Each month, The Summit League will feature outstanding student-athlete performances from a selected institution as recognized by its Faculty Athletic Representative. The May installment of The Summit League Scholar-Athlete Spotlight features two student-athletes from Denver.
Tonje Daffinrud, Women’s Golf
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Tonsberg, Norway
Major: International Business
A PIONEER for sure. Tonje is by far the most accomplished female golfer to wear the Crimson and Gold. She ranks in the top 15 among 1200+ Division I women golfers in the country. And, without a doubt her low scores and winning ways have helped propel her team into national recognition. She represents DU with enthusiasm, grace and excellence. Yet, one must take in the whole of Tonje as a student and citizen of the world.
Winning the conference tournament two years in a row, individually, speaks volumes of her hard work, dedication to being the best, and above all else, representing the University of Denver at the conference level with class. She believes in doing the right thing and representing DU at all times and has been a wonderful leader for us on our team this year for the four underclassmen that we have. Representing DU in Asia studying abroad, in Turkey and in Texas the last two years at the World Amateur Championship (as part of team Norway), she knows what it means to play with Pioneer qualities of ethical behavior and integrity.
As a senior, she has been a mentor, captain, and leader on our team, especially with our three new players, and Mariell Bruun, a freshman from Norway, as well. She has helped mentor Mariell on the golf course as well as off by teaching her the importance of representing DU and being a student-athlete. This very much shows me that she has the five qualities of what Denver students, faculty, and coaches, also represent: inclusiveness, collaboration, involvement, responsiveness, and accountability.
Tonje not only exemplifies DU values and behaviors, but mentors her teammates to do the same, represent DU in a positive way, both with and integrity. Her record in golf both at DU and with various Norwegian National teams in international competiton set her apart. There is no question that Tonje Daffinrud has left the mark of a PIONEER on the history of the University of Denver.
Ryan Holly, Men’s Swimming &
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Phoenix, Ariz.
Ryan is graduating this June with a BS in Molecular Biology, with distinction, including minors in Chemistry and Medical Physics. Ryan’s academic achievements are impressive in their own right; it is even more impressive when you consider that he has swam competitively on the Denver swimming team for the last four years. As a student-athlete, Ryan’s performance and dedication in the pool mirrored his efforts as a student. As a student and team leader, he was selected to serve as one of the team captains in his senior year.
Information courtesy of Denver.