GLIAC announces Winter 2019 Commissioner's Awards

GLIAC announces Winter 2019 Commissioner's Awards


Cassidy Boensch, Grand Valley State basketball

Jr., 3.93 GPA, Biochemistry & Pre-Med

Grand Valley State center Cassidy Boensch (Au Gres, Mich.) excelled on and off the court during a breakout junior season with the Lakers. She helped the team to its first GLIAC regular-season title since the 2005-06 season as they finished 29-4 overall and 19-1 in conference play. She was the driving force behind an NCAA Tournament run to the Sweet Sixteen and did so while carrying a 3.93 GPA with a double major in Biochemistry and Pre-Med and a minor is Human Rights.

The GLIAC Player of the Year averaged 19.6 points on 57.2 percent shooting and 11.6 rebounds, while setting the season program record for total blocks with 102 and total rebounds with 382. Her points per game, rebounds per game, blocks and made free throws all led the league while she shot an efficient 77.7 percent from the charity stripe. She also tallied 21 double doubles throughout the season, the fourth highest mark in the country.

A Google Cloud First Team All-American, Boensch also earned all-America nods from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA). In her three years in Allendale, she’s amassed 1,210 points on the second highest field goal percentage in program history (59.1 percent) while also ranking second in blocked shots per game (2.0) and third in total rejections (194).

Katie Etelmaki, Ferris State Track & Field

Jr., 4.0 GPA, Biology

Ferris State junior distance runner Katie Etelamaki (Ishpeming, Mich.) took fourth place in the 5,000 meters (17:33.88) and was sixth in the 3,000 meters (10:08.12) at the 2019 GLIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships this year. Etelamaki also was a provisional qualifier for the D2 National Indoor Championships and is a three-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honoree.

A biology major with a perfect grade point average, Etelamaki is a two-time All-GLIAC Cross Country recipient and earned Division II Cross Country All-America accolades for the first time in her collegiate career by placing 16th overall as an individual qualifier for the 2018 National Championships last fall. She finished the fall cross country season with eight top-20 meet finishes in eight races and has ranked among the region's top distance standouts both in cross country and track throughout her career. Etelamaki is a five-time All-GLIAC Track and Field honoree and has been both an all-conference and all-region choice.

Lauren Huebner, Saginaw Valley State Track & Field

Jr., 3.90 GPA, Occupational Therapy

Lauren Huebner (Saginaw, Mich.) took her performance to the next level for the Cardinals during the 2018-19 Indoor Track & Field season, earning all-America honors in the pentathlon to round-out a stellar season. 

The junior placed third at the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field championships in the event, registering a school record of 3,823 points. As part of the pentathlon, she set another school record with a time of 8.62 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. Huebner's performance on the national stage came on the heels of her performance at the 2019 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, where she had four podium finishes in leading the Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in the meet. She finished second in the distance medley relay, second in the 60-meter hurdles, third in the long jump and third in the 4x400-meter relay. 

Shayla Huebner, Northern Michigan Track & Field

Sr., 3.92 GPA, Sport Science

Northern Michigan senior Shayla Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) received the seventh GLIAC Commissioner's Award by the Wildcats in school history and first of the 2018-19 season. This is also her second commissioner's award after winning during the winter season last year.

The senior finished sixth at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, posting a time of 2:09.73, breaking her own school record and earning All-America honors. She was also a part of the 4x400 meter relay that finished 11th at the NCAA Championships. Huebner finished second at the GLIAC Championships and helped the relay break a school record to place second. Huebner also made the USTFCCCA All-Region list as she earned distinction in both the 800 meter run and the 4x400 meter relay, earning All-Region honors for the second-straight year.

Huebner had a perfect 4.0 grade point average after the fall semester. Between track & field and cross country, Huebner has now been named to the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence team for each season she has been eligible. 

Jodi Johnson, Ashland Basketball

Jr., 3.85 GPA, Supply Chain Management


Ashland junior guard/forward Jodi Johnson (Wadsworth, Ohio) had another strong season for the nationally-ranked Eagles. She averaged 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.4 steals in 33.8 minutes per game, and shot 57.8 percent from the field, 33.7 percent from 3-point range and 87.6 percent from the free-throw line. Johnson ranked second in the GLIAC in scoring, minutes per game, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage and steals per game, and ninth in rebounding.

Johnson was named an all-American by both the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (honorable mention) and Division II Conference Commissioners Association (third team). She also garnered third-team Google Cloud D-II Academic All-America, first-team D2CCA all-region, GLIAC All-Tournament Team, All-GLIAC first team, All-GLIAC defensive team, College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District, and five GLIAC South Division Player of the Week awards.

Ashlen Michalski, Wayne State Swimming & Diving

Jr., 3.56 GPA, Public Health

Wayne State junior Ashlen Michalski (Shelby Township, Mich.) was a six-time All-American at the 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, helping the Warriors to an eighth-place finish.

Michalski’s two First Team All-America certificates came as a member of the fifth-place 400 medley relay and the eighth-place 200 medley relay. Her four Honorable Mention All-America accolades were in the 200 backstroke (10th place), 100 backstroke (13th place), 400 freestyle relay (12th place) and 800 freestyle relay (14th place). She was a three-time GLIAC champion in 2019 as a member of the 200 medley relay, the 400 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay.  Individually, the team co-captain was second in the 100 backstroke, third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 200 backstroke.

Academically, the Public Health major earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) twice, including a 4.0 term GPA in Fall of 2018, and the Coach’s Honor Roll (term GPA 3.0-3.49) the other three terms.


Rami Gharsalli, Northwood Track & Field

Sr., 3.74 GPA, Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management

Rami Gharsalli (Sousse, Tunisia) has been a standout for the Northwood men’s track and field team from his first day on campus. During the 2019 indoor season, he placed third at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championship in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 7.94. Gharsalli also claimed the GLIAC title in the event as well after running 7.91. He won the 60-meter hurdles at four different meets in the indoor season.

Over his career, Gharsalli has won three GLIAC championships -- the 60 meter hurdles twice indoors and the 110 hurdles outdoors. The three-time All-American is also the NU school record holder in the 60-meter hurdles (7.81). Gharsalli has also been named a CoSIDA Academic All-America, a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree and the 2017 USTFCCCA DII Scholar Athlete of the Year. Gharsalli will graduate this spring with a degree in Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management with a 3.74 GPA.

Bryan Heath, Michigan Tech Men's Basketball

Sr., 3.63 GPA, Software Engineering

Bryan Heath, (Taylor Ridge, Ill.) has had an outstanding career on the court and in the classroom at Michigan Tech. Heath, a senior, amassed 1,443 career points for the Huskies and started every game of his career (112). During his four seasons, Heath averaged 12.9 points per game, pouring in a career high of 29 last season against Davenport. Heath surpassed 1,000 career points as junior, thanks to 17 points against Purdue Northwest on Feb. 3, 2018. He is one of 28 players in program history to score over 1,000 points for his career.

Heath was named Second Team All-GLIAC last season and was awarded the 2015-16 NCAA Division II statistical championship for free throw percentage (93.3 percent). Heath made 88.4 percent of his total free throw attempts in four seasons, which is the best in school history. In addition, he has the 15th highest career point total in the Tech record books. In the classroom, Heath is a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honoree.

Ryan Katulski, Wayne State Swimming & Diving

Jr., 3.85 GPA, Accounting

Wayne State junior Ryan Katulski (Novi, Mich.) was a five-time All-American at the 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, helping the Warriors to a fourth-place finish.

Katulski’s four first team All-America certificates came as he anchored two second-place NCAA relays (200 medley and 400 medley). He led off the second-place 200 free relay and the the third-place 400 freestyle relay. He finished 11th in the 50 free to earn honorable mention all-America recognition. The team co-captain was a four-time GLIAC champion in 2019 as a member of the 200 medley relay (for the second straight year), the 400 medley relay, the 400 freestyle relay and the 50 freestyle (for the second consecutive season). Katulski was third in the 100 freestyle and was a member of the runner-up 200 freestyle relay.

Academically, the Accounting major has earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) all five semesters, including one 4.0 term.

Joao Martimbianco Ribeiro, Wayne State Swimming & Diving

Jr., 3.59 GPA, Mechanical Engineering

Wayne State junior Joao Martimbianco Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was a three-time All-American at the 2019 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, helping the Warriors to a fourth-place finish.

Martimbianco Ribeiro’s two First Team All-America certificates came as he finished sixth in the 400 individual medley and eighth in the 200 breaststroke. He also placed 16th in the 200 individual medley to earn Honorable Mention All-America recognition.

The team co-captain was a GLIAC champion in 2019 in the 400 IM with a GLIAC meet record time. Martimbianco Ribeiro finished third in the 200 IM, fourth in the 200 butterfly and fifth in the 200 breaststroke. He swam leadoff for the third-place 800 freestyle relay. Martimbianco Ribeiro was the 2018 GLIAC Co-Male Swimmer of the Year. Academically, the mechanical engineering major earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) three times, and the Coach’s Honor Roll (term GPA 3.0-3.49) the other semester.

Cody Stilwell, Ferris State Track & Field

Sr., 3.60 GPA, Business Administration

Ferris State senior thrower Cody Stilwell (Cadillac, Mich.) earned All-America honors for the second time in his collegiate career at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships in Pittsburg, Kan. Stilwell, who was one of 18 throwers in the men's weight throw, placed eighth overall in the event at the Robert W. Plaster Center. He tossed a season-best throw of 20.25 meters (66-5 1/4") to garner All-America accolades and become the first FSU male thrower to earn indoor All-America recognition since former national champion Paul Cochran in the shot put in 1990. Additionally, Stillwell is the first-ever Bulldog male to earn All-America honors in the men's weight throw.

This season, Stilwell led the Bulldogs with a fifth-place finish in the weight throw (63-6.25) at the 2019 GLIAC Indoor Championships. Stilwell was an All-GLIAC honoree in both men's indoor and outdoor track and a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team selection as a junior last season. During the indoor season this year, Stilwell finished among the top five throwers in six of his collegiate competitions, including two first-place performances and four top-three efforts.

Nick Zak, Ashland Track & Field

Jr., 3.53 GPA, Criminal Justice

Ashland junior Nick Zak (Brunswick, Ohio) was a key contributor to the Eagle men’s first NCAA Division II indoor track and field team national championship in 2019. He placed third in the men’s weight throw at nationals with a personal-record top mark of 21.06 meters (69-feet-1¼).

During the 2018-19 indoor regular season, Zak was the fourth-best weight thrower in the country, topping out at 20.74 meters (68-feet-0½) at the GVSU Big Meet in February. Despite injuries, Zak ranked No. 24 in the nation in the men’s shot put at 17.27 meters (56-feet-8).