By Chris Salgot
Student Writer, Northern Michigan University Olympic Education Center

The annual Northern Michigan University Student-Athlete Banquet was held last night, April 18, to recognize our athletes in many categories including most improved, most valuable, scholar athlete and newcomer of the year.

The weightlifting team had a strong year, led by Paul Woelmer, their 2014-15 most valuable athlete. Woelmer, a junior from Bloomington, Ind. took second place at the University Nationals and took third at the World University Games. Additional award recipients included Connor Felstead, freshman sports science major from Janesville, Wisc., most improved athlete; Brittany Shandor, sophomore nursing major from Shelby Township, Mich., scholar athlete; Hunter Forte, sophomore finance major from Rutland, Vt., newcomer award.

Felstead increased his total by 30kg this year and coach Newgard said that he “is very diligent in his training and has a bright future in the sport.” Shandor was accepted into nursing school and despite a difficult class load, “she still comes in extra early to train and trains hard despite her challenges,” said Newgard.

After celebrating 15 years at NMU, the NMU-OTS Greco-Roman wrestling team had another strong year in which many athletes were ranked nationally. The most valuable athlete was Dmitry Ryabchinskiy, a senior from Brooklyn, N.Y. Other award winners included Anthonie Linares, a junior physical education major from San Jose, Calif., most improved athlete; Brandon Marshall, a freshman biology major from Keystone Heights, Fla., scholar athlete; Dalton Roberts, freshman business major from Fowlerville, Mich., newcomer award.

Linares is ranked ninth in the nation in his weight class and according to coach Hermann, “Linares is in every match until the very end and is beating wrestlers he was losing to last year.”

Marshall currently carries a 4.0 GPA as a freshman, and he is always “willing to help out others whenever he is asked and is a great person to be around,” said Hermann. After winning gold at the Austria Junior Open, Roberts was rewarded the newcomer award for a successful first year in the program.

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