NCAA SPORTS: SMSU ‘Celebrates Excellence,’ honors several athletes

MARSHALL – Southwest Minnesota State student-athletes from the 2012-13 academic year were honored at the SMSU Athletic Department’s eighth annual Celebration of Excellence program Sunday.

The Mustangs volleyball team – which qualified for the NCAA tournament last season – was recognized, as were all-conference, academic all-conference, 2012-13 student-athlete seniors, team MVPs and SMSU Medalists.

Softball player Amy Dreessen, of Elkhorn, Neb., was named the 2012-13 female scholar-athlete of the year, while men’s basketball player Nick Smith, of Johnston, Iowa, was named male scholar-athlete of the year.

Wrestler Justin Reinsma, of Slayton, received the 2012-13 male athlete of the year honor, while volleyball player Brooke Burmeister, of Lakefield, was named female athlete of the year.

Reinsma earned All-American honors for the second straight season after finishing seventh at the NCAA championships at 133 pounds in March.

Reinsma recorded a team-high 28 victories during the season and enters this season 12th in school history with 79 career victories. He was named second team All-NSIC in 2012-13 and was named to the NWCA All-Academic team.

Burmeister concluded a tremendous four-year career in 2012, earning first team All-NSIC, first team all-region and honorable mention All-American honors. She led the Mustangs with 354 kills and 42 services aces, while ranking fourth on the squad in blocks.

Burmeister helped lead SMSU to a share of the NSIC regular season championship, the NSIC tournament championship and to the second round of the NCAA tournament. She was also a standout in the classroom, earning first team CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.

Burmeister closed her career ranking fifth in school history with 1,550 kills.

Former SMSU volleyball player Devin Diedrich served as this year’s keynote speaker.

Aaron Ziemer, sports director at Marshall Radio, served as master of ceremonies.