MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Intercollegiate Athletics Department announced the recipients of the Athlete of the Year and the Gildo Canale Senior Awards at the Hall of Fame and Student-Athlete Awards Banquet on Saturday (April 14).
Named Athlete of the Year were Chelsea Lyons and Erik Soderman. Bailey Franklin and Justin Florek were selected as the recipients of the Gildo Canale Senior Award.
The Athlete of the Year is awarded to a male and female student-athlete based on athletic performance for the 2011-12 academic year. The Gildo Canale Senior Award is presented to a senior male and female student-athlete who competed in intercollegiate athletics for four years at NMU, has a superior academic record and exhibits high character. The award was established in 1982 by former NMU Athletic Director Gildo Canale.
Lyons, a senior on the women’s basketball and soccer teams was a second-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection for soccer and first team in basketball. She was also GLIAC all-academic in both sports. The Coon Rapids, Minn. native led the soccer team in scoring with seven goals and seven assists and led the basketball squad in scoring (16.9), rebounding (6.0), assists (2.9) and steals (2.1). In basketball, Lyons had seven 20-point games and two 30-point games this season, including a career high 34 points against Northwood on Feb. 23.
Soderman, a sophomore on the men’s Nordic skiing team, finished the season as an NCAA National Champion in the freestyle event at the championships in Bozeman, Mont. A native of Njurunda, Sweden, Soderman was also a member of the Central Collegiate Ski Association first team. At the NCAA regional, he placed first in the classic and freestyle events.
Franklin was a four-year member of the indoor and outdoor track and field team. She has a 3.29 GPA and is majoring in physical education/secondary education. In 2011, the senior was an All-American in high jump after finishing third at the NCAA Championships. On the season, she broke the NMU high jump record at 5-9.25, and was all-region in high jump and triple jump. Frankin was the GLIAC Indoor triple jump champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was the 2010 GLIAC Outdoor Field Athlete of the year and 2009 GLIAC Outdoor Co-Freshman of the Year. She is NMU’s record holder in the indoor 55-meter hurdles, high jump and pentathlon and also holds the high jump record in outdoor. Franklin was a two-time team captain and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was also an important advocate for the Young Wildcat Club to get young NMU fans engaged in Wildcat Athletics.
Florek was four-year member of the hockey team and holds a 3.19 GPA while majoring in health/secondary education. The Marquette native was an NHL draft pick of Boston Bruins and played eight games for their minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, after the Wildcats season ended. He appeared in 157 career games as a Wildcat with 54 goals and 63 assists.This season as the team captain, he was honored as a Central Collegiate Hockey Association second team player and CCHA preseason honorable mention. For 2011-12, he led the ‘Cats with 19 goals and was second on the team in total points with 36. Throughout his career, he has done volunteer work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Walt Kyle Mile and Special Olympics along with numerous other events. In 2010-11, Florek was named Gary Emmons Most Valuable Player, Bill Joyce Best Forward, Dallas Drake Defensive Player of the Year and the recipient of the Clara Pantlone Memorial Community Service Award. As a sophomore, he was awarded the Don Waddell Best Freshman Award.
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