SDSU's Wolters, UNO's Spenner Named February Athletes of the Month

South Dakota State's Nate Wolters and Omaha's Sami Spenner
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters and Omaha's Sami Spenner

February Athletes of the Month Release

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League selected South Dakota State men’s basketball student-athlete Nate Wolters (St. Cloud, Minn.) and Omaha women’s track & field student-athlete Sami Spenner (Columbus, Neb.) as its Male and Female Athletes of the Month for February.

Wolters collects his second-straight Athlete of the Month honor and the second of his career after posting 53 points the highest scoring mark in NCAA Division I this season and leading South Dakota State to 30-straight home victories, currently the longest in the nation. The St. Cloud, Minn., native scored 53 points in the win at Fort Wayne on Feb. 7, marking new league and school single-game records.  For his 53-point performance, Wolters was earned four national Player of the Week awards, including the ESPN Player of the Week, the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week, and the ESPN Capital One Impact Performer of the Week.  On Feb. 9 at Oakland, the senior guard scored 36 points with six rebounds and seven assists, which included a perfect 9-for-9 from the stripe to help SDSU set a school record for free throw percentage going 17-for-17 from the line.  On Feb. 16, Wolters tallied a game-high 18 points with six assists and three rebounds, completing a season sweep of Western Illinois and marking the Jackrabbits’ 30th consecutive home victory.  During the month he also posted two double-doubles, the first against CSU Bakersfield with a 32-point, 10-rebound performance, with the second coming in a win at Omaha as he posted 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, to help SDSU clinch the No. 1 seed in The Summit League Tournament.  For the month, the three-time Summit League Player of the Week, averaged 27.6 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.  He shot 58 percent from the field and 77 percent at the line as the Jacks went 5-3.  Wolters was also named a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, is a Naismith Player of the Year candidate and a Breitbart Sports College All-American.

Spenner garners her second consecutive Athlete of the Month honor and the second of her career after being named the Women’s Field Championship MVP.  The junior won three events and scored 40 individual points to lead the Mavericks to a runner-up finish at Omaha’s first Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships.  She won the pentathlon (3,888 points), winning four-of-five events, the long jump (19’9.75”/6.04m) and the triple jump (40’9.5”/12.43m), while finishing fourth in the high jump (5’6”/1.68m) and 60-meter hurdles (8.69).  Earlier in the month at the Iowa State Classic, she set the school record in the long jump with a mark of 20’5.25” (6.23m).  The Columbus, Neb., native won two Athlete of the Week honors in Feb., which moved her season total to six, setting a league record for awards in a season.  If eligible, she would have finished the month of February ranked eighth in the pentathlon, tied for 11th in the triple jump and 20th in the long jump in the nation.
Also nominated for the Men’s Athlete of the Month: Frank Gaines, Fort Wayne, basketball; Tony Carroll, IUPUI, swimming & diving; John Straka, North Dakota State, baseball; Amr el Sayed, Oakland, swimming & diving; Jeff Mettler, South Dakota, track & field; Jamario Taylor, Western Illinois, track & field.

Also nominated for the Women’s Athlete of the Month: Amanda Hyde, Fort Wayne, basketball; Jenny Oleksiak, IUPUI, swimming & diving; Liz Broyles, Kansas City, softball; Faith Kruchowski, North Dakota State, track & field; Sandra Czerska, Oakland, swimming & diving; Bethany Buell, South Dakota, track & field; Megan Waytashek, South Dakota State, basketball; Ashley Luke, Western Illinois, basketball.