DU’s Hamilton, NDSU’s Milbrath Earn Scholar-Athlete of the Year Honors

Denver's Sam Hamilton & North Dakota State's Morgan Milbrath
Denver's Sam Hamilton & North Dakota State's Morgan Milbrath

2016-17 Scholar-Athletes of the Year Release 

Past Scholar-Athlete of the Year Releases

ELMHURST, Ill. − Denver men's soccer player Sam Hamilton (Evergreen, Colo.) and North Dakota State women's track & field student-athlete Morgan Milbrath (Minot, N.D.) have been selected as the 2016-17 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 each season.

Hamilton becomes the second Denver student-athlete to capture the award (Kyle Milberg, 2013-14). A 2017 MLS SuperDraft First Round selection by the Colorado Rapids, Hamilton captained his Pioneer squad to its first College Cup appearance in program history this year. A defender, he led a backline which finished third in the nation in both goals against average (0.52) and shutout percentage (0.58), while his DU team, undefeated in the regular season, had the highest winning percentage in the NCAA (0.868). A two-time Summit League First Team honoree, Hamilton's 83 career appearances set a Denver Division I record and his 13 career assists rank ninth. He scored three goals in his four-year career and was part of a senior class that finished with a 59-13-11 record, ranking third in the nation during the span.  

In the classroom, Hamilton graduated with a 3.81 GPA as an accounting major. He was named CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America and a Senior CLASS Award candidate this season, while being named to The Summit League's Academic Honor Roll four times and Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence three times. Hamilton was awarded the Cortese Trophy by the Provost in 2017 as the top graduating student-athlete who best combines athletic, academic and civic achievement. During his career, he has volunteered his time with the Denver Children's Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies, Team Impact, St. Baldrick's, 5 Rights and numerous soccer camps.

Milbrath is the third North Dakota State female student-athlete to earn the distinction and first since Amy Anderson in 2011-12. The senior earned honorable mention All-America status at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a 17th-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay (3:38.44). She placed first at The Summit League Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 400 meters with a league and program record time of 53.58. She also took first in the 400-meter hurdles (1:00.02) and 4x400-meter relay at the league outdoor championships. Milbrath is the school record holder in four indoor events and four outdoor events. She was a three-time NCAA Championships qualifier and an 11-time Summit League champion during her career.

Academically, Milbrath owns a 3.98 GPA majoring in physical education/health education with a psychology minor. She was named a Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2017 and is a three-time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection. This year, she was named Bison Athletics' Most Valuable Scholar and is a six-time Academic All-Summit League (indoor & outdoor) recipient and two-time Bison Academic Excellence Award winner. Milbrath is the Vice President of both the Blue Key Honor Society and Student Athlete Advisory Council at NDSU. She has also volunteered her time with organizations and events such as the Myron Lowber Kinetic Program, the Salvation Army, Fargo Marathon and track & field clinics.

Also nominated for the Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Kurt Unger, Fort Wayne (cross country); Robert Murphy, IUPUI (cross country/track & field); Matti Mortimore, North Dakota State (track & field); Mark Moulton, Omaha (soccer); Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts (baseball); Jay Cooper, South Dakota (track & field); Joel Reichow, South Dakota State (cross country/track & field); Adam McGinnis, Western Illinois (baseball)

Also nominated for the Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Heidi Bradley, Denver (swimming & diving); Abbigayle Dunlavy, Fort Wayne (cross country/track & field); Tori Minnich, IUPUI (soccer); Mikaela Shaw, Omaha (basketball); Maria Stordahl, Oral Roberts (soccer); Bridget Arens, South Dakota (basketball); Iasmin Rosa, South Dakota State (tennis); Mallory Boyle, Western Illinois (basketball)


Past Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award Winners
1990-91 Tony Bennett, Green Bay
1991-92 Tony Bennett, Green Bay
1992-93 Marc Reidl, Valparaiso
  Lori Olson, Eastern Illinois
1993-94 Marc Reidl, Valparaiso
  Heidi Marshall, Cleveland State
1994-95 Jason Kayser, Kansas City
  Tricia Hardtke, Valparaiso
1995-96 Justin Weiss, Eastern Illinois
  Kim Givens, Youngstown State
1996-97 Anshooman Aga, Troy
  Laura Kulans, Valparaiso
1997-98 Bryce Drew, Valparaiso
  Adrienne Schultz, Western Illinois
1998-99 Jake Koller, Western Illinois
  Collette Liss, Valparaiso
  Juliana Moser, Oral Roberts
1999-2000 Myke Thom, Oakland
  Juliana Moser, Oral Roberts
2000-01 Ben Houltberg, Oral Roberts
  Sonya Ahmed, Kansas City
2001-02 Tim Weidner, Valparaiso
  Sonya Ahmed, Kansas City
2002-03 Ryan Rzepka, Oakland
  Tiffany Kyser, IUPUI
2003-04 Justin Langan, Western Illinois
  Anja Schmidt, Centenary
2004-05 Ryan Rzepka, Oakland
  Anja Schmidt, Centenary
  Candice Satow, Oral Roberts
2005-06 Justin Wenger, IUPUI
  Nicole Piggott, Oakland
2006-07 Brandon Fulenchek, Centenary
  Betsy Rietema, Valparaiso
2007-08 Brett Winkelman, North Dakota State
  Bess Rapp, Western Illinois
2008-09 Brett Winkelman, North Dakota State
  Jennifer Warkenthien, South Dakota State
2009-10 John Lee, South Dakota State
  Sharla Manuele, Southern Utah
2010-11 Perez Agaba, IUPUI
  Whitney Carlson, North Dakota State
2011-12 Perez Agaba, IUPUI
  Amy Anderson, North Dakota State
2012-13 Jeff Mettler, South Dakota
  Amanda Hyde, Fort Wayne
2013-14 Tim Colwell, North Dakota State
  Kyle Milberg, Denver
  Bethany Firsick, South Dakota
2014-15 Jose Pablo Segurola, IUPUI

Ashley Luke, Western Illinois


Clayton Taylor, Omaha


Diana Potterveld, South Dakota State

Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.


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