ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League has named North Dakota State men’s basketball player Taylor Braun (Newberg, Ore.) as its Male Athlete of the Month and Omaha women’s track & field athlete Sami Spenner (Columbus, Neb.) as the Female Athlete of the Month for January.
Braun collects his first career Athlete of the Month award after leading North Dakota State to a 6-1 overall record and 5-1 league mark during the month. The senior forward scored 30 points with six rebounds and six assists in the win at South Dakota State on Jan. 25. He tallied 20 points in the Jan. 16 win over Omaha with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. A two-time January Player of the Week recipient, he scored 16 points in contests at Fort Wayne and IUPUI and totaled 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win over Western Illinois (Jan. 18). For the month, Braun averaged 17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He had a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio while shooting 46 percent (35-of-76) from the field and 91 percent (30-of-33) at the free throw line.
Spenner earns her third career Athlete of the Month honor after recording the world’s third-best pentathlon score and top score in the United States this season, according to IAAF.org, at the Jack Jennett Invitational on Jan. 31. Her score of 4,406 points also ranks sixth all-time collegiately and third all-time as an American collegiate score. The senior swept all five events, which included a school record leap of 20’09” (6.32m) in the long jump. Her score of 4,406 points is the top collegiate mark by over 1,000 points and she became just the sixth woman in collegiate history to surpass the 4,400-point plateau. The Columbus, Neb., native currently ranks in the league’s top-10 in seven events, including first in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and pentathlon.
Also nominated for the Men’s Athlete of the Month: Ross Edfort, Denver, swimming & diving; Luis Jacobo, Fort Wayne, basketball; Ryan Cutter, IUPUI, track & field; Brayden Carlson, South Dakota State, basketball; Garret Covington, Western Illinois, basketball.
Also nominated for the Women’s Athlete of the Month: Sonja Radosevic, Denver, tennis; Haley Seibert, Fort Wayne, basketball; DeAirra Goss, IUPUI, basketball; Ashley Luke, Western Illinois, basketball.