Duff and Rongstad tabbed Scholar Athletes by the NSIC
Friday, April 20, 2012
Duff and Rongstad tabbed Scholar Athletes by the NSIC

BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) today announced Bemidji State University’s Brianna Duff (Sr., Ramsey, Minn.) and Lance Rongstad (Jr., Eleva, WIs.) to its list of 2012 Honor Student-Athlete and scholarship award winners.

Duff and Rongstad were each voted honor student-athletes.  

Duff, who started 18 of 19 matches for BSU in 2011, was a vital cog for a BSU back line that finished third in the NSIC with just 10 goals allowed in conference play.  The Ramsey, Minn. native and her fellow defenders helped Bemidji State post eight shutouts during the course of the season to rank third in the league. She has been a regular Academic All-NSIC selection and earned a spot on the 2011 Capitol One/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) College Division Soccer Academic All-District First Team and was a 2012 NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award for her efforts on the field and in the classroom. Duff is an elementary education major.  

A successful two-sport athlete at Bemidji State, Lance Rongstad is the starting quarterback for the BSU football team and a starting guard/forward for BSU’s NSIC Regular Season Championship men’s basketball team. A standout in the classroom as well, Rongstad holds a 3.55 GPA in biology with a minor in chemistry. He is a four-time Academic All-NSIC recipient and was a member of the 2010-11 NABC Honors Court.
Rongstad earned All-NSIC Honorable Mention after he finished the season 117-for-211 (55.5%) with 1,286 yards and eight touchdowns to guide the Beavers to an 8-3 record. He averaged 116.9 yards per game through the air and posted a 113.5 efficiency rating. His 809 yards on the ground led the team, as did his 10 rushing touchdowns. He rushed for more than 100 yards twice, including in the season-finale at University of Minnesota, Crookston (Nov. 12) where he went for 162 yards - a new BSU record for a quarterback.
Rongstad started 24 of 29 games for a BSU squad that posted a program-best 22-9 record and made its second appearance at the NCAA Tournament in program history. He finished the season third on the team in scoring with 9.9 points per game. Rongstad pulled down 4.2 rebounds per game, shot 49.4 percent from the field and totaled 49 assists. His 36 steals led the team and finished 11th in the NSIC. He scored in double-figures on 15 occasions and posted two double-doubles on the season.

As a part of the announcement, the league also named Augustana College’s Cody Lensing as its 2012 Dr. William Britton Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence and Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Kendra Huettl as the recipient of the 2012 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence.

The 14 NSIC member institutions nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the Britton and Kelly Awards. The nominees must meet the following criteria: a grade point average of 3.20 or better (on a 4.0 scale); evidence of academic excellence beyond the minimum grade point average (scholarship prizes and other academic recognition), evidence of participation in the life of the institution, and evidence of participation in at least two-thirds of the varsity events of the individual’s primary sport. The award is voted on by the NSIC Faculty Athletic Representatives.

The Britton Award was created in 1985 in honor of Dr. William Britton, a longtime faculty representative at Bemidji State. The Kelly Award is named in honor of Willis R. Kelly, an associate professor of physical education at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A member of the NSIC Hall of Fame, Kelly also coordinated the Minnesota-Morris Physical Education Department from 1970-87. She became the first director of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Minnesota-Morris in 1976 and was later promoted to athletic director for the whole department.

The 27 student-athletes nominated for the awards will be honored as NSIC Male and Female Honor Student-Athletes of the Year at their respective institutions. Lensing and Huettl will be recognized and presented with a $2,500 post-graduate scholarship July 11 at the 2012 NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet in St. Cloud, Minn.