BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Commissioner Butch Raymond today announced Bemidji State University’s Lewis Baumann (Baseball, Colorado Springs, Colo.), Ryan Brezinski (Baseball, Regina, Saskatchewan), Ashley Larva (Track and Field, Floodwood, Minn.) and Christian Metz (Football, Cambridge, Minn.) have been selected as recipients of the fourth annual NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award.
The award, named in honor of the late NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand, is bestowed to senior NSIC student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher, are exhausting their eligibility and are on track to graduate.
“The NSIC is excited to have this opportunity to honor an elite group of our student-athletes for their accomplishments. We feel very privileged to name the award after Dr. Brand in recognition of his strong support and the continued emphasis he placed on academics in the ‘Life in Balance’ theme of Division II,” said Raymond.
Baumann earned a starting role at shortstop his freshman year and hasn’t relinquished his spot since. A senior on the BSU baseball team, he has increased his offensive numbers in each of the last three years, culminating with a .321 batting average as a junior. Last season Baumann’s 53 hits ranked second on the team and he added 25 RBIs, nine doubles, three homeruns and two triples. In the field, he totaled a team-high 124 assists and posted a .905 fielding percentage. Baumann is a two-time Spring Academic All-NSIC team member and is majoring in exercise science.
A 2012 Spring Academic All-NSIC team member, Brezinkski appeared in five games on the mound for the BSU baseball team. He totaled eight innings of relief and posted a 2.25 ERA with a 1-1 record. Of his seven runs earned, only two were earned. He fanned seven batters. As a sophomore, the right-hander hurled 21.1 innings and posted a 2-2 record with a 3.38 ERA. Brezinski is majoring in chemistry at BSU.
Larva is a member of the BSU cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams. A three-time Academic All-NSIC selection, she has been a member of two BSU cross country teams that have been honored nationally by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as a Division II All-Academic Cross Country Team. Also active on the track team, Larva owns four school records. She holds the indoor mark in the 60-meter (8.99) and 200-meter (29.53) hurdle events, while she is the school record-holder in the outdoor 100-meter hurdles (14.83) and is a member of the 4x100-meter relay team that set the school record (48.75) last spring. Larva is majoring in social work.
Metz compiled 980 all-purpose yards in his four-years as a wide receiver and kick returner for the BSU football team. He totaled 513 yards on 28 kick returners, including a career-long 47-yarder as a freshman. He recorded 34 receptions for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Also a running threat throughout his career, he compiled 96 yards on 19 attempts for a 5.1 yards per carry mark and a touchdown. As a senior in 2012, Metz compiled a career-high 150 reception yards on nine catches and totaled 42 yards on three kick returns. Metz is a three-time Academic All-NSIC team member and majoring in exercise science.
A total of 80 student-athletes from the NSIC’s 16 institutions will receive the award in its fourth year.
Dr. Myles N. Brand, visionary leader, educator and reformer, served as the President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 2003-2009. He passed away in September 2009 at the age of 67 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Brand presided over passage of the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history – a package that refocused the attention of student-athletes, coaches and administrators on the education of student-athletes. Brand also changed the national dialog on college sports to emphasize the educational value of athletics participation and the integration of intercollegiate athletics with the academic mission of higher education. His impact on Division II ran deep by implementing an identity campaign and a strategic positioning platform tied to specific divisional attributes. He challenged Division II to continue its game-environment and community-engagement focus, and improve academic success rates.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).