WILLISTON, N.D. - Four Teton Athletes earned individual recognition this year from the NJCAA and three of the Teton Sports were honored for their overall performance. Overall, Teton Athletics earned a GPA above a 3.00 finishing with a 3.06 across all sports. Athletic Director Dan Artamenko stated "I am very proud of the students representing Williston State strongly on and off the courts. In addition, I would like to thank each coach for the individual work they had done this year. We created many new initiatives and invested a lot of time to achieve these results. While the top performing teams are being recognized today, I am most proud that we did not have a weak link. To have an overall athletic department GPA above a 3.00 is one of the proudest moments in my career."
Leading the pack for the individual honors were two sophomore Lady Tetons from the Women's Basketball team. Jamie Gleeson and Taylor Nelson both earned the Pinnacle Student-Athlete Award, the most prestigious academic honor given to those who have completed 4 semesters with a 4.00 GPA. Gleeson was one of the most decorated Tetons with multiple recognition from both on the court, but also from the college due to her leadership and work with groups such as Student Senate. While studying Business, Gleeson hopes to one day take over the family company in Missouri. Taylor Nelson from Ray, ND, played Volleyball her 1st year and then Basketball her 2nd, all the while keeping up with her degree in Elementary Education. Assistant Coach Jenna Bolstad stated "I am Proud of our team for upholding the tradition set before them and getting it done in the classroom." In addition to the individual awards, the Women's Basketball team finished with a 3.24 GPA, earning them the 6th consecutive nomination for NJCAA Academic Team of the Year. Last year, the Tetons finished 2nd in nation.
Teton Softball continued with the success being nominated for their 3rd NJCAA Academic Team of the Year award with a team GPA of 3.08. In addition, Miranda Schulz received the Superior Academic Performance with an overall GPA of 3.88 in her two years at Williston State. Miranda was in the Massage Therapy Program at Williston State after coming from Delta, British Columbia. Coach Buckmaster had a lot to say about this year's squad "The softball program at WSC places a huge emphasis on academics. These student-athletes are just that, students first. You get 4 years, 2 at Williston to play softball, after that they will rely on their degree. I tell all of my student-athletes when they come on a visit your employer will most likely not care that you played softball, they will only care what you learned from it. I am proud of this years team on this achievement and look forward to continuing that tradition with the group next year."
In addition to the Lady Tetons, the Teton Hockey team also received recognition for their work. For the 1st time since the 2011-2012 season, the Teton Hockey team was nominated for Academic Team of the Year with a a Team GPA of 3.15. While the award for the top GPA teams have not yet been announced, Coach Bowkus already has shown his excitement "As a coaching staff we are extremely happy for the hard work that our players put forth in their academic studies. The bar has now been set for our next group of players that will wear the Teton logo. I personally would like to Thank Coach JD Hobbs for an outstanding job of ensuring our players were attending classes and finishing class assignments even though we spent numerous hours traveling for hockey purposes."
As part of the Hockey team, but also as part of the Baseball team, dual sport athlete Ging Martin, from Sandy Oregon earned the Exemplary Scholar Award for posting a 3.75 GPA during his tenure at Williston. Martin, who was studying International Business, played Left Field for the Teton Baseball team and batted .309. He was a key defenseman on the Hockey team. Coach Hobbs stated "Ging really embodied want it meant to be a Teton. He played 2 sports both years and was able to do it while keeping up with his grades off the ice. Players like him really have a future ahead of them."
For more information on Teton Athletics, contact the athletic office at 701-774-4589
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.