EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – A national champion, a conference player of the year and five All-Americans are among the 2012 UW-Eau Claire Super Six Salute Award winners. The recipients will be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet Saturday, October 13 in the Davies Center on campus.
The winners of the university's highest athletics honor are:
Liz Amici (Whitewater, Wis.) -
women’s volleyball/track & field
Julia Baranek (Port Washington, Wis.) - women’s track & field
Thomas Breitbach (Muskego, Wis.) - men’s cross country/track & field
Nicole Dorvinen (Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) - women’s swimming & diving
Tyler Genovese (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) - men's track & field
David Goodman (Neenah, Wis.) - football
The Super Six award, in its 26th year of existence, recognizes and honors outstanding athletes who have also demonstrated a high level of proficiency in the classroom. Each year the award honors three female and three male student-athletes. These individuals epitomize the ideals of intercollegiate athletics as an educational experience at UWEC.
To be nominated for the award, the student-athletes must have completed their junior or senior season of eligibility, have attended UWEC for two years, have a cumulative resident grade point average of 3.00 or better, have a declared major, be recommended by their head coach and have demonstrated above average performance in their sport.
This year, a total of 19 student-athletes were nominated for the award which was selected by the coaching staff. "These six student-athletes represent the elite of the student-athletes from our 22 intercollegiate teams," said former Sports Information Director Tim Petermann, who was part of the group that established the award 26 years ago.
"Intercollegiate athletics at UW-Eau Claire has been and will continue to be a classroom outside the classroom," said Petermann. "Participation in intercollegiate athletics can teach life skills that will be valuable in whatever profession these athletes enter. They have learned time management, goal setting, interpersonal communication, discipline, assertiveness, overcoming adversity and motivation among other things."
A four-time letterwinner in both women's track & field and volleyball, Liz Amici was the WIAC Player of the Year in volleyball and an AVCA second-team All-American middle hitter as a senior.
She was a multi-event performer in track, earning All-American honors in 2011 with a seventh-place finish in the pentathlon.
A two-time All-Conference selection in volleyball, Amici ranks third on the Blugolds’ all-time career total blocks list with 418, third in block assists with 361 and 12th in attack percentage (.290). She led the team in blocking in 2009, 2010 and 2011 while leading the team in kills in 2011, a season she also earned team MVP honors.
Academically, Amici was selected to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team while earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2011. A business management major, Amici graduated with a 3.79 GPA.
A four-time letterwinner in women's track & field, Julia Baranek completed her Blugold career as a five-time All-American and a two-time WIAC champion. She was the Blugolds’ MVP her junior and senior years.
At nationals, Baranek’s top result came at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships when she was runner-up in the high jump. The following year she claimed third in the high jump while taking sixth in the triple jump. At indoor nationals, Baranek was seventh in the high jump in 2012 after finishing eighth in the same event in 2011.
During her junior and senior seasons at the WIAC Outdoor Championships, Baranek won the triple jump title. Her performance at the 2012 meet broke both a Blugold and facility record.
Her name appears three times in Blugold school records. She broke the 16-year-old school standard in the indoor high jump and tied the outdoor high jump mark while also shattering the outdoor trip jump record.
Academically, Baranek was a two-time pick for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. A mathematics education major, Baranek holds a 3.65 GPA. She plans to graduate from UW-Eau Claire this December.
A four-time letterwinner in men's track & field and a three-time letterwinner in cross country after transferring from UW-La Crosse in 2008, Thomas Breitbach becomes the 24th individual to win the Super Six Award for a second time.
On the track, Breitbach won the WIAC indoor 5,000-meter title his final two seasons after top five finishes his first two years. He was the runner-up at the 2012 NCAA indoor championship in that event, helping the team achieve a second-place finish, the best in school history. He was also runner-up in both the 5K and 10K at the 2011 NCAA outdoor championships. He holds school records in the indoor and outdoor 5,000-meter races, along with the outdoor 10,000-meter run.
In cross country, Breitbach participated at nationals twice. In 2009, he helped the team to a 16th place finish while he was the lone representative for the men's team in 2010. At nationals in 2010, he finished in 93rd place. His best time on an 8,000-meter course came at regionals in the fall of 2010 when he achieved a time of 24:38, one of the best times in school history. He was a team captain in 2009 and 2010 while serving as an assistant coach in 2011.
Academically, Breitbach was a six-time selection to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team (three in cross country, three in track) while he earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2011. A history major, Breitbach graduated with a 3.39 GPA.
During her four-year Blugold career, Nicole Dorvinen won 11 conference championships and was a seven-time All-American.
She holds three WIAC records (200 butterfly, 400 IM, 800 freestyle relay), six school records (1000 freestyle, 100 & 200 butterflies, 400 IM, 400 medley relay, 800 freestyle relay) and four McPhee pool records (500 & 1000 freestyles, 200 butterfly, 400 IM).
During her junior and senior seasons at nationals, Dorvinen captured first team All-American honors in the 400-yard individual medley, becoming first Blugold women's swimmer to earn first-team status since the 1995-96 season.
In 2010-11, Dorvinen was tabbed the WIAC Swimmer of the Meet after winning four conference titles. Over the past three seasons, she won three consecutive conference gold medals in both the 200 butterfly and 400 IM.
Dorvinen was team MVP her sophomore, junior and senior years. Additionally, she was named to the WIAC All-Time Team in 2011-12, which recognized the top individuals in conference history over the past 100 years as part of the WIAC’s Centennial Celebration. She was one of 16 Blugolds named to the team, which consisted of 32 individuals from around the conference.
A kinesiology-movement studies major, Dorvinen graduated with a 3.35 GPA. She is currently attending Michigan State University to pursue a Master’s degree in sport psychology. She is also serving as an assistant coach for the Spartans’ swim team.
Tyler Genovese won the 2012 NCAA indoor weight throw to help the Blugolds finish second nationally in the team competition, their best finish in school history.
Genovese was a three-time All-American as he also was runner-up in the discus throw while taking fifth in the hammer throw at last spring’s NCAA outdoor championship.
Genovese holds school records in three events, the indoor weight throw (67-7.75) and the outdoor hammer throw (197-1) and discus throw (182-1).
Academically, Genovese was a three-time member of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and was a 2011-12 CoSIDA Academic All-American first team selection. That put him in elite company as only 15 athletes in school history have earned first team Academic All-American honors. He was also selected as the 2012 Indoor Field Scholar Athlete of Year in Division III by the USTFCCCA. An actuarial science major, Genovese graduated with a 3.85 GPA.
After playing all 40 games during his four-year Blugold career, Goodman leaves as the school’s all-time leader in pass receiving yardage with 2,348. Besides that record, his name appears in the top 25 in four other Blugold career categories including third in receptions (153) and third in receiving touchdowns (18).
In the Blugold single season records, he appears in the top 20 three times in receiving yards while his 10 touchdown receptions in 2009 rank third. In a game against UW-Oshkosh his sophomore season, Goodman caught three touchdown passes, tying a school record for most in a single game. He also had receptions of 93 and 87 yards, both ranking among the top 10 longest pass plays in school history.
Goodman was named All-Conference second team in both his sophomore and senior seasons while receiving honorable mention in the balloting as a junior. He was the team’s Co-Offensive MVP and Special Team’s MVP in 2010 along with the team’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2008.
Named an NFF William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist and to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2011, Goodman is an accounting major who holds a 3.27 GPA. He plans to graduate from UW-Eau Claire next May.
AVCA - American Volleyball Coaches Association
CoSIDA - College Sports Information Directors of America
NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
NFF - National Football Foundation
USTFCCCA - United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association
WIAC - Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference