SDSU honors senior student-athletes
Men's track and field standout Jared Vlastuin along with women's basketball players Jennie Sunnarborg and Jill Young were honored with the 2012 Outstanding Jackrabbit award during the South Dakota State University Athletics Senior Banquet Friday night at the Swiftel Center.
A Lennox native, Vlastuin has won six Summit League individual titles and set three school records during his four-year career. Between the indoor and outdoor seasons he has claimed four league titles in the long jump, while setting SDSU records of 24 feet, 9 inches indoors and 25-2 outdoors. A two-time NCAA Regional qualifier in the long jump and the Summit League Field Athlete of the Meet at the 2012 indoor championships, Vlastuin also has won titles in the high jump and triple jump and has set the Jackrabbit indoor high jump record of 7-1.
Sunnarborg earned all-Summit League honors twice, garnering second-team recognition as a junior and first-team honors during her senior season when she led the team with 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. The Osseo, Minn., native also was named Most Valuable Player of the Summit League Championships in helping the Jackrabbits reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. She became the 31st member of the Jackrabbits 1,000-Point Club during her senior season and finished 23rd in career scoring with 1,232 points, while also grabbing more than 500 career rebounds.
Young finished her career as both the SDSU and Summit League career three-point leader with 305. During her senior season, the left-handed sharpshooter from Mitchell ranked in a tie for second among NCAA Division players for free throw percentage at 90.5 percent and fourth in three-point percentage at 41.7 percent. Her two free throws with seven seconds remaining in overtime proved to be the difference in the Jackrabbits' 78-77 victory over UMKC in the title game of the Summit League Championships. Young finished her career 15th in career scoring at SDSU with 1,356 points and holds four of the top 12 single-season three-point totals in program history.
More than 80 student-athletes were honored at the year-end event, including 11 who were named recipients of the Jackrabbit Impact Award for their contributions to SDSU Athletics:
- Cori Bonte, women's soccer
- Kayla Braffet, women's soccer;
- Jake Brinkmann, men's track and field;
- Eric Cain, baseball;
- Griffan Callahan, men's basketball;
- Jessica Ferley, women's swimming;
- Ellie Hendricks, women's swmming;
- Helen Lauth, equestrian;
- Morgan McLain, women's swimming;
- Lora Shearer, women's track and field;
- Ellyce Youngren, volleyball
Thirteen Jackrabbit senior student-athletes were honored for their work in the classroom with the Jackrabbit Scholar-Athlete Award, including Arran Davis (men's track and field), Ellie Hendricks (women's swimming) and Brad Iverson (football) who all have compiled perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during their collegiate careers. Others who received the Jackrabbit Scholar-Athlete Award for posting cumulative GPAs of 3.7 or higher were: Kaitlyn Hemmingson (women's swimming and diving), Lars Mattison (men's cross country/track and field), Danielle McCann (women's cross country/track and field), Megan McDougall (women's tennis), Pam Nicholson (softball), Angela Noyes (equestrian), Jake Schneller (men's cross country/track and field), Ashley Valdez (women's swimming and diving), Greg Vollmer (men's cross country/track and field).
The Jackrabbit women's basketball team received the Team Scholar Award with a cumulative team GPA of 3.70 through the fall semester.
Five other student-athletes were honored with the Jackrabbit Courage Award for overcoming hardships during their careers. Recipients included football players Kyle Harris and Kyle Sheehan, baseball player Deon Entringer, track and field student-athlete Brandon Priebe and women's soccer player Kelli Herman.