10. Angela Gebhart
Gebhart ends her equestrian career with the most prestigious honor a student athlete can claim their effort: All-American status. In equestrian’s first-ever class of All-American’s, Gebhart earned the honor with a 6-1 record on the season and the second-highest scoring average in her event (reining). She’s featured on the front page of the sports section this week, owing much of her success to her head coach, Joe Humphrey, while Humphrey defers the success to her natural ability.
“Her skill set’s very good,” Humphrey said. “But she’s very consistent throughout and doesn’t let a lot of random factors that we have affect her.”
9. Devon Reick
While challenges have struck the Jacks softball team, Reick has embraced a personal challenge in the SDSU lineup: the leadoff spot.
Reick had spent the last year and a half in the number two hole, until head coach Joanna Lane moved the sophomore from Omaha, Neb. up in the order 10 games ago. With the move, came a change in defensive alignment moving from centerfield to left field.
“We kinda go as she goes. We count on her to be a catalyst for us and a table setter and she has all the tools,” Lane said.
As of April 19, Reick is hitting .323, with 17 runs scored and no errors in 41 games.
“I think if you really dissect her game, when she puts the ball in play, she has a great chance of getting on base. She’s able to put pressure on the defense and gives the rest of the lineup the opportunity to hit her in,” Lane said.
8. Brooke Garner
Another record breaker. The sophomore Rapid City Stevens High School has set new standards in the hammer throw and has excelled in the discus during her still-short career at SDSU. Her hammer throw of 187 feet 11 inches bested the previous record by more than two feet. Her six career wins in her young career mean upwards of 15 total if she keeps up.
7. Clint Sargent
He leaves SDSU as the all-time career three-point shooter. Opposing coaches, and players like Oakland’s first-team all-conference player Reggie Hamilton, went out of their way to indicate their respect of the four-year player out of Bishop Heelan High School.
Sargent’s standout career ended with 252 three-point baskets and 1,505 points during SDSU’s formative years at the Division-I level.
“Every year he’s been here, we’ve gotten better in terms of wins,” Scott Nagy said. “He’s a big reason for that.”
6. Blake Treinen
A 23rd round pick by the Florida Marlins in the 2010 MLB Draft, Treinen’s stock continues to rise. The 6-4, 220-pound righthander out of Osage City, Kan., has elevated his status in 2011 as the bonafide ace of the SDSU pitching staff, and among the best in the Summit League.
“In my opinion, he’s the best starting pitcher in the Summit League since Jerry Sullivan two years ago at Oral Roberts.”
Sullivan was a third round draft pick.
As of this issue, Treinen’s pitched 49 innings, allowed 45 hits and struck out equally as many, with only nine walks and a 2.39 ERA. Look for Treinen to continue his dominance as SDSU plays 13 of its last 19 games at Erv Huether Field.
5. Kristin Rotert
Put it on her long list of accomplishments.
The senior from Salem made it three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament in March and tied the school’s all-time three point record earlier in the year. Rotert finishes in eighth for all-time points in school history and will remembered as a player who stepped up in some of the program’s biggest games, according to head coach Aaron Johnston.
“Kristin is the kind of player who has had a lot of big games throughout her career and she had the ability to go out and get you 25 points. I think the conference tournament is good example of her putting together some big nights.”
She stepped up for over 16 points per game in the Summit League Tournament and claimed the MVP award, assuring herself a spot in SDSU lore.
“She was just a really talented player and what she did in that tournament is a microcosm of what she did during her career,” Johnston said.
4. Sean Burns
Burns broke his school record in the weight throw three times this year. Burns’ throw of 65 feet, 7.5 inches isn’t only a SDSU record, but a South Dakota state collegiate record.
Burns finished second in the shot put at the indoor Summit League Championships. During the indoor season, Burns was ranked in the weight throw in the Division I United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings. This year Burns has won seven events. He won the weight throw four times, the shot put twice, and the hammer throw once. Burns has put in a lot of work this year and it’s paying off.
“It feels good, it will be exciting as the team gets better, it makes me work even harder,” Burns said.
3. Jennie Sunnarborg
Arguably the Jackrabbits most steady player this season, Jennie Sunnarborg took another step forward as one of the Summit League’s best low post players.
“I thought Jennie early in the year was, by far, our best player and late in the year had some really big games,” head coach Aaron Johnston said. “She carried us early on in the season when we were struggling at some other positions and was a go-to player and helped us win some really big games early in the season.”
The junior from Osseo, Minn. averaged 13 points per game and had 20 double-digit scoring games in 2010-11, in which the Jacks were 14-6 in those games. She showed her diversified skill-set in the Summit League Championship Game, when she recorded a career-high nine assists in the clinching victory over Oakland.
“She’s a really gifted player and we needed Jennie this year to evolve into leader and a go-to player and we’ll need her to take another step forward next year.” Johnston said.
2. Chris Schreier
Schreier had one of the greatest seasons in South Dakota State swimming history and he was only a freshman.
The Indiana native won 21 events on the season and broke school records like it was his job. Schreier set new SDSU marks in the 100 and 200 butterfly, the 200 and 400 IM, as well as being a part of the record setting 400 and 800 freestyle relays and the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Schreier shined at the Summit League Championships back in February as he broke his own record in winning the 200 butterfly in 1 minute, 49.06 seconds to become the first Jackrabbit on the men’s side to win a conference event since Benji Erickson at the 2001 NCC Championships. He also set at least one record each of the four days with six total.
“Chris had an unbelievable first year for the Jacks,” said SDSU head coach Brad Erickson. “His time drops were at or better than the goals we set at the beginning of the season. Having won our first men’s individual title at the Summit League Championships now puts the target on his back. We look forward to continued improvement from Chris, with a long term goal of achieving a qualifying time for the NCAA championships.”
1. Nate Wolters
The statistics stand out. The great individual plays accumulated. Wolters did a little of everything in his second season, in which the Jacks finished with it’s first winning year since joining Division I.
“I didn’t realize he could score the points he did,” coach Scott Nagy said. “We talk about that if we’re gonna have a team, and be as good as we want to be, then we need first-team all-league players and Nate’s one of them, for sure.”
Wolters led SDSU in points, steals and assists and nearly finished with a triple-double in a game on more than one occasion. He shot 45 percent from field goal range, and 40 percent from beyond the arc while finishing 10th in the nation in assists per game (6.1).
Most impressive of all, Wolters finished third in overall offensive rating, sandwiched between Arizona forward Derrick Williams at two, and UCONN guard Kemba Walker at five, according to statistician Ken Pomeroy’s nationally-renowned system.
CORRECTION: Brooke Garner’s accomplishments were initially incorrect.