Neuharth, Junker named BSU athletes of the year
BEMIDJI -- Tia Neuharth (women’s soccer) and Michael Junker (football) were named Bemidji State’s 2019-20 Female and Male Athletes of the Year on Thursday afternoon. BSU Athletics also announced several other award winners and paid tribute to the program’s 2019-20 teams and seniors over social media instead of at a banquet due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Zöe Christensen (women’s outdoor track and field) and Elias Rosén (men’s hockey) were selected as BSU’s Female and Male Newcomers of the Year. Jared Henning (football) was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Bemidji State University Community Impact Award.
Nine Beavers garnered Female and Male Scholar Athlete of the Year honors for recording GPAs of 4.0: Alex Adams (men’s hockey); Samantha Edlund and Hannah Peterson (women’s tennis); Hunter Haggenmiller (baseball); Taylor Neir (volleyball); Ryne Prigge and Allyna Storms (women’s cross country/track and field); Carolyn Smith (women’s soccer); and Kara Werth (women’s hockey). The women’s hockey and men’s hockey teams secured the top academic team awards with cumulative GPAs of 3.69 and 3.54, respectively.
Neuharth captained the women’s soccer team in 2019 and was a three-time All-NSIC selection, including two first-team nods, while anchoring the Beavers’ back line. The Prior Lake native started in all 19 games as a senior defender and finished her career No. 1 all-time in program history with 78 starts.
Junker set a BSU record by collecting All-American honors from five organizations following a stellar senior season. The defensive back from Hastings led the NSIC in interceptions (eight) and led the nation in interception return yards (272) to earn All-NSIC North Division First Team honors. He finished his career as Bemidji State’s all-time leader in interception return yards (378) and second in career interceptions (17).
Christensen, a freshman in the spring of 2019, placed fourth in the shot put and fifth in the hammer throw at the NSIC Championships. The Glencoe native’s marks ranked among the best in program history and among all freshmen nationally.
Rosén earned spots on the All-WCHA Third Team and All-Rookie Team as a freshman in 2019-20 after compiling 24 points (5g-19a) to rank fourth on the Beavers. The native of Mora, Sweden, led all WCHA rookie defensemen in scoring and was second among league blueliners with 22 points (4g-18a) in conference play. He also tied for the most points by a freshman defenseman nationally.
Henning, a senior quarterback from Jackson, Wis., had his season cut short by injury, though he continued to contribute off the field. He served his second year as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president and was involved in a multitude of other campus organizations. In 2018, Henning was one of 22 players nationally to be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.