ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League selected Oral Roberts baseball player Miguel Ausua (Peñuelas, Puerto Rico) and South Dakota men's track & field student-athlete Chris Nilsen (Kansas City, Mo.) as the Male Athletes of the Month and South Dakota women's track & field athlete Emily Grove (Pontiac, Ill.) as the Female Athlete of the Month for May/June.
Ausua collects his first career Athlete of the Month award after leading Oral Roberts to The Summit League's regular season and tournament titles in May. The junior earned Tournament MVP honors after tossing his first career complete-game shutout over North Dakota State in the league title game. Earlier in the month, he had wins over NDSU (May 7) and Western Illinois (May 19), while striking out a team-best 10 in a no-decision vs. Omaha on May 14. In the NCAA Regional, the Puerto Rico native tossed 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and allowed just one earned run in a loss to No. 11 Arkansas. For the month, Ausua went 3-1 with a 0.26 ERA in 34.0 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts and just seven walks, while allowing only one extra base hit. He was named the league's Pitcher of the Year and earned NCBWA All-America Second Team honors.
Nilsen is awarded his fifth consecutive Athlete of the Month honor after earning bronze at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a height of 17' 10.50" (5.44m) in the pole vault. Earlier in the month, he set a new Summit League Championships record with a vault of 18' 1.00" (5.51m). A native of Kansas City, Mo., Nilsen was named the league's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA Midwest Field Athlete of the Year. The five Athlete of the Month awards are league records for both a season and career by a male student-athlete.
Grove captures her third career Athlete of the Month honor and second this season after earning Second Team All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The senior placed 15th in the pole vault with a height of 13' 1.50" (4.00m). At the league championships last month, the Pontiac, Ill., native defended her title with a vault of 13' 7.75" (4.15m). The Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, Grove was also named Academic All-Summit League and has earned more All-America honors than any other Coyote in the program's Division I history.
Also nominated for the Men's Athlete of the Month: Robert Murphy, IUPUI, track & field
Also nominated for the Women's Athlete of the Month: Roni Patterson, IUPUI, softball
2016-17 Athletes of the Month
Month Male, School, Sport Female, School, Sport
August/September Robert Murphy, IUPUI, cross country Laura Milos, Oral Roberts, volleyball
October Karsten Hanlin, Denver, soccer Audrey Reeg, South Dakota, volleyball
November Andre Shinyashiki, Denver, soccer Maggie Smither, South Dakota State, soccer
December Mike Daum, South Dakota State, basketball Allison Arens, South Dakota, basketball
January Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, track & field Morgan Blumer, Western Illinois, basketball
February Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, track & field Emily Clemens, Western Illinois, basketball
March Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, track & field Rose Jackson, North Dakota State, track & field
April Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, track & field Emily Grove, South Dakota, track & field
May/June Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, track & field Emily Grove, South Dakota, track & field
Miguel Ausua, Oral Roberts, baseball
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