Winners crowned at BLU Crew Awards

BLU Crew award winners Ceara Larson, Josh Janusiak, Erin Lengel
The BLU Crew Athletes of the Year were, from left, Ceara Larson, Josh Janusiak and Erin Lengel.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The BLU Crew Awards were handed out Friday (May 17) at the Warch Campus Center, and student-athletes from multiple teams won honors.

The categories and winners are as follows:

Breakthrough Athletes of the Year -- Ethan Simmons and Molly Doruska

Simmons, a sophomore from Northglenn, Colo., was a backup for the football team as a rookie in 2017 but earned Offensive MVP, Special Teams MVP and Team MVP in 2018. Doruska, a senior from Ankeny, Iowa, had a breakout final season in track and field and placed in the top six in two events at the Midwest Conference Championships to cap her career.

Best Lawrence Win -- Ice Hockey

Lawrence earned its first victory ever in Duluth, Minn., with an 8-2 win at perennial power St. Scholastica.

Biggest Upset -- Softball

Lawrence knocked off Midwest Conference champion Lake Forest 11-1 in five innings. The Vikings pounded out 11 hits, including a Ceara Larson homer, and Emilia Jackson allowed just five hits to get the win.

Most Outstanding Play -- Ethan Simmons

Simmons was running the distance medley relay at the Midwest Conference Championships during the indoor track and field season and was forced to hurdle a Grinnell runner who had fallen on the track. Simmons avoided the obstacle, and the Vikings went on to earn a third-place finish and grab all-conference honors.

Best Individual Performance -- Josh Janusiak

Janusiak, a senior from South Milwaukee, Wis., was in the top 30 at the NCAA Division III Championships when he was tripped and buried under a pile of cross country runners. Janusiak extricated himelf and passed more than 150 runners over the final 7,000 meters to finish 32nd and earn All-America honors.

Female Rookie of the Year -- Maddy Smith

Smith, a first-year student from Oshkosh, Wis., broke all four Lawrence diving records and became the first Viking to ever compete at the NCAA Diving Regional. Smith, who was named the MWC Performer of the Week during the season, finished second on the 1-meter board and took fourth on the 3-meter board at the Midwest Conference Championships.

Male Rookie of the Year -- Brad Sendell

Sendell, a sophomore guard from Pacific Grove, Calif., turned in a fine first season for the basketball team. He averaged 18.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and was chosen for the All-Midwest Conference team.

Coach of the Year -- Drew Fleek

The Lawrence swimming and diving coach earned the honor after he was chosen as Midwest Conference Coach of the Year. He led the Lawrence women to a second-place finish at the Midwest Conference Championships, and Lawrence's small but mighty men's team took fifth.

Female Athlete of the Year -- Erin Lengel and Ceara Larson

Lengel, a sophomore from Doylestown, Pa., was named the Midwest Conference Swimmer of the Year after winning three titles at the MWC Championships. Lengel won the 100-yard freestyle in 52.83 seconds and broke both the Lawrence and conference records. Lengel won the 200 freestyle in a school-record time of 1:55.39 and also won the 100 backstroke in a school-record time of 58.62 seconds. Larson, a sophomore catcher from Bettendorf, Iowa, hit .467 for the softball team with nine doubles, 11 home runs and 34 runs batted in in 34 games. Larson, who was twice named Midwest Conference Player of the Week, earned MWC Player of the Year honors and was a first-team All-Great Lakes Region selection.

Male Athlete of the Year -- Josh Janusiak

Janusiak started his senior year by winning four individual titles during cross country season, including his third consecutive crown in the Midwest Conference Championships. He became the first Lawrence runner to ever win three straight MWC titles and just the sixth in conference history to do it. He went on to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Division III Championships. During the indoor track season, Janusiak won the 5,000 meters at the MWC Championships and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships. He won the 10,000 at the MWC Championships outdoors and is on track to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships for the second consecutive outdoor season.

Defensive Award -- Amanda Karnatz

Karnatz, a junior center fielder from Elmhurst, Ill., made the spectacular play look routine for the softball team. Karnatz, whose glove is where doubles go to die, collected 54 putouts and four outfield assists on the season while consistently limiting teams from attempting to score or take an extra base.

Viking Award -- Cade Francour and Leah Reeves

Reeves, a senior from Lisle, Ill., on the women's basketball team, has distinguished herself on the court, in the classroom and in the campus community. An Academic All-Midwest Conference selection while majoring in biochemistry, Reeves finished 26th in career scoring and 18th in career rebounding. She has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is a member of Kappa Gamma and the American Chemical Society. She has been doing research with Dr. Graham Sazama and has been speaking on behalf of the university during the Be The Light Campaign. Francour, a junior from Oshkosh, Wis., has been a three-year starter for the men's tennis team and a distinguished student. He has helped the tennis team make the Midwest Conference Tournament for three consecutive seasons, has earned Team MVP honors and been chosen as team captain. A double major in biochemistry and chemistry, he is a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar Athlete and Academic All-MWC selection and won the MWC's Elite 20 Award in 2019. Francour is a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, has served as a biology tutor, worked as team manager for both women's basketball and women's tennis and as a sports information assistant.