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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Top 5 Athletes

Top 5 Athletes

By Scott A. Nicol | April 10, 2017

Here are Sports Editor Christopher Loggins’ top five athletes of the 2015-16 academic year.

No. 1

Although football didn’t end its season the way it probably would have hoped to, junior cornerback Shawun Lurry ends the 2015-16 year as the No. 1 NIU athlete.

Lurry emerged as one of the top corners in the nation this season, leading the Football Bowl Subdivision in interceptions with nine. His impressive year led to him being named an All-American, becoming only the fourth player in NIU history to do so. His career high in interceptions came in at a Sep. 19 game against Ohio State University when he picked up two.

Lurry notched an interception in five straight games, making him one of the Huskies’ leaders on defense throughout the year.

No. 2

Senior softball catcher Emily Naegele comes in at No. 2 on the list of top athletes for the year after she put together one of the best regular seasons in softball history.

Naegele played and started in all 51 games for the Huskies this season, the only player on the team to do so. She hit for an average of .407 and blasted 18 home runs, the most an NIU player has ever hit in a season.

The senior picked up 52 RBI’s, 10 doubles, two triples and 44 runs, all while boasting an .876 slugging percentage. She also led the team in on base percentage with .525.

Naegele took home the MAC West Player of the Week award three times this season and was a big part of the 14-game winning streak by the Huskies.

The Huskies finished the regular season 33-18 and won their first division title since 2000.

No. 3

Ally Lehman, junior women’s basketball guard, is No. 3 on the list of top athletes following a year in which she put up stellar numbers for the Huskies.

Lehman averaged 13.4 points and 11 rebounds, breaking the NIU record for rebounds in a season with 323. She also finished the year with 15 double doubles.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of Lehman’s season was a night she scored an NIU-record 41 points in a Feb. 24 game against Western Michigan University — 29 of her 41 points came in the second half.

“She’s somebody who, as a team captain, an upperclassman, somebody who did bring a lot of game experience to the court,” said NIU head coach Lisa Carlsen, according to a March 21 Northern Star article.

No. 4

Women’s tennis junior Adey Osabuohien completed the year being named First Team All-MAC, good enough to land her a spot at No. 4 for top athletes this season.

Osabuohien went 16-3 in individual matches and 5-1 in conference matchups on her way to becoming the fifth player in the history of the program to be named to First Team All-MAC. She finished the year with 23 combined wins.

No. 5

Men’s basketball put together one of the best seasons of all NIU sports this season, and its impressive play has earned the entire team the fifth spot on the top five athletes list.

The Huskies finished the season 21-13 and 18-1 at home, putting together one of their best seasons in recent memory. They made it to the second round of the MAC Tournament, taking a loss to Ohio University.

The team got great contributions from all of its players, a huge key to its success throughout the year. The Huskies also got a big boost from their freshman class and bench, helping the team in its historic year.

Wrestlers make their mark with successful season

By Christopher Loggins | March 24, 2016

Wrestling went just 6-10 on the season but put together a very successful postseason run, giving the team its best finish in some time.Redshirt freshman Austin Eicher made history for the Huskies in the MAC Championships, becoming the team’s first player...

Wrestlers earn national championship bids

By Northern Star staff | March 7, 2016

Four wrestlers secured berths to the NCAA Championships at the 2016 MAC Championships on Sunday, according to an NIU Athletics news release.Redshirt freshman Austin Eicher won an individual MAC title Sunday and ended the tournament as the No. 4 seed.Redshirt...

Wrestling wins second in a row to move to .500

By Christopher Loggins | January 19, 2016

Wrestling (5-5, 0-2 MAC) won its second consecutive game over the weekend, downing The Citadel in a 24-19 showdown in Edwardsville.NIU never trailed in the match and already had an 11-0 lead through two matches. Its largest win of the day came in a dual...

Wrestling preps for Midlands Championships

By Raven Boyd | December 29, 2015

Wrestling (3-3, 0-1 MAC) will play in its first matches since Dec. 19 as it travels to Northwestern for the 53rd Ken Kraft Midlands Championships today and tomorrow.The Huskies began winter break with a dominating 29-4 victory in a non-conference matchup...

Wrestling takes loss in first home contest

By Raven Boyd | December 7, 2015

Wrestling (2-3, 0-1 MAC) took a loss against undefeated Central Michigan (3-0, 1-0 MAC) in its home opener Thursday.Redshirt senior Shawn Scott, ranked 16th in the nation, brought home the Huskies’ only win of the night. Scott secured his 10th win of...

Wrestling prepares for battle with Central Michigan

By Raven Boyd | December 3, 2015

Wrestling (2-2, 0-0 MAC) is preparing to battle against Central Michigan tonight after having nine members of the team place at the Michigan State Open and another six at the Lindenwood Open last month.Redshirt senior Arthur Bunce will return after winning...

Four wrestlers get on podium at Michigan State Open

By Danny Albers | November 3, 2014

Wrestling’s freshmen and sophomore competitors, as well as the upperclassmen, showed a lot of promise Sunday at the Michigan State Open.In an open that holds a tournament for both upperclassmen and freshmen and sophomores, the Huskies placed four wrestlers...