WAYNE – A trio of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference student-athletes from the seven sports being recognized with the NSIC Elite 18 Award during the spring season were honored this week as repeat award winners.
According to a release from the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota, the award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NSIC’s 18 Championships.
Although championships were not contested this spring, the NSIC adjusted criteria to include all rostered players to be eligible for the award, not just those to make it to the final site. The seven award winners this spring had an average cumulative GPA of 3.98, including six with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.
Junior pitcher Aaron Ras was named the recipient of the NSIC Elite 18 Award in baseball for a second straight year. The award is given to the student-athlete holding the highest-grade point average with the most credits earned among the 15 institutions playing baseball in the NSIC.
The left-handed pitcher from Bancroft (Bancroft-Rosalie HS), Ras holds a 4.00 grade point average majoring in interdisciplinary studies. In his three years at Wayne State College, he has an 8-7 record with a 5.28 ERA in 29 appearances and 19 starts while striking out 98 batters in just 92 innings of work. He has held opponents to a .238 batting average. This past season, Ras had a 0-2 record in three appearances before the season was halted due to COVID 19.
As a freshman in 2018, Ras was named the Wayne State Male Athlete of the Year after posting a 5-2 record and 4.02 ERA allowing just 24 earned runs in 53.2 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts.
Other NSIC Elite 18 Award winners were senior Logan Schweinefus for men’s golf (Upper Iowa), senior Cole Oslin for men’s outdoor track & field (Concordia-St. Paul), senior Shayla Steinley for softball (Northern State), junior Jill Safranski for women’s golf (MSU Moorhead), junior Allyna Storms for women’s track & field (Bemidji State) and senior Kendra Kappes for women’s tennis (Winona State).
The NSIC Elite 18 Award was instituted as part of the NSIC 25th Anniversary celebration during the 2016-17 academic year to recognize the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the NSIC Championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.