MARQUETTE, Mich. — Sophomore Greco-Roman wrestler Kendrick Sanders and freshman weightlifter Ryan Borges were named the “most valuable performers” of their respective Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site teams.
The awards were presented at the recent NMU Sports Hall of Fame and Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet on the NMU campus.
This season, Sanders (74 kilograms), who hails from Homestead, Fla., won his weight class at the Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup, the prestigious Dave Schultz International and ASICS Senior Open. He was selected for the Team USA World Cup squad that is competing in Tehran, Iran on May 15-16.
The other award recipients of Coach Rob Hermann’s squad were freshmen Orry Elor, an engineering major with a 3.85 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) from Walnut Creek, Calif., scholar-athlete award; freshman Travis Rice of Washington, Ill., newcomer award; and sophomore Austin Morrow of Wenatchee, Wash., most improved award. Rice finished third at the FILA Junior Nationals in April and was fifth at the Sweden International Malar Cup. Herman cited Morrow for his work ethic in practice and added, “He has the heart and fight to go to the next level.”
Borges, of Bradenton, Fla., captured the OTS’ top weightlifting honor after a strong season that included winning the 56 kilogram weight class at the National Championships.
The other award recipients of Coach Vance Newgards’ team were senior Brennan Jaquint, a sports science and pre-medicine major from Evansville, Wis., with a 3.98 GPA, scholar-athlete award; freshman Chris Santana of Palm Coast, Fla., newcomer award; and freshman John Eaton of River Falls, Wis., most improved. Santana finished third at the American Open as a junior competitor taking on senior-level athletes. Eaton qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships this year and Newgard said he earned the honor by being “the quickest learner in the weightlifting room and someone who pushes hard every day.”