocked shots. He scored in double figures 19 times and will enter his senior year with 651 career points. A business/management major, he has been on the academic honor roll every semester including cumulative GPA of 3.68.