UNO’s Taylor, SDSU’s Potterveld Named Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Omaha's Clayton Taylor & South Dakota State's Diana Potterveld
Omaha's Clayton Taylor & South Dakota State's Diana Potterveld

2015-16 Scholar-Athletes of the Year Release

Past Scholar-Athlete of the Year Releases

ELMHURST, Ill. − Omaha baseball player Clayton Taylor (Omaha, Neb.) and South Dakota State soccer player Diana Potterveld (Fort Collins, Colo.) have been selected as the 2015-16 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.

Taylor’s selection as the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year marks the first time an Omaha student-athlete has received the distinction. The senior third baseman was named Summit League Player of the Year and became a four-time all-league selection following the 2016 campaign. He completed the season with a .326 batting average, .544 slugging percentage and .430 on-base percentage. He led the league with 66 RBI and was second in home runs with 11, while collecting 43 runs, 12 doubles and 10 stolen bases. Taylor was also named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball in 2013.
Academically, Taylor graduated Magna Cum Laude in May with a 3.81 grade-point average (GPA) with a major in IT innovation and minor in management information systems. The UNO Scott Scholar for Engineering recipient was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team and earned his third consecutive Academic All-Summit League honor this season. A Chancellor’s and Dean’s List honoree, the Omaha, Neb., native has also been named to The Summit League Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence. In the community, Taylor has volunteered his time at the YMCA, Office on Youth, Camp Light, Habitat for Humanity and Watorford at Miracle Hills Assisted Living.

Potterveld is the second female student-athlete from South Dakota State to be named Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Jennifer Warkenthien, 2008-09). The senior propelled the Jackrabbits to their second straight league championship in 2015, being named Tournament MVP with two goals in the championship match. On the year, the senior tallied nine goals and four assists for 22 points. She had one game-winning goal and started all 21 matches for the Jackrabbits. Potterveld was selected first team All-Summit League three times in her career (2012, 2014, 2015), along with being named Freshman of the Year in 2012 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2014.

In the classroom, Potterveld distinguished herself by graduating in just seven semesters with a 4.00 GPA as a biology major (pre-physician’s assistant) with minors in Spanish and chemistry. The Fort Collins, Colo., native graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded an NCAA post-graduate scholarship. She was selected to The Summit League’s All-Academic Team three times (2013, 2014, 2015) and was also a first team CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American in 2014. Potterveld was involved in multiple extracurricular activities, including serving as SDSU’s SAAC President in 2015, a TRiO program tutor and a team coordinator for Project Joy/Adopt a Family.

Also nominated for the Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Sam Hamilton, Denver (soccer); Greg Kaiser, Fort Wayne (baseball); Robert Murphy, IUPUI (cross country/track & field); Alex Renner, North Dakota State (track & field); Jonathan Harper, Oral Roberts (cross country/track & field); Jeff O’Connell, South Dakota (track & field); Trent Lusignan, South Dakota State (cross country/track & field); Max Ford, Western Illinois (track & field).

Also nominated for the Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Sarah Schmid, Denver (volleyball); Brenna Sherwood, Fort Wayne (golf); Kaitlyn Hickey, IUPUI (volleyball); Cheyenne Garcia, North Dakota State (softball); Katie Kesti, Omaha (golf); Kaily Cox, Oral Roberts (soccer); Kelsey Barrett, South Dakota (cross country/track & field); Victoria Kappel, Western Illinois (soccer).

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

In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four 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), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), 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. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 75 Academic All-Americans, 65 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. In 2014-15, The Summit League ranked first for NCAA Graduation Success Rate in women’s basketball and second in baseball. For more information about the league and to “See The Summit”, visit website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly “Inside The Summit League” show at