ELMHURST, Ill. − North Dakota State baseball player Tim Colwell (Shoreview, Minn.), Denver men’s swimmer Kyle Milberg (Littleton, Colo.) and South Dakota women’s track and field athlete Bethany Firsick (Fenton, Mo.) have been selected as the 2013-14 Summit League Scholar-Athletes of the Year in a vote by the league’s faculty athletic representatives. The Summit League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards are the most prestigious individual honors given by the league.
Colwell, a university studies major who graduated with a perfect 4.00 grade-point average (GPA), helped lead the Bison to their first-ever Summit League tournament title and first appearance in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament where he was named to the Corvallis Regional All-Tournament Team. He batted .378 with 22 RBI and 19 stolen bases this season. The 2014 Summit League Player of the Year, Colwell holds the NDSU career records for triples (18), hits (291), stolen bases (52), stolen base attempts (68), at-bats (830), runs scored (172) and games played (211).
A three-time All-Summit League first team honoree, Colwell was named the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America Baseball Athlete of the Year along with collecting his third consecutive first team selection. The Shoreview, Minn., native also earned Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-America distinction. He is a four-time Summit League Distinguished Scholar and has been named to The Summit League Academic Honor Roll four times and to the Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence three years. Colwell volunteers his time at local baseball camps along with visiting nursing homes and reading to children at the public library in the Fargo community.
Milberg becomes Denver’s first Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient after finishing his career with a 3.92 GPA as a chemistry and mathematics major. In the pool, the senior helped guide Denver to its first Summit League Swimming and Diving Championship title with three individual and team relay wins en route to capturing the Swimming Championship MVP award. The Littleton, Colo., native took first in the 100-yard backstroke (48.02), 200-yard backstroke (1:43.84) and the 100-yard butterfly (48.02) events. He swam the first leg on the Pioneer’s 200-yard medley relay (1:28.17) and 400-yard medley relay (3:14.18) squads and the anchor leg for the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:00.36) championship teams. He was a three-time Summit League Swimmer of the Week selection and earned the February Male Athlete of the Month award.
Academically, Milberg earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Team. He was named to the academic all-league team while earning Dean’s List recognition six times over his four years at Denver. Milberg captured the Cortese Trophy awarded by the Provost for academic, civic, campus and athletic excellence and was also a chemistry and biology academic tutor.
Firsick, a four-time First Team All-American (two indoor, two outdoor), is South Dakota’s first female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree. The senior graduated with a 3.97 GPA as a psychology major. In 2014, she took fourth place in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a height of 14’5.25” (4.40m) for her third career top-five finish at the NCAA Championships. She was the national champion at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships after tying a championship record height of 14’7.25” (4.45m) and placed third at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Fenton, Mo., native won the pole vault at 25 of her 54 career meets, including the 2012 Summit League Outdoor and 2013 Summit League Indoor titles. She holds the outdoor school record height of 14’7.50” (4.45m) and is second in the Coyote record books for the indoor season at 14’5.50” (4.40m).
In the classroom, Firsick was named to the Dean’s List every semester and was named USD’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014. She is a two-time Summit League Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence selection and is a two-time Academic All-Summit League selection. The 2013 USTFCCCA Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Firsick was named a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America First Team honoree that same year.
Also nominated for the Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Malcolm White, Fort Wayne (baseball); Rob van de Vin, IUPUI (golf); John Karhoff, Omaha (basketball); Jeff Mettler, South Dakota (cross country/track & field); Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State (basketball); Nathaniel Marshall, Western Illinois (track & field).
Also nominated for the Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Kristen Hamilton, Denver (soccer); Amanda Hyde, Fort Wayne (basketball); Rachel Zajac, IUPUI (cross country/track & field); Maddie McClellan, North Dakota State (cross country/track & field); Sami Spenner, Omaha (track & field); Kali Olson, South Dakota State (track & field); Chelsea Lynes, Western Illinois (cross country/track & field).