NMU Olympic Training Site hands out annual awards

MARQUETTE – Sophomore Greco-Roman wrestler Kendrick Sanders and freshman weightlifter Ryan Borges have been named the Most Valuable Performers for 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 Northern campus.

Sanders, who hails from Homestead, Fla., won his 74-kilogram weight class at the Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup, the Dave Schultz International and the ASICS Senior Open. He was selected for the Team USA World Cup squad that is competing in Tehran, Iran, May 15-16.

Other award recipients for coach Rob Hermann’s Greco-Roman 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.

In an NMU-OTS news release, 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 NMU’s top weightlifting honor after a strong season that included winning the 56-kg weight class at nationals.

The other award recipients for coach Vance Newgards’ weight-lifting 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, while Eaton qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships this season.

Newgard said Eaton earned the honor by being “the quickest learner in the weightlifting room and someone who pushes hard every day.”