BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University soccer captain Sarah Stram and Andrew Benson, of the men’s golf team, were named 2015-16 Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year as a part of the Beaver Nation Celebration athletic appreciation banquet Thursday at the BSU Gymnasium. The award winners were selected from a pool of nominated student-athletes from the Beavers’ 15 intercollegiate sport programs.
In addition, Emeline Sevila of the track and field team and football standout Gunner Olszewski were selected BSU’s 2015-16 Female and Male Newcomers of the Year, while Emily Backes and Emma Terres, as well as Brendan Harms and Reid Mimmack picked up Female and Male Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.
In all, nearly 60 seniors were recognized in addition to public recognition of BSU’s top academic teams, it’s men’s hockey and soccer programs, BSU’s seven NSIC/Myles Brand Academic with Distinction Award winners and Volunteer of the Year Keith Marek, with the presentation of the student-athletes and newcomers of the year, serving as the culminating event of the program.
Sarah Stram – Soccer (Junior, Forward, Elk Grove Village, Ill.))
A native of Elk Grove Village, Ill., Stram appeared in all 19 contests for BSU in 2015. She led the team and ranked sixth in the league netting 10 goals. Six of the goals she scored stood as the game-winners, to rank fifth among the league leaders, while the Beavers were 7-2-0 when she found the back of the net. Her 26 points (10g-6a) led the team and place her in a tie for eighth on BSU’s single-season scoring list. She earned First-Team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America All-Central Region accolades following the season. Also a standout in the classroom, she became the second player in BSU Soccer history to earn Academic All-America honors.
In addition, Stram is climbing the BSU all-time scoring lists. In 57 matches as a Beaver, the junior has 29 goals (4th), including 13 game-winners (2nd), and 17 assists (5th) for 75 points (3rd). She ranks among the top five Beavers of all time in each category.
Andrew Benson – Men’s Golf (Senior, Eden Prairie, Minn.)
A First Team All-NSIC selection in the spring of 2015, Benson posted a 74.7 stroke average to led the Beavers in 2014-15 and place himself among the league’s best golfers. He made top 20 finishes on six occasions, which included capturing medalist honors at the BSU Invitational Sept. 7-8 with a three-under-par 141 (71-70) and a third-place finish at the split-season, comprehensive NSIC Championship (74-70-81-70--295/+11).
Benson fired a 70 (-2) on the final day of the BSU Invite to solidify the individual and team title and stand as the Beavers’ lowest round of 2014-15.
During his collegiate career, Benson recorded five top-five finishes, including winning the 2013 Husky Invite. In addition, he was a member of the Beavers’ 2012 team that qualified for the NCAA Regional.
Emeline Sevila – Women’s Track and Field (Junior, Multi-Events, Nimes, France)
Sevila twice broke the BSU indoor pentathlon record during her BSU debut indoor track and field season. She broke a 12-year-old record at the MSU Multi with 3,212 points only to brake her own school standard at the NSIC Multi Championships with 3,517 points and placed fifth to score team points for the Beavers a few weeks later. She finished the indoor season ranked 23rd in the nation in the pentathlon. In addition, she also posted BSU’s best marks this season in the 60-meter dash (8.16), 200-meter dash (26.25), 60-meter hurdles (9.14), high jump (5-00.25) and long jump (18-01.50).
Gunner Olszewski – Football (Freshman, Cornerback, Alvin, Texas)
The 2015 NSIC Defensive Newcomer of the Year, Olszewski burst on to the scene last fall and solidified himself as one of the league’s top defensive players. He led the Beavers “Gang Green” defense with 85 tackles, 12 pass defenses and seven interceptions from the defensive back position. His tackle total led all NSIC freshman while ranking 15th overall. Olszewski’s interception total was second in the NSIC, led the team and was one short of tying a BSU program single-season record. Olszewski earned two player of the week honors in 2015 and was named D2Football.com National Defensive Player of the Week. In addition, he’s been a mainstay in the BSU Baseball team’s lineup this spring.
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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.