|Katie Stolz and Aaron Haley were named outstanding Female and Male Athletes, and Courtney Euerle and Ben Buerkle were named Outstanding Female and Male Athletes.|
|The new Saint Mary's Sports Hall of Fame inductees: Kelly (King) Stinson '97, Chris Gogolewski '94 and Jennifer (Meyer) Fisher '01.|
The 2013-14 season proved to be the end of one dominating era, and the beginning of another.
Senior Courtney Euerle (Litchfield, Minn.) capped an illustrious career by leading the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team to an MIAC regular-season title and NCAA tournament berth, while freshman Ben Buerkle (Roseville, Minn.) took the college baseball world by storm in helping guide the Cardinal baseball team to its third straight MIAC tournament berth.
And Friday evening, the two were honored for their efforts, being named Saint Mary’s Outstanding Female and Male Athletes at the Cardinal ‘M’ Club Sports Hall of Fame and Awards Ceremony.
Aaron Haley (Plainview, Minn.) and Katie Stolz (Forest Lake, Minn.), meanwhile, were named Outstanding Male and Female Scholar Athletes.
Friday’s festivities also included the induction of three new members into the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame, as the Cardinal ‘M’ Club, in association with the Saint Mary’s Alumni Office, welcomed the Class of 2014: Kelly (King) Stinson ’97 (fastpitch softball), Jennifer (Meyer) Fisher ’01 (fastpitch softball) and Chris Gogolewski ’94 (baseball).
Euerle’s final season in a Cardinal uniform was her best yet, as the senior post helped guide Saint Mary’s to an MIAC regular-season title, a berth in the MIAC tournament title game, and its first NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly three decades. Euerle, who led the team in both scoring and rebounding—including six games of 20 or more points and five double-doubles—was showered with post-season accolades, including MIAC Player of the Year, First-Team All-MIAC, MIAC All-Defensive Team, D3hoops.com All-West Region and D3hoops.com honorable-mention All-American.
Buerkle turned more than a few heads in his first season in a Cardinal uniform. The freshman outfielder boasted a team-best .405 batting average, while also leading or sharing the team lead in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage en route to earning MIAC Rookie of the Year and ABCA Third-Team All-Region honors. The freshman outfielder had at least one hit in 36 of the 40 games he played in—and reached base safely in 39 of 40 contests.
An accounting/finance major with a 3.97 grade-point-average, Haley finished his junior season as the Cardinals’ top runner in all six cross country events he competed in. Haley saved his best for last, repeating as an All-MIAC selection with a school-record 8K time of 25:59 to place 13th overall at the MIAC Championships. He added a 35th-place time of 26:09 to earn All-Region honors at the NCAA Central Regional. During the outdoor track and field season, the junior etched his name in the Cardinal record books, shattering the school mark in the 10,000 with a time of 32:18.83.
Like Haley, Stolz was a dual-sport athlete during her junior year, competing on both the Cardinal women’s cross country and track and field teams. A biology major with a 4.00 GPA, Stolz broke the school record in the 6K twice during the cross country season, while shattering the steeplechase record three times, and setting a new school mark in the indoor 5,000. Earning First-Team All-MIAC honors in both cross country and outdoor track and field, Stolz was also honored with the MIAC’s Elite 22 award, honoring individuals who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
To see photos from the event, go to www.smumn.edu/photos.