Simpson athletes honored on and off the field

by Lexie Hagerty/Staff Writer

Eight Simpson College athletes earned individual awards for their performances as college athletes as of Feb. 12.

ESPN The Magazine honored one Simpson basketball player for the 2010 year and the IIAC honored seven Simpson athletes in January and February.

Senior basketball forward Andrew Dau of Primghar earned a spot on the 2010 ESPN The Magazine Men’s Basketball College Division Academic All-District First Team.

The award acknowledges Dau’s performance on the court and his performance in the classroom. Dau owns a 3.97 cumulative GPA, majoring in computer science and mathematics.

“You just have to manage your time as efficiently as possible,” Dau said. “That means you might have to sacrifice a few things along the way.”

Dau became the first men’s basketball player to receive the award since 2003. Dau said it isn’t easy to keep up his studies and participate in a college sport, but his studies are more important in the long run.Dau was also named an Academic All-American by the NCAA.

“My athletic career is going to be over after college, but my academics are going to be what carry me for the rest of my life,” Dau said.

Senior hurdler Lauren Bucklin of Bondurant and sophomore basketball center Stacey Schutjer of Titonka were both recognized twice this winter as IIAC Performers of the Week in February. Bucklin posted an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the 55-meter hurdles for the second weekend in a row during that week. Bucklin is a five-time All-American hurdler and this honor was her fifth Performer Award in the past two seasons.

“This is my last year and I want to be able to see what I can do,” Bucklin said. “Even having the opportunity to compete at the college level is exciting. I have to take a step back and appreciate what I get to do.”

Schutjer said her success comes from always striving to get better and trying to be a great teammate.

“I always want to compete and get better individually and to help my team,” Schutjer said. “If I’m not working hard, then I’m not giving my team all of my effort and I don’t want to let my team down by not giving it my all.”

Schutjer tallied her fourth double-double in the Storm’s win against Luther. She also led the team that week in scoring and rebounding, which placed her at third and fifth in the conference.

Senior basketball center Tim Dunlavy from Bettendorf earned IIAC Male Athlete of the Week in February. Dunlavy averaged 19.5 points and 13.5 rebounds during the week, earning him his fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season.

Junior basketball guard Amy Hamilton of Ames earned IIAC Athlete of the Week. Hamilton earned her honor in January after hitting 11 three-pointers, leading the Storm team to a 3-0 record for the week.

Senior basketball guard Katie Kitzman, a Gilman native earned IIAC Outstanding Weekly Performer in January. Kitzman scored a career-high 26 points at Loras College Jan. 30 after averaging 26 points per game the week before.

Senior Wardell Watkins of Olathe earned IIAC Performer of the Week after he won first place in the long jump and triple jump at the Wartburg College Relays in January.

Senior 157/165-pound wrestler Wade Dowling of West Des Moines earned recognition as an IIAC Outstanding Weekly Performer in January as well. Dowling went 7-2 during the week.