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    Sports Performance Athlete of the Month Archive

    Click Here for the Current Sports Performance Athletes of the Month

    MARCH 2011

    Katie Landgrebe (Women's Soccer)
    Katie is a tremendous worker and leader in the sports performance facility. She brings a great attitude each day and a high level of energy to workouts and practices. Katie has a great appreciation for what sports performance is all about and how the hard work that she puts in translates into exceptional soccer play. Katie was a top performer in all categories of pre-offseason testing.

    Sports Performance Coach Tyler Jorgensen says: "Katie showed great aspects of power, strength, quickness and acceleration which are all great attributes to perform at a high level on the soccer field, but most importantly it is the motivation and great work ethic that Katie has displayed throughout the year that has had such a great impact on her teammates." Great job Katie, keep up the good work!

    Scott Lakin (Men's Soccer)
    Scott Lakin is accustomed to success both on and off the field. As an Academic All-Big Ten player, Scott has always been one to put in the extra time to stay ahead. This same attitude and discipline has propelled him in the sports performance realm, finishing as one of the top performers this month. Scott hopes to carry over his successes in the weight room to the Spring Season.

    Sports Performance Coach Derek Sulo says: "Scott is a hard worker not some of the time, but all of the time. It takes a consistent effort to succeed in the Big Ten."

    FEBRUARY 2011

    Madalyn Shalter (Women's Volleyball)
    Shalter is a fifth-year senior and the captain of her team. She has always worked hard and has a great attitude. She has found herself in a leadership role many times in her career at NU, but has gone above and beyond this off-season in leading this young team. She sets a strong example of how her team should work in the Sports Performance facility and leads vocally as well. Shalter has seen many improvements in her strength and power and has worked hard to give herself the best chance to be successful on the volleyball court.

    Sports Performance Coach Katie Fort says: "Maddy makes my job easier because she demands hard work and positive attitudes from her teammates. She has rightfully earned their respect and her passion for winning is inspiring. Leadership is imperative to any team being successful and Maddy's team is poised to have a great 2012 season."

    Nikko Boxall (Men's Soccer)
    Boxall was an integral part of this year's Big Ten Championship soccer team. An All-Big Ten second team and freshman team selection as well as a College Soccer News All-Freshman second team choice, Boxall is no stranger to hard work.

    Performance Coach Derek Sulo says: "His discipline and attitude propel him not only on the field but off of it as well. As a dedicated team leader, Nikko is a top performer in the Sports Performance Facility. The soft-spoken freshman looks to carry his successes from last season as the men's soccer team transitions from a productive off-season program into their spring season."

    JANUARY 2011

    Kara Mupo (Women's Lacrosse)
    Kara is a sophomore who has really embraced what the sports performance staff can do for her lacrosse game. She consistently pushes herself and her teammates to get better and routinely organizes extra workouts with her teammates. She has shown tremendous improvements, gaining two inches on her vertical, 10 pounds on her bench and nearly doubling her chin-ups from four to seven compared to her testing from last year. She also took nearly a tenth of second off of her pro agility shuttle from 5.00 to a 4.91.

    "Kara is an exceptional athlete and the confidence she gained last season has transferred into her off-season and pre-season training," Pullara said. "Even as a sophomore she has proven to be a leader among her teammates, making those around her better. I could not be more excited for Kara and her teammates heading into lacrosse season."

    Eric Chun (Men's Golf)
    Eric is one of our most gifted athletes at NU; his strength and power levels are some of the best from any golfer at NU. Those combined with his flexibility and mobility puts Eric at another level in the performance facility and on the course. This is evident from Eric's performances over the past three years which include a Big Ten individual championship, the Big Ten Freshmen of the Year award and numerous top-10 finishes.

    "Eric is consistently looking to improve and leads his team by example," said Mike Schweigert, Assistant Director of Sports Performance. "He is soft spoken but it is impossible to ignore his work ethic. His effort in the sports performance facility and at practice has certainly led to his successes."

    DECEMBER 2011

    Jackie Powell (Women's Swimming)
    Jackie Powell is one of the strongest and most powerful athletes on the NU Women's swimming team. She has excelled in the swimming sport performance program by bringing a relentless intensity to every workout. She leads by example and is a great teammate. Sports Performance Coach Rickey Jackson says: "Jackie has sought out additional work to do from her sport staff which has shown to be beneficial judging by her excellent performance in the pool. As a sophomore she has proven to understand the significance of our performance program at NU and took the initiative to be a leader in the Sports Performance Facility."

    Drew Crawford (Men's Basketball)
    The December male Sports Performance Athlete of the Month is junior basketball player Drew Crawford. Drew was the Big Ten Freshmen of the Year during his first season, but has never let that accolade limit his development. Instead he has used it a motivating factor and is now a top five performer in all strength and power categories for the team. According to sports performance coach Mike Schweigert: "Drew was a solid natural athlete who has developed into one of the best all-around athletes in the Big Ten. However, his physical improvements alone are not what makes him a stand-out. He has taken a leadership role in both in the Sports Performance Facility and on the court -- leading with both words and actions. His growth from a physical, mental and leadership standpoint make him a driving force in the rise of the Men's Basketball Program."

    NOVEMBER 2011

    Sammy Albanese (Softball)
    Sammy Albanese brings a high level of energy to workouts, is a great team player and her teammates feed off of that energy and positive attitude. There rarely is a challenge that she cannot perform in workouts. Sammy always goes above and beyond what is required of her. Performance Coach Tyler Jorgensen says this about Albanese: "Sammy is one of the most explosive athletes that I have worked with at any level. She characterizes what it means to be a team player." The work ethic that she brings everyday was evident in the improvement and gains she made throughout the fall improving in all of the categories of softball testing this fall. Great Job Sammy!!!

    Kyle Ruchim (Baseball)
    The November male sports performance athlete of the month is sophomore baseball player, Kyle Ruchim. Absolutely committed to excellence, Ruchim consistently pushes himself and his teammates past complacency. His intensity, determination and purposeful execution is awe-inspiring and rivaled by very few in the collegiate setting. According to sports performance coach Joe Nudo: "Kyle is one of the most determined and dedicated athletes I've ever been around. Whether he knows it or not, he's played a major role in his team's offseason success."

    OCTOBER 2011

    Brittany Orban (Women's Basketball)
    Brittany Orban is a basketball player for the Wildcats and is just starting her senior season. Brittany has made herself at home here at Northwestern coming from North Canton, Ohio. She stands at 6-0 tall and is a true physical specimen who puts second thoughts in the minds of opponents contemplating taking a charge from her. She understands how her work in the sports performance center can help her game on the court and she takes full advantage of her time there. Brittany has developed her strength and power over the years and turns in numbers that compete with the best of the best here at Northwestern. Brittany's work ethic is highly respected by her teammates and her coaches and she can always be counted on to give 100% effort.

    "Brittany goes above and beyond for me," Sports Performance Coach Katie Fort said. "She is determined to pull every ounce of potential out of her body. She sets an example of hard work."

    Alex Polizzi (Wrestling)
    The October male sports performance athlete of the month is Redshirt Freshman wrestler and Beloit, Wis., native, Alex Polizzi. Already having spent a significant amount of time training in high school, Alex came to Northwestern with a base level of physical ability far exceeding the typical collegiate athlete. Even still, Alex continually pushes himself out of his comfort zone to seek daily improvement for both himself and his teammates. According to sports performance coach, Joe Nudo: "Polizzi is truly respectful, extremely hard working and is always focused on purposeful execution of everything we do in the weight room. He's a sports performance coach's dream!"