BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University volleyball outside hitter Bethany Thompson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) and Lance Rongstad (Sr., Eleva, Wis.) were named 2012-13 Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year as a part of the Beaver Nation Celebration athletic appreciation banquet Thursday at Sanford Center. The duo of All-NSIC two-sport athletes were selected from a pool of nominated student-athletes from the University’s 15 intercollegiate sport programs.
In addition, Megan Castro (Fr., Winnipeg, Manitoba) of the soccer team and football standout Connor Quinn (Fr., Geneva, Ill.) were selected BSU’s 2012-13 Female and Male Newcomers of the Year, while Rachel Craig (So., Wadena, Minn.) and Tony Peterson (So., Frederic, Wis.) picked up Female and Male Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.
In all, nearly 70 seniors were recognized in addition to public recognition of BSU’s top academic teams, it’s men’s hockey and women’s basketball programs, BSU’s four NSIC/Myles Brand Academic with Distinction Award winners and Volunteer of the Year Dr. Ken Traxler, with the presentation of the student-athletes and newcomers of the year, serving as the culminating event of the program.
Bethany Thompson – Volleyball/Track and Field (Senior, Outside Hitter/High Jump, Owatonna, Minn.)
Major: Physical Education/Health Education
Athletic Accomplishments: All-NSIC Second Team…Bemidji State’s Offensive Player of the Year… UMD Volleyball Athletic Accomplishments: All-NSIC Second Team…Bemidji State’s Offensive Player of the Year… UMD Volleyball Classic All-Tournament Team… Two-time Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week… Two-year captain of the volleyball team… Also a member of the BSU track and field squad… Finished her final season with 354 kills, the 11th-most in a single season in BSU program history… Recorded her 1,000th career kill in her final match, becoming the ninth player to ever accomplish the feat at Bemidji State… Was second in the NSIC with 4.02 kills per set and was third in the conference with 4.39 points per set… Those numbers put her at 18th and 27th in the nation, respectively… Was a marked offensive threat, posting 656 more attacks than any other BSU player and averaging more than half an attack per set more than any other NSIC player… In addition to leading the team in kills, was second in digs (208) and assists (22) and was third in aces (16) and blocks (29)… Set a career-high in kills with 24 against Erskine Sept. 8 and had a career-best 21 digs the same weekend against then-No. 19 Ferris.
Academic Accomplishments: Four-year member of the BSU Dean’s List… BSU All-Academic NSIC for volleyball and track… BSU 3.0 Club.
BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Pre-K helper at St. Phillip’s School… People’s Church soup kitchen volunteer… Speed Quest volunteer.
Lance Rongstad – Football/Men’s Basketball (Senior, Quarterback/Guard/Forward, Eleva, Wis.)
Athletic Accomplishments: Football – Captain… All-NSIC Honorable Mention quarterback… NSIC Offensive Player of the Week… Three-time Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week… A weapon with his arm or legs, Rongstad earned his second consecutive all-conference honor after totaling 2,681 yards of offense (268.1 yds/g) to finish fifth in the NSIC and 34th in the nation… Threw for a career-high 2,114 yards (211.4 yds/g) to finish ninth in the league, while his 134.9 passing efficiency rating ranked seventh in the conference and 48th nationally… Through the air he went 158-for-279 (56.6%) for 16 touchdowns… On the ground he led the Beavers for the second straight year, compiling 567 yards on 124 carries and seven touchdowns… Averaged 56.7 yards per game, 4.6 yards per carry and posted a career-long rush of 78 yards that went all the way to the end zone and set the BSU record for longest rush by a quarterback… Recorded 300 or more total yards on four occasions, which included a career-high 404 total yard game against Wayne State College Sept. 15… In the game against the Wildcats he threw for a career-best 348 yards (24-for-41) and a touchdown and rushed 14 times for 56 yards and a score… Rongstad passed for 228 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener against Upper Iowa University and added 58 yards rushing to earn NSIC Offensive Player of the Week honors… He threw and ran himself into eight BSU single-season record books, including second in total offense per game (268.1 yds/g) and eighth in passing yardage (2,114 passing yards)… All-time, Rongstad’s name appears in 15 different top 10 lists at Bemidji State, most notably, first in rushing yards per carry (5.87 yards per rush), fourth in total offensive yards (5,687 offensive yards) and fifth in touchdowns responsible for (48 touchdowns – 26 passing, 21 rushing, 1 receiving)… Also, his 21 rushing touchdowns established a new record for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, as did his 2,074 rushing yards.
Basketball – Captain… All-NSIC Second Team… Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week twice… The guard/forward finished third on the team and 22nd in the league in scoring with 12.4 points per game… Was second on the team in rebounding with 4.4 boards per game, while the 37 steals was also second-best (1.2 spg was 14th in the NSIC)… Played 30.6 minutes per game (17th in the NSIC) in 2012-13 and owned a team-best 87.3 free throw percentage that finished sixth in the NSIC and 25th nationally… Scored in double-figures in 19 contests, which included a run of eight games Jan. 12-Feb. 2 where he at least tied for the team lead in scoring… Posted 20 or more points on six occasions, with three of those occurrences happening in consecutive games Jan. 12-18… Recorded 24 points in the Jan. 18 game at Winona State University and in the process eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career to become the 16th member of the men’s basketball program to accomplish the feat… In conference play, Rongstad finished ninth in free throw percentage (85.9%), 14th in assists (2.8 apg) and 15th in scoring (13.9 ppg)... Rongstad finished ninth all-time in scoring at Bemidji State with 1,225 career points and 10th on BSU’s career rebounding list with 472 career boards… His 180 career assists fell just shy of cracking Bemidji State’s all-time assist list.
Academic Accomplishments: Dean’s List… BSU Athletics 3.0 Club… Fall Academic All-NSIC… Winter Academic All-NSIC.
BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Participated in the Elementary Partnership and read to kids.
Megan Castro – Soccer (Freshman, Midfield/Forward, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Major: Design Technology
Athletic Accomplishments: Third Team All-NSIC… Was one of two freshmen named All-NSIC in 2012… Played in each of BSU’s 19 games in 2012 with 18 starts at midfield/forward… Recorded two goals and four assists… Her eight points led all BSU freshmen and ranked fourth on the team… She tied for third on the team with four assists… Logged an assist on the game-winning goal Sept. 2 versus Michigan Tech… Recorded a game-winning goal Sept. 29 an a 2-1 BSU victory versus Sioux Falls… Recorded a career-high two assists in a 3-2 win over Michigan Tech Sept. 2… Logged a season-high three points with a goal and an assist in BSU’s 4-0 NSIC victory over Wayne State Sept. 22.
Academic Accomplishments: BSU 3.0 Club.
BSU Community Service and Involvement: Lincoln Elementary partnership and March of Dimes volunteer… Women’s Walk volunteer.
Connor Quinn – Football (Redshirt Freshman, Linebacker, Geneva, Ill.)
Major: Physical Education
Athletic Accomplishments: All-NSIC Second Team Defense… Quinn was inserted into the starting outside linebacker position in the third game of the season and never gave the coaches a reason to take him out... Totaled 73 tackles (35 solo) to finish third on the team and first among freshmen linebackers in the NSIC... Recovered three fumbles to rank tied for second in the league... Compiled 12.0 tackles for loss (-35 yards), which stacked up second on the Gang Green defense... Posted 1.5 sacks (-11 yards), scored a safety, broke-up one pass, intercepted an errant throw and returned it 29 yards in 2012… Recorded a season-high 14 tackles (eight solo) at nationally-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth Oct. 20, two of which were for loss (-5 yards), and recovered two fumbles... Tallied double-digit tackles against Minnesota State University Moorhead Nov. 3 with 12 total, four solo and three tackles for loss (-7 yards)... At St. Cloud State University Oct. 27, he made seven tackles and recorded his first-collegiate interception and returned it 29 yards... Also added a fumble recovery on special teams versus SCSU, as both his turnovers led to offensive touchdowns in the win… Was one of five freshmen to appear on North Division First or Second Teams and became the first Bemidji State freshman to be named to the league’s top two teams since 2007.
Academic Accomplishments: BSU 3.0 Club.
BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Participated in the Elementary Partnership and read to kids… Diamond Point Clean-up volunteer.
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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. BSU’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.