June 27, 2016

Partly sunny

Falkenberg pockets major honor


Sports Editor

Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Ben Falkenburg was named the male recipient of the Emil S. Liston Award given annually by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The award recognizes a male and female junior basketball player for their excellence in playing ability, scholarship and character.

Lindsay Anderson, a standout guard at Doane (Neb.) College, is this year’s female recipient.

“The NAIA is pleased to recognize Ben and Lindsay,” NAIA president and CEO Jim Carr said.

“The NAIA exists to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics and these are two great examples of how academic and athletic success can walk hand in hand.”

Falkenburg, a 5-foot-11 guard from Wadsworth, is the fastest player in MVNU history to score 1,000 points in just 53 games. He stands just three points shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to score 2,000 points.

In the classroom, Falkenburg has compiled a 3.84 grade-point-average as a biology major. He has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV first team twice. He was also named to the NAIA and National Christian College Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete teams this year.

Falkenburg has also made an impact elsewhere.

He took mission trips to Jamaica in the summer of 2005 and the Dominican Republic in the summer of ’06.

“Ben will be one of the greatest student-athletes to graduate from Mount Vernon Nazarene University,” Cougars men’s basketball coach Scott Flemming said. “He is well on his way to being one of the most outstanding players in our program’s history.”


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FOOTBALL: Kent State University junior kicker Nate Reed (Wadsworth) is a preseason All-Mid-American Conference first-team pick. Last season, Reed set the school record with a 52-yard field goal against Central Michigan, while tying the school records for field goals in a game (4 against Ohio University) and in a season (18). He led the Flashes with 79 points. Reed was one of the recipients of KSU’s Outstanding Special Teams Award last season.

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BASEBALL: Biagio Boytim (Brunswick) and Branden Stucky (Medina) helped lead Heidelberg College to one of its most successful seasons in the program’s history. Boytim, a junior first baseman, started all 46 games batting .277 with 44 hits in 159 at bats. He had 14 doubles to rank second on the team and 25 RBI. Stucky, a freshman left-handed pitcher, made seven appearances with three starts. He pitched 21 2/3 innings giving up 32 hits, while striking out 21. Stucky (1-0) had a 6.65 ERA. Heidelberg finished the year 41-10 while making a trip to the NCAA Mideast Regional. ‘Berg’ won the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles. … Baldwin-Wallace College outfielder Ben Stoper (Medina) picked up Outstanding Freshman honors for the Yellow Jackets. Stoper, who began the season with the junior varsity team, finished with eight varsity appearances including five starts. He batted .381 with five runs scored, three RBI and a .458 on-base percentage.

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TRACK: KSU sophomore Jessica Lhotsky (Highland) placed 15th in the women’s 800-meter preliminaries at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Mid-East Regionals with a time of 2:10.09. … Ursuline College freshman Annie Grindle (Wadsworth) placed 15th in the 100-meter hurdles at the NAIA Track & Field Championships with a time of 15:14. In the prelims, Grindle ran a 14.99. The former Grizzly was also a member of Ursuline’s 4×100 relay which tied for 17th with a time of 49.10.  … Walsh University freshman Holly Gospodinsky (Wadsworth) placed 25th in the shot put with a push of 36-feet at the NAIA Championships.

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SOFTBALL: Otterbein senior outfielder Corey Bernard (Medina) received honorable mention Academic All-OAC recognition.

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CREW: Carter East (Medina) earned Academic All-American honors for Ohio State. Carter rows in the varsity V8’s, varsity lightlights and varsity 4-man boat. 

Szudlo may be reached at sports@ohio.net.