PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College Department of Athletics officially put a wrap up on the 2011-12 year with the announcement of the department’s annual award winners Monday (June 4). The five student-athletes are nominated and selected by the department coaches and administrative staff.
Senior women’s basketball player Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was named the Jane White Lincoln Female Athlete of the Year; sophomore two-sport standout Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) was the Male Athlete of the Year; senior Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) of the women’s basketball team was named the recipient of the Gloria A. Heaney Award for Athletic & Academic Excellence; and women’s lacrosse player Hana Abu-Kwiek (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) and men’s swimmer Ivan Cizmar (Zagreb, Croatia) were the Female and Male Rookies of the Year, respectively.
“This past year was truly a banner year for Lake Erie College Athletics, with an individual national champion, several All-American performances at national meets, teams qualifying for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) postseason for the first time and over 100 student-athletes earning all-conference and academic all-conference honors,” said Director of Athletics Griz Zimmermann. “We are proud to recognize, not just these five outstanding student-athletes, but every member of the Storm for a great year.”
Rogers capped her outstanding athletic career by being named first-team All-GLIAC and All-GLIAC Defensive Team – the second straight year she received all-conference and all-league defensive honors - after helping the Storm women to a 16-11 overall record and their first appearance in the GLIAC Tournament. The four-year starting center led the team in scoring (15.6 ppg.), rebounding (8.0 rpg.) and blocked shots (2.9/game) for the second straight season, ranking in the top eight in all three categories in the conference . Her 77 blocked shots were second in the league and her 56 steals were fifth most in the conference and second on the team. She was also named GLIAC All-Academic Excellence and earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District IV First Team. Rogers ends her career ranked second on the school’s all-time scoring list and is Lake Erie’s all-time leading shot blocker. She also ranks fifth in steals and sixth in rebounds. The award is the department’s oldest award and is named in honor of former Lake Erie College professor of physical education and dean of students, Jane D. White Lincoln.
Dudley was stellar for two Storm teams this past year, but really made his mark in track and field, becoming the school’s first individual NCAA national champion when he won the high jump at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in late May. That capped a scholastic season in which he was the GLIAC Champion in the high jump at both indoor and outdoor championships, claiming his second indoor title and his first outdoor crown. He Placed fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, his third career All-American honor and he had the DII-best outdoor jump of 2.25 meters (7’ 4 ½”) during the season (twice). That jump qualified him for US Olympic Trials B Standards in mid-June. On the court, Dudley played in 25 games for the men’s basketball team and tied for fourth on the team in scoring (7.0 ppg.) and was second in blocked shots. He scored in double figures five times, including a career-high 24 points twice. One of those 24-point games came one day before hitting the NCAA indoor automatic qualifying standard for the high jump at the University of Akron.
In addition to receiving the Gloria A. Heaney Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence (formerly the Scholar-Athlete of the Year), Busson was also the recipient of the Senior Scholar Athlete Award at Commencement. Carrying a better than 3.90 GPA in the classroom, Busson was a Capital One Academic All-District IV First Team selection and was twice a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honoree. She ranks among the school career leaders in steals, assists and three-pointers made. This season, she averaged 7.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game with a team-high 73 assists. Busson finished third on squad with 42 steals and was second with 45 made three-pointers. This year she helped lead the team to 16-11 record and a spot in the GLIAC Tournament for the first time.
Abu-Kwiek started all 17 games as a freshman for the Storm women’s lacrosse team, leading the squad in caused turnovers and helping LEC to tie its school mark for most victories in a season (7). She finished second on the team in draw controls (42) and ground balls (28) while ranking fifth in goals (24) and sixth in points (27). She was named East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week during the season and had three games with four goals scored and four games with at least four points or more.
Cizmar emerged as the Male Rookie of the Year in a very competitive vote after earning All-American status in the 200-yard backstroke, becoming Lake Erie’s first swimming All-American honoree. He qualified for two other events at the NCAA Championships (400-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke) and was an honorable mention All-American in the 400 IM. Cizmar was a third-team All-GLIAC selection at the conference meet and twice was the GLIAC Swimmer of the Week during the season.