BAY CITY, Mich. – The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) announces the recipients of the Spring 2014 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 Spring 2014 Meijer Commissioner’s Award are: Anna Rudd of Ferris State, Miranda Cleary of Grand Valley State University, Ashriel West of Lake Erie, Taylor Thomas of Ohio Dominican, Madison Pines of Northwood, and Stephanie Foster of Walsh.
The six male student-athletes to receive the Spring 2014 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: Ethan Barnes, Tendo Lukwago, and Jeremy Wilk, all from Grand Valley State University, Logan Gray from Malone, Jean Menard from Northwood, and Lucas Johnson from Ferris State.
“It is with great pleasure that I offer congratulations on behalf of the GLIAC to our 12 award winners,” stated GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. “The accomplishments of the 12 student-athletes are a shining example of the future leaders and individuals who serve as change agents on our campuses. 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 Spring 2014 GLIAC Commissioner’s Award recipients:
This is the second time Ferris State senior track and field and cross country runner Anna Rudd (Leslie, Mich.) has earned this award. She is a NCAA Division II Women’s outdoor track All-American in the 10,000 meters (placed fifth). She also competed at the outdoor national championships this year in the 5,000 meters (10th). Rudd broke the facility record and topped national-qualifying mark by winning the 3,000 meters at the GLIAC Indoor Track Championships this season, and was honored with GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team during indoor & outdoor seasons. The senior received 2014 Capital One Academic All-District First Team honors and also earned NCAA Division II Women’s Indoor & Outdoor Track All-America accolades. She was named to USTFCCCA All-Region & All-America teams for second-straight year. She is the second-ever women’s track and field national champion in school history, and has been awarded the 2013-14 Bulldog of the Year Award for outstanding female athlete, while also being named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Team. Rudd had a 3.80 grade point as a Nursing - B.S.N. major.
Senior Miranda Cleary (Howell, Mich.) of Grand Valley State University had an exceptional season for the Lakers softball team. Cleary won the GLIAC ‘triple crown’, leading all conference players in batting average (.433), home runs (11) and RBI (57). She finished second in the GLIAC in on-base percentage (.497) and slugging percentage (.716). Cleary played in (and started) 44 games for the second straight season – and third time in her career – she started every game in which she played. The senior was selected to the Daktronics All-America First Team, the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Second Team, the NFCA All-Midwest Region First Team, and the GLIAC First Team. Cleary had a 3.62 GPA as an Exercise Science major.
Lake Erie senior Ashriel West (Jamesville, N.Y.) was tabbed the GLIAC Lacrosse Attacker of the Year while also earning GLIAC First-Team honors and the 2014 Lake Erie College Scholar Athlete of the Year. During the 2014 season, she tallied 60 points, 47 goals, 13 helpers, 66 draw controls, 44 ground balls, and caused 21 turnovers. West finished her career with 217 points, 155 goals, 62 assist, 139 ground balls, 223 draw controls, 60 caused turnovers while playing in 69 games with 67 starts. She has made the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team twice and was named to the All-GLIAC First Team in 2014. West earned a 3.89 GPA as an Early Childhood Education major.
Junior softball player Taylor Thomas (Bellville, Ohio) put forth her best season as a Panther as she was selected to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, voted as the GLIAC Player of the Year, earned First Team All-GLIAC, and First Team All-Region by NFCA and Daktronics honors. Thomas helped Panthers win GLIAC regular season title, finishing as GLIAC Tournament runner up, and make first NCAA postseason in school history. This past season, the junior had a .386 batting average while hitting 10 homeruns, 17 doubles, and batted in 38 RBI. She had an on base percentage of .465, a slugging percentage of .661, scored 35 runs and swiped seven bases. Thomas also drew more walks (24) than striking out (21).
Earning her second Commissioner’s Award, Northwood University senior Madison Pines (Troy, Mich.), was a 2014 National Qualifier in the 1500 meter run in 2014. She owns the school record in the 600 and mile was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. Pines earned the NCAA Elite 89 award at the Indoor Championships, which is given to the competitor with the highest overall GPA at the event, which was the second time she has earned the honor. The senior was also a six-time NCAA Division II Track and Field Championship qualifier. As an undergraduate, Pines earned a 4.0 GPA in Accounting and a 3.94 GPA as a graduate student.
Walsh senior Stephanie Foster (Lodi, Ohio) finished her superb career with a third-place finish in the 2014 Division II National Championships to become a two-time NCAA All-American. Her final height cleared was 4.10 meters (13-5 ¼). She was named Walsh’s Female Athlete of the Year for the second time in three years. Foster became Walsh University’s first NCAA All-American after she finished fourth in the pole vault at the Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Foster’s finish gave Walsh four points in the team scoring. Foster finished tied with two other vaulters for fourth-place honors. After being given a pass when the bar was set at 3.55 meters, Foster cleared her first attempt at 3.70 meters, or 12 feet 1 inch. A Physical Therapy major, Foster earned a 3.77 GPA.
Grand Valley State redshirt sophomore Ethan Barnes (Caledonia, Mich.) came in fifth place at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships with a season-best time of 1:49.58. He finished in fourth place at the GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a time of 1:51.11. As a member of the 4x800-meter relay team, he helped guide the Lakers to a first-place finish at the EIU Big Blue Classic & Neil Moore Multi’s with a time of 7:42.95. Barnes earned USTFCCCA All-American honors in the 800-meter run, and was a GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Champion (team). At the NCAA Division II National Championship, he helped the Lakers to a seventh-place finish. He was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team in 2014. Barnes, an Integrated Science/Education major, earned a 3.86 GPA.
Fellow teammate of Barnes, redshirt senior Tendo Lukwago (Farmington Hills, Mich.) earned USTFCCCA All-American honors in the triple jump. Lukwago finished in eighth place in the triple jump (15.36 meters, GVSU record) at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships, and took second place in the triple jump (14.68 meters) at the GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Lukwago earned a 3.58 GPA as a Finance/Business Economics major.
Grand Valley State University redshirt senior Jeremy Wilk (Wood Dale, Ill.) took sixth place at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in the 800-meter run with a career-best time of 1:49.60. Wilk won the 800-meter at the GVSU Last Chance Meet with a 1:51.59. Wilk earned USTFCCCA All-American honors in the 800-meter run. He was a Capital One Academic All-District selection as well as a GLIAC Academic Excellence honoree. Wilk is a Marketing/Finance major who earned a 3.69 GPA.
Malone senior Logan Gray (Gnadenhutten, Ohio) was a 2014 NCAA Division II Capital One Academic All-America First Team selection as well an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree. He led the Pioneers in batting average (.379), at bats (169), hits (64), doubles (17), and RBI with 32. Gray also led the team in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage with .503 and .448 respectively. Gray earned a 3.85 GPA as Chemistry major.
Senior Jean Menard (Amboise, France) from Northwood University was 14-5 in singles, all from the No. 1 position. In GLIAC play, he went 7-2 in singles and 10-1 in doubles matches. Overall, he owned a 19-4 record in No. 1 doubles. Menard was selected to the GLIAC First Team and led the Timberwolves to both the GLIAC regular season and tournament titles. He helped Northwood reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 this past spring, while earning a 3.58 GPA as an International Business major.
Ferris State University junior Lucas Johnson (Morenci, Mich.) was a 2014 indoor and outdoor track and field national provisional qualifier. Johnson moved into second place on the school’s all-time chart in the hammer throw during the outdoor season. His top performance traveled 185-9 while he also posted the team’s top performance in the weight throw during the indoor campaign (54-4 ¾). Johnson ranks third all-time in school history in the indoor weight throw (55-3 ¾). He was a multiple-year letterwinner and a two-time GLIAC Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic Excellence Team member. Johnson earned a 3.85 GPA in Welding Engineering Technology.