April 9, 2008
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Athletic Department announces the winners of the Athlete of the Year and the Gildo Canale Senior Awards.
The Athlete of the Year is awarded to a male and female student-athlete based on athletic performance for the 2007-08 academic year. To be awarded the Gildo Canale Senior Award a student-athlete must be a senior, have competed in intercollegiate athletics for four years at NMU, have a superior academic record and exhibit high character. The award was established in 1982 by former NMU Athletic Director Gildo Canale. The award is given to a male and female student-athlete.
Named Athletes of the Year were Mark Bossuah and Caryn VanBeckum. Jake Suardini and Brittany McGowan were selected as the recipients of the Gildo Canale Senior Award.
Bossuah a member of the NMU football team was a first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) selection for the 2007 season. The sophomore from Grand Rapids, Mich. ended the 2007 campaign with 1,285 yards which was second in the conference. He was the first NMU player to rush for a 1,000 yards or more in a season since James Randle in 2001. During the season, Bossuah set two new Superior Dome records for rushing yardage when he scampered for 317 yards against Hillsdale and then he scored four touchdowns against Mercyhurst.
VanBeckum a member of the Wildcat volleyball team was a first-team All-GLIAC selection for the past season. The junior from DePere, Wis. led the ‘Cats in 2007 in kills (426), service aces (51), block solos (19), block assists (99) and total blocks (118). VanBeckum was ranked eighth in the GLIAC in kills. She was named the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week twice during the 2007 season. VanBeckum was selected as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Week during the season.
Suardini led the 2007-08 NMU men’s basketball team in scoring with 429 points (15.9 ppg), 79 assists (2.92 apg) and 50 steals (1.85 spg). He was selected to the All-GLIAC North Division first team for the past season. In the GLIAC Suardini was 10th in scoring and seventh in steals.
McGowan was a first-team All-GLIAC, All-Great Lakes Region and an AVCA All-America (honorable mention) selection for the 2007 season. She led the ‘Cats with 1,338 assists which was good for sixth in the GLIAC. McGowan was selected to the All-GLIAC Academic Team for the 2007 season.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director